If you know a lucky salesperson, we’ll let you in on a secret: He’s not as lucky as you think. He’s a better opportunist.
You might think the best salespeople are in the right place at the right time.
But when it comes down to it, they do things that allow them to take advantage of what happens around them — but not in a negative way.
For one thing, so-called lucky salespeople are almost always positive people. They see the glass as being half-full when they’re prospecting, and they drink it all — or offer it to a client in need.
Perhaps most importantly, they provoke their luck. In one study, “provoked luck” — i.e., salespeople doing things along the way to set themselves up for what appeared to be sudden success — was behind 60% of the sales made.
You can do it, too
Here’s what “lucky” salespeople do regularly and consistently:
- Play to their strengths. Another study found that the wealthiest people got that way by focusing on what they do best. The same goes for salespeople: They don’t waste energy and time on things they don’t do well. Instead, they stick to their strong points — whether it’s a selling style, product, industry or point in the sales process. From there, they might delegate or find a partner to help compensate for their weaknesses.
- Prepare in advance. So-called unlucky people often become that way because of how they react to their work and life. They’re usually unprepared for what’s thrown at them. Preparing a plan — and following through with it, even if that includes making changes as things change — provides structure for business and each sale. Then, when it’s time to react, it’s with a rational, thought-out approach.
- Start early. For those of you who are prone to procrastination or are self-proclaimed “not morning people,” this trait of lucky people won’t resonate well. But, for the most part, lucky salespeople tend to get work done ahead of others. They also think ahead to the next quarter or even year, planning work now that will have a positive effect on those coming projects or sales.
- Follow up. So-called “lucky” people connect with others constantly, stay connected and never use “I’m horrible with names” as an excuse at a cocktail party. That’s because they follow up with people and opportunities. They exchange cards. Then they make notes on those cards about a promised follow up. They send the email, make the call or connect on LinkedIn.