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The Power of Habit in Sales

February 16, 2014

Have you ever wondered why some businesses seem to remake themselves overnight while others struggle for years to change?

 The difference is centered on good and bad habits.

Having a successful sales team is all about developing good habits and discipline.

While reading the executive book summary of The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, I was reminded of the major complaint I hear when speaking with most sales organizations.  The number one complaint is people do not prospect enough.

Perhaps this is because they do not create good habits around prospecting and cold calling.  Take cold calling.  There has been a lot of discussion about cold calling being dead and generally there is a reluctance to use it in the prospect hunt.  When sales people are reluctant they tend to miss asking certain questions during an appointment or even asking the right closing questions.   All of these elements must be put into the form of good habits.

According to Mr. Duhigg the brain tries to make routines into habits.  The process within our brains is a three-step loop.

First, there is a cue that triggers your brain into automatic mode and it chooses which habit to use. Then there is a routine and finally a reward, which helps the brain decide if this is a good habit to become more automatic.  Brushing your teeth is a classic example of developing a habit. In the early 1900’s on 75 of people brushed their teeth before “Pepsodent”.  After Pepsodent cleverly developed a “cue”- tooth film and the reward- beautiful teeth.  Pepsodent sales soared.

There are certain keystone habits that really can act as a jumping off point to start developing the rest of the organization into great habits.  Utilizing his principles, let’s see what we can do for the “Sales Cats”.

Start with the number one difficulty you have with your sales force.  Let’s say it’s prospecting by cold calling. . . or perhaps social media or networking.  Whatever your sales forces feels most reluctant with.  What steps can you take?

v   Set a time, the same time every day, in which your sales reps will make an appointment with themselves to prospect for a certain length of time.  No excuses.

v  Set a certain number of prospects they are required to make contact with every day.

v  Provide an immediate reward.  -This can be anything that they feel is appropriate other than money.  The more physical the reward the better- e.g. points toward a specific prize or gift certificate.   Or let them reward themselves- say a 10 minute break.  (I say other than money because their sales success should lead to bonuses and commissions.)

Setting a cue– the same time every day; doing the behavior– calling; and getting an immediate reward will help create good habits for your sales team.

I’d love to hear your positive sales experiences with developing good habits.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2014 2:35 am

    Reblogged this on bangladeshsalestimes.

  2. March 16, 2014 2:58 am

    Reblogged this on salestrainerbangladesh.

  3. March 23, 2014 1:06 am

    Reblogged this on bigdifferenceoflife.

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