Five Habits of Highly Successful Startup Sales People

Published on August 27, 2021

Are you a high-flying salesperson? If you’re working for a startup, you might have the potential to make a lot of money on commission and drive massive company growth. You could even be the deciding factor that prevents startup failure.

Here are the five key habits you need to build to succeed:

Habit #1: Setting Smart Goals

Setting smart goals can boost your success hugely. A smart goal is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. 

“Make more sales” isn’t a good goal. Instead, “onboard five customers per week” is much better. It’s clear whether or not you’ve achieved it – and if you haven’t yet reached it, you know how far away you are.

Habit #2: Tracking Key Metrics

Sales are all about metrics. If you don’t know how many calls you need to make, on average, to achieve a deal, then it’s tough to improve.

Keep track of everything (as efficiently as possible, so you’re not spending valuable time just tracking things). For instance, you probably want to know:

  • How many sales calls do you need to make to get one sale on average?
  • How many times do you need to interact with each prospect, on average, to achieve a sale
  • How long customers typically stay (especially important if your startup has a SaaS model, with customers paying a monthly or annual fee)

Habit #3: Active Listening

Customers don’t want to hear about how great your product is. They don’t care how many unique features it has. Instead, they want to know what it can do for them. 

To figure out how best to pitch your product or service to a customer, you need to know them. That starts with active listening: making the conversation all about them, not about you.

One simple thing you can do to listen better is to prompt potential customers to say more. Simply asking, “Tell me more” or “Go on” can get you a wealth of helpful information about their hopes and goals.

Habit #4: Sending Well-Chosen Gifts

If you’re in a high-value sales area, giving marketing gifts can make a huge difference. Simply sending a gift to say “welcome onboard” to a new client would be enough to get them to stick around much longer – that great first impression will improve their loyalty.

Choosing and sending gifts is a habit and skill that you can build. When you talk to prospects, note any interests or hobbies they mention and see whether you can pick a gift that they would genuinely enjoy.

Habit #7: Staying Enthusiastic

How enthusiastic are you? Your energy levels make a big difference to how many sales you’re going to close. If you’re simply going through the motions, prospects will sense that. 

Make sure that you’ve covered the basics, like getting enough sleep and physical exercise. Focus on the positives and inject real enthusiasm into your conversations with prospects. You might find it helps to keep a folder of positive messages or testimonials from happy customers, so you have something to brighten up your day if you need a quick burst of enthusiasm.

Building these five habits will help you to become a highly successful salesperson. Choose one habit to focus on this week, and spend at least 10 minutes each day working on it.

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