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Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, bestselling author, sales leader, and entrepreneur. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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A List of Rules for Sales Success

alt text image of a boy in front of a blackboard with the words "I will follow the rules"
  • Focus 10X as much time and energy and money on becoming someone worth buying from as you do on electronics, sporting events, or wherever you spend these resources now.
  • Start every day with getting your attitude right, even if it means exercising first thing in the morning, meditating in the car, or listening to music that changes your state (for my money, AC/DC’s For Those About to Rock works beautifully).
  • Read books on your craft, but also read non-fiction books and magazine articles to better understand your world and to improve your ability to think laterally.
  • Prospect every day, even when you don’t feel like it, and even when you have a full pipeline.
  • Spend time nurturing your dream clients, even if your competitor has them locked down, even if they are completely cold, and even if you have warm leads.
  • Don’t spend time with people who can’t or won’t buy what you sell, even if you believe they should, and even if they would benefit from doing so.
  • Plan every sales call, even if you have made 1,000 sales calls, and even if you believe it is not necessary.
  • Listen more than you speak, and give people more time to respond by waiting until they run out of words, even when it feels uncomfortable.
  • Remember that selling isn’t something you are doing to someone. It is something you are doing for someone and with someone. You are helping people to produce outcomes they could not produce without you.
  • Start the conversation at the highest level of value possible, even if you feel like you need to lean on the credibility of your company, and even if you really want to share your solution.
  • Ask the difficult questions, even when they make you uncomfortable, and even if they make your dream client uncomfortable.
  • Identify all the people who are involved in any deal, even if it is difficult to manage, and even if this causes you to have to engage with people who oppose the change you are helping your dream client to make.
  • Never give up on pursuing your dream client, even if it feels like a waste of time, and even if they have a contract with your competitor.
  • Work to control the process and the sales conversation, even if the person or people you are working with try to avoid making the commitments they need to make, and even if you have to persist and go back over ground you have already covered.
  • Close your web-browser for 90 minutes at a time while you focus on what’s most important. Close your email for 90 minutes while you are doing the work that produces the outcomes you want. Remember, you would have both of these things closed if you were with a client, and you should treat your goals like they are a client in which you are investing time.
  • Ask for the commitments that you have earned, and when that fails, explain the value for your client in agreeing and ask again.
  • Spend as much time studying human psychology as any other subject, as all of your results are going to be produced through or with other people.
  • Remember that your clients have very real concerns that prevent them from taking action, and it is your job to resolve those concerns completely, even if they are irrational, and even if it is difficult work.
  • Respect your competition and never underestimate them, and work hard to be the kind of person who wins a competition because they outperformed their competitors by creating a preference to work with you over all others.
  • Be open-minded about the processes and methodologies available in sales, and never discount ideas with which you disagree, especially if they bring value to others. At the same time, remember everything is contextual, and be skeptical of any claims that you can have what you want without effort.
  • In all human relationships, fast is slow, and slow is fast. If you want to go fast, so slow. If you don’t want to go slow, don’t try to go fast.
  • Work harder than anyone you know. Work smarter than anyone you know.
  • Plan your week over the weekend and block the time for your most important outcomes. Start the week knowing what you are going to do and get a jump on the competition.
  • Don’t fear failure. Accept it as feedback, make adjustments, and try again.

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Filed under: Sales 3.0

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