THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE RURAL SALES REPS
High performing rural sales rep are worth their weight in gold but can be as rare as rocking horse shit. That’s why it pays to look after them and work out what makes them tick.
However, there are 7 habits you can use to help cultivate your good rural reps into becoming great rural reps.
By being privileged enough to teach and train hundreds of rural reps and their teams, we get to see the specific patterns, behaviours, characters, traits and attributes that separate the great from the good.
So here they are:
Habit #1: They are ruthless with their time
They know time is all they have so they spend it wisely. They don’t let others spend it for them – including poorly qualified customers.
They are meticulous planners and run their life by their diary. They know weeks and months out who they are going to call or see when with what and why.
Don’t micro-manage them. They are already organised.
They know what they need to do so get out of the way and let them do it. Empower them by clearing any debris or distractions that slows them up.
They will love you for it and so will your bottom line.
Focus on “whatever makes the boat go faster.”
Habit #2: They love sales
According to US Dept of Labour Statistics only 46% of people ever intended to be in the sale profession. This means a hell of lot of reluctant sales people who won’t be fully engaged.
These guys thrive on sales. It’s what gets them out of bed in the morning. No call reluctance with this crew. If they don’t make the sale, they’re onto the next one.
You don’t need to motivate these guys. They motivate themselves.
And they know how to find out the motives of their buying customers by asking brilliant questions and advancing them to the next step in the sales process.
Habit #3: They are highly competitive
They love to win and they hate losing.
Awards and recognition work wonders with these guys.
Create in-house competitions, league tables and lavish them with public praise in front of their peers.
They will bloom and blossom in front of your very eyes and pull your lower sales performers up as the same time.
Habit #4: They make data-driven decisions
They thrive on knowing where they role and rank. They want immediate and accurate access to the metrics that matter so they will always make friends with finance.
More often that not they also have their own tracking system to see where they’re at.
That’s a great sign when you see it.
Habit #5: They are commercially astute
They know the “it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep” mantra.
Productivity is vanity and profitability is sanity.
They know their numbers:
- Gross Profit
- Cost Per Acquisition (aka. Cost Per Sale)
- Conversion Rate
- Lifetime Value
- Churn Rate (aka. Attrition Rate)
- Share of wallet (aka. split sales share)
They also know what products create most profit margin. That will guide their sales behaviour greatly.
Don’t bullshit these guys by hiding your more sensitive numbers. They will hate you for it and more often that not, you will get found out.
They are not stupid so don’t treat them that way.
Habit #6: They are persistent
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”US President Calvin Coolidge
These guys don’t give up easily. They already know follow ups are an essential sales discipline and they follow up until they exhaust their prospect (research shows you need to follow up 5-7x, as 44% of rural sales reps give up only after 1-2 follow ups).
7. They are life-long learners
“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”Benjamin Franklin
They know a chapter a day keeps the competition away.
They are not worried about investing their own time and money into up-skilling or professional development outside work hours.
They kick their own arse.
They know their competitive advantage is the rare and valuable sales skills others aren’t constantly learning or fine-tuning. As Stephen Covey said in his 7th habit of highly effective people they “sharpen their saw’.
They are also knowledgeable in that they know the benefits of their product or service inside-out, which means they are ready for any objections.
Objections are a sport to them that they love to play.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then, you have to play better than anyone else.”Albert Einstein
So there you have it: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Rural Sales Reps.
Which one would you focus on most and why?
What have I missed from this list?
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