Back in the day when I used to work in Australia, I had a superstar new salesman that I needed to get up to speed.
Any sales managers out there know the type: these are the guys with no prior sales experience that work hard, learn the tricks of the trade, and hold themselves to a high standard when it comes to making money.
I call them superstars.
Now, just because they’re superstars doesn’t mean they don’t face the same growing pains that all new salespeople face.
A new salesperson can outsell a veteran in a single day. But in some ways, the veteran has the advantage in the long run.
Over time, veteran salespeople have integrated a powerful habit or two into their sales strategy.
Experienced salespeople have been through the ups and downs of sales. Some months are good, some are bad, and some are average.
When you have a good month, you naively expect every single month from here on out will be just as good.
And when you have a bad month, you question your ability and wonder if you’ve still got it.
Veterans know this. New guys do not.
This particular new guy, even though he was a superstar, still needed to learn this lesson.
And in my experience, the best way to maintain a high median sales quota at the end of every month is to focus on cultivating the appropriate habits.
Destroy bad sales days with a single powerful habit
I remember one day in particular when Chris, my superstar, and I had just arrived at the mall.
As we were opening the kiosk for another busy day in Bankstown Central, Lebanon’s favorite Australian shopping mall, I could tell he just wasn’t having it that day.
We all have days like this – days where we’re just not in the mood to sell. Where going through the motions of getting our sales environment good and ready just isn’t doing it for us.
I, on the other hand, had spent years cultivating the proper habits that would prevent me from having too many bad days.
And when I did have them, my habits would neutralize their negative effects on them immediately.
Australian shopping malls are a little different than American ones. All of them have at least one full-blown grocery store, and many of the ones in Sydney have a major bus station or train station attached mall itself.
As a result, even in the early hours of the morning, there was lots of traffic at Bankstown Central.
To be fair, most of the time it was Lebanese grandmas going to their favorite local grocery store to buy zaatar and fresh labneh to make food for their family.
Not exactly our target demographic…
Still, I made sure to say, “GOOD MORNING!” as loud as I could to every single person who walked by while we were setting up.
I did this every single day.
My superstar hadn’t learned this lesson yet.
He was a somewhat shy kid anyway, a Korean workaholic who was still a virgin at 25. He’d work for me 6 days a week and on Sunday, his day off, he’d spent 12 hours at church.. studying.
As the day went on, I started selling early and continued selling late in the afternoon. My Korean bro made a few sales, but I could tell his heart wasn’t in it that day.
Success in sales means cultivating powerful habits
Sure, you could write this off as experience, but I believe it was something different.
Over the years working in kiosks, I noticed that my first few demonstrations of the day would always be a little bit off.
I was still waking up, waiting for the morning caffeine to kick in. My demos suffered as a result.
Halfway through a demo I’d realize I didn’t have a comb or clips on hand. I’d reach for my bottle of serum and it would be on the other side of the kiosk. If I did make a sale, I’d make easily avoidable mistakes like not being able to locate my stapler or a pen.
Once I understood the concept of “warming up” on any given day, I took it one step further.
I started saying good morning to people in the mall who walked by.
I figured that the sooner I got started “working,” the better.
The sooner I started having conversations by moving the muscles in my face and throat that were responsible for the projection of my voice, the sooner I would get into a flow state where I said the exact right thing at the exact right time.
Imagine that in order to reach that flow state, you need to get to a critical mass of small wins.
You need to do a certain number of approaches, a certain number of demos, and make a certain number of sales. Everything after that is just smooth sailing.
- Why would you wait until you actually got to work to start doing that?
- Why wouldn’t you start in the morning immediately after waking up?
- Why wouldn’t you start on the ride to work?
Talk to yourself if you have to, but just start talking.
The point I’m trying to make is this: selling starts at home, continues throughout the entire day before and after work, and continues when you’re done with work and go home to your civilian life.
Effective sales habits have this ONE THING in common
Because sales is such an emotion-based activity, it stands to reason that the more you can maintain a high level of emotional feeling-goodness, the better you’ll feel at work and the more money you’ll make.
In other words, every little bit helps.
All these little habits which SEEM like they don’t matter all add up to create a human being that is perpetually in an amazing mood (and will therefore sell more!).
This silly concept of saying good morning to people who aren’t your customers might sound inconsequential, but I can say 100% without exaggeration that this one habit was responsible for thousands of dollars in additional revenue during my year working in Bankstown.
As dreaded “kiosk people,” shoppers were always terrified that any time they walked by, we’d lunge towards them and try to pressure them into sitting for a demo.
Imagine their surprise when instead of that, all they received was a cheerful “GOOD MORNING!” from the eccentric American and his Korean Kemosabe.
Successful sales habits all have ONE THING in common: they all positively influence your emotional state which keeps you in the right mood to sell.
Every single GOOD MORNING uttered towards these non-customers established more and more goodwill in the community until people started telling us GOOD MORNING when they walked by!
Imagine that: a prospect happily initiating a conversation with you WITHOUT any effort on your part!
Learning to sell is making a habit of managing your emotions
I’ve said it so many times you must be sick of hearing it by now: selling is all about creating positive emotions in the other person.
- If they like you and feel good around you, they’ll pay you just to get you to like them.
- If you make them feel so good that they enjoy being around you, they’ll give you money just so they can hang out with you.
Each and every single GOOD MORNING said to these non-customers engendered more and more goodwill towards the lovely residents of Bankstown until Chris and I had more friends than we knew what to do with.
It got so crazy that several times per day we’d have people walk by the kiosk and wave a cheery hello to Chris and I, after which we’d look at each other and murmur quietly, “Do you know her? Who is that?”
We’d both shrug. Neither of us had any idea who many of these people were.
But because of how nice and cheery we were to them, offering a simple happy hello and shot of positive emotion into their otherwise boring and stressful day, they went out of their way to engage with us.
Now, I hear what you’re thinking.. Okay great, so they said hello to you. Where’s the part where this leads to additional sales?
Well remember what I said about people liking you so much that they would be willing to pay you to hang out with you?
This happened ALL THE TIME with us.
So many times we’d be standing at work, saying hello to two and three-sets walking by, and one of them would literally DRAG her friends over to us and say, “OH MY GOD, U GUYS HAVE TO TRY THIS STRAIGHTENER!”
Thousands and thousands of dollars in additional revenue – all because we said hello to people and smiled when we did so.
After just a few months in that mall, we were quite literally celebrities in Bankstown. When Chris and I would walk through the mall, we’d see the locals whisper in each other’s ears and giggle in our direction.
Sure, it was just in a small crime-ridden Muslim neighborhood in suburban Sydney.
But notoriety is notoriety. ESPECIALLY in sales.
(And if I was smart, I would have capitalized on that instead of jumping ship to Thailand the year after.)
How to make more sales with powerful habits
But the fact remains: this one little habit not only made us famous in this city, but put thousands of additional dollaridos in my pocket at the end of the year.
And this was just ONE little powerful habit!
Imagine what would happen if you cultivated MORE of these habits?
Imagine how much more money you’d make if you maintained MULTIPLE beneficial habits, such as:
- calling customers on their birthday
- capturing their emails and sending regular daily newsletters
- inviting them to follow you on your regularly updated social media accounts
- dressing your best every single day
- shaving and maintaining a proper haircut
- keeping up with the latest fashions and buying new clothes regularly
- smelling clean, maybe with a dab of designer cologne
- whitening your teeth regularly and flashing that lovely smile
- making friends and networking with superconnectors in your industry
- updating your own personal/professional blog
These aren’t so much sales strategies as they are habits.
I think salespeople and business owners get overwhelmed when they think of all the things they “have to do.”
“Oh no, I HAVE TO maintain an Instagram account, service my customers, AND write blog articles? Too much pressure!”
I think this is a mistake in reasoning.
I would argue that these habits are the scaffolding that will prop your revenue up while you build your recurring book of business.
Cultivating effective habits + making a reasonable amount of presentations to qualified prospects will guarantee that you maintain a high average amount of revenue, regardless of what industry you’re in.
At least that’s what I think.
But what do I know? I’m just a kiosk salesman.