Learn all about having the right habits, attitude, and mindset to stay on top of the sales industry! In this episode of Sales Secrets, I talk to Brad Jung of Russell Investments.
In this article:
- About My Guest — Brad Jung, Managing Director of North America Sales at Russell Investments
- What Separates the Good from the Bad
- How Can Sales Leaders Help Their Employees Prepare?
- How Do Top-Performing Sales Reps Build Connections?
- Getting to the Why and Solving Problems
- Learning to Listen
- Evolving into a Consultant Rather than a Sales Agent
How the Best Salespeople Always Stay on Top
About My Guest — Brad Jung, Managing Director of North America Sales at Russell Investments
It’s very difficult for salespeople to stay on top of their game. It takes years of research, practice, and dedication to develop the techniques and habits that’ll make you a top-performing salesperson.
Of course, with the right guidance, the process can be easier. That’s why it’s important to seek help from top-performing sales leaders who have gone through it all.
In this episode, Brad Jung, managing director of North America Sales at Russell Investments, talks about what separates the top performers from the average sales rep.
Russell Investments is an institution that helps advisers, investors, and fellow financial institutions improve financial security through investment products. Some of the companies they work with include titans like AT&T and Coca Cola.
Jung had to go through so much to hone and perfect the skills that make him the sales leader he is today. In fact, Jung started to craft his sales skills at the early age of 10 when he was still doing paper routes.
During those years, he learned the importance of keeping current customers happy while reaching out to prospects to acquire new businesses. So at the young age of 10, he already knew the basics of selling and how to stay on top.
What Separates the Good from the Bad
So, what keeps the best sales agents on top of the industry? While plenty of factors come into consideration, Jung states that it all boils down to preparation.
A lot of sales agents apply the “spray and pray” technique when it comes to traditional selling. This entails you have to set 10 client meetings to get three follow-ups and eventually land a sale.
Spray and Pray Definition: Spray and pray is a phrase that means to fire an automated weapon without attempting to aim in a specific direction. In traditional sales, it means to call random numbers without doing prior research and simply hope that one of them ends in a sale.
But top-performing salespeople know that this is not the most efficient way to sell your services. To stay on top, you need to prioritize quality over quantity.
So that means trying to land a sale every two to three client meetings. It’s a difficult feat to achieve, which is why only the top percentile can actually apply this concept.
How Can Sales Leaders Help Their Employees Prepare?
Of course, the success of sales agents heavily relies on their sales managers. As a leader, you’d want to find the right data to complement the strategies of your sales team.
For example, how updated is your prospect database? One reason plenty of sales teams fail to stay on top is they don’t know enough about the prospect.
They send emails and call numbers, but they don’t even know the tiniest bit of information about their potential client. As a result, they end up saying generic lines that don’t really stimulate engagement.
So instead of sending thousands of spammy emails, why not trim the list down to a hundred and spend your time qualifying every single prospect. That way, it’ll be easier for you to catch their attention since you already have an idea of what they’re looking for.
How Do Top-Performing Sales Reps Build Connections?
When it comes to doing research for building connections, sales reps have to find something in common with the client. Do your research on social media to find things they’re interested in such as their family, sports, and hobbies, among others.
It’ll be much easier for them to open up to you if you establish a personal bond first. In fact, I personally like it when a sales representative finds something about me that’s not related to work or business.
It gives the conversation a personal touch and it makes you seem more genuine. Of course, be careful not to go overboard, because that will just make you look like a stalker.
Getting to the Why and Solving Problems
A lot of top-performing sales reps are great problem solvers. They have this ability to find a customer’s pain points, highlight them, and provide various solutions.
Now, how do sales agents become great problem solvers? Well, the short answer is to do your research before setting a client meeting.
How can you expect to solve a prospect’s problems if you don’t even know what they do for a living, right? Plus, you need to ask the right probing questions to determine what product would suit them best.
So go on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google and then look up their names. A quick browse through their pages will already give you an idea of what they’re looking for. That way, you’ll know the right questions to ask when you meet them.
Learning to Listen
If you want to find out a client’s pain points and problems, learn to know when to shut your mouth. Jung recalls an experience where his mentor challenged him to bring nothing to a client meeting except for a sheet of yellow pad paper.
The challenge was to solve the client’s problem without using the usual presentation on your laptop or tablet. If Jung can’t solve the problem, then he should just walk away.
The goal of this is to learn when to listen to a client. It’s very easy to get caught up in a script or presentation and forget to let your clients say what’s on their mind.
If you want to increase your sales, then you need to know when to listen to your clients. Listen to their problems, provide feedback, and then help them make an informed decision.
Evolving into a Consultant Rather than a Sales Agent
There are three things that sales leaders need to create a team full of problem-solving consultants:
- Culture: Team and company culture is very important if you want your sales agents to start becoming problem solvers. Think about it, if no one on the team is into research and preparation, then no one would bother to become a problem solver. So, what you need to do is to create a culture where researching and problem-solving are the norms. To do that, you need to set an example for your team. Remember that you need to walk the talk if you want your team to heed your advice.
- Talented Sales Reps: Selling is a learnable skill, but hard work and commitment aren’t. As a sales leader, you need to look for agents who are willing to do the extra work. There are a lot of things that you can teach to help them stay on top, but hard work isn’t one of them.
- Training: If you want to create a great team, then you have to invest in their training and education. Hold classes, seminars, and workshops to teach them all about the world of sales and how to be on top. Keep giving them chances to hone and develop their skills and eventually become top-performing sales reps.
Overall, the best way to form a team of top-performing consultants is to create a good company culture and hold effective training sessions to mold talented, hardworking sales agents. Help your team understand that their goal should be to solve problems, not earn commissions.
Among all the agents that Jung has worked with, those that were truly passionate about their duties and responsibilities always knew how to stay on top. On the other hand, those who were doing it for the money easily burned themselves out.
Do you think these tips will help you stay on top? Tell us what you think in the comments section down below!