I bet you’ve heard the expression, “He’s a born salesman!” before, right?
It implies that there are some people who could sell anything to anyone. In fact, there is a colorful British expression, “…selling coals to Newcastle.” which illustrates this nicely. Newcastle is an old mining town with coal aplenty so for a salesman to sell coal there, he would have to be very good indeed.
These people just ooze charm and charisma and people queue up to buy from them, right?
Wrong, actually! The truth behind a successful salesperson is not that he or she was born with a silver tongue in their mouth but that they have a system and a systematic salesman will beat a natural salesman, hands down, any day of the week.
A salesman with a system is more effective because sales success depends on two things – qualified prospects and closing the sale.
Born salesman rely on their charm to to generate word of mouth referrals from those who have done business with them before. Sure, word of mouth (or WOM) is a great thing to have going for you and some salesmen will actively ask for referrals from their customers, but there is nothing systematic about it at all. You can’t guarantee that a client will pass on a good word about you after all, they have busy lives to.
A salesman with a system actually has a process for everything so it’s consistent. They excel at bringing quality prospects into the funnel and converting them into customers. They have a process for weeding out unqualified customers and therefore not wasting time on them, putting prospects on follow-up campaigns based on the situation, and for asking and receiving referrals and testimonials.
While the born salesman might win at converting more prospects into customers because of their winning personality, the systematic salesman will do a better job at bringing more leads into the sales funnel, staying consistent to turn them into customers, and then leveraging the new customers in a systematic way to ensure they can get more referrals from those customers.
So don’t fret if you aren’t as personable as the next guy. The key is to know what is the ideal way to convert prospects into buyers and to get referrals. It might be that it takes an average of 12 contacts to get a new customer.
Most salespeople will stop at 2 because they can’t remember when or who to call, but by setting up proper systems you can be the person that gets to 12 and wins the customer. Sales is about numbers, no matter what your sales trainer tells you. By knowing your metrics and knowing what the most efficient way to obtain a customer, you can setup your system so you always have a consistent and full pipeline. Why rely on your charm, when you can rely on your brain!