Yes, there are more than 5 things top consultants do, but for me theses are the most essential. I was a successful salesperson for many years. Eventually, I moved into a leadership role. As I’ve said, it was a different world when I sold. It was the days of landlines and faxes. We set appointments primarily through cold calling; there was no lead funnel. And, as you know by now, our sales techniques were too often based on psychology rather than on our customers’ needs. Like I said, it was a different world. However, there are 5 things top consultants do that transcend era.

5 Things Top Consultants Do

Top Consultants Set Activity-Based Goals

One of the 5 things top consultants do is to set goals based on objective criteria and then plan improvement activities. They understand you cannot do a goal you have to do activities. They recognize activities to continue, stop, improve, and restart because goal setting directs behavior, not results. Although the goal must focus on measurable objective criteria, activities achieve goals. Goals should include clearly defined objectives and an activities plan.

A poorly written sales goal would be to set a goal to sign up more customers. That’s not a well-planned goal; it’s a wish. What’s missing is how. For example, in this scenario, it might be to cold call five new prospects per day and set two appointments per week. Then, follow up these activities with training and tools to achieve the goal, such as the manager traveling with the salesperson to appointments, conducting cold call training once per week, and talking with each salesperson about their daily activities.

Top Consultants Believe 

Top salespeople believe in their company, product, and service. And if they don’t, they fix it or leave because a belief in your business and its customer service is a constant source of enthusiasm.

I was once VP of operations for a mid-size B2C company. Our products were not the cheapest in a very competitive marketplace. Because of this, a salesperson would occasionally question the pricing, which, if not addressed, would lead to a loss of belief in the product, service, and company. I easily believed in the product because the price included a higher-end product, a nationally recognized award-winning service department, and outstanding employee installation crews. The company attracted and kept the best employees because they offered full-time, year-round employment, competitive wages, and full benefits in an industry primarily made of subcontractors. I never hesitated to explain to a customer or a salesperson that part of the price was taking care of the employees who would take care of them.

Top Consultants are Positive People

Top consultants are optimists, but it’s more than that. The best sales consultants like to help people. They treat not only their customers but also their teammates and vendors well.

A positive outlook makes a consultant more likable and attractive, and it makes sense that it’s a healthier way to live. For most of my adult life, I’ve believed one’s outlook affects one’s health. My unscientific observation has been that pessimistic people have more illnesses and ailments than those who see life’s brighter side. I wholeheartedly believe part of the difference is self-fulfilling; some of it is the harm negativity does to the human body. Fearful and negative thought processes release molecules into the body that are detrimental to one’s health, don’t they? Yes. They. Do

Top Consultants Are Organized

One of the most common complaints I hear from salespeople and consultants is they need more time to sell. They spend time following up on orders, answering questions, and providing customer service rather than selling. Handling these activities is a large part of being a good consultant. However, when these actions are unplanned and uncontrolled, they reduce the time available to prospect for new business.

The problem may be a need for more organizational skills. When consultants, or anyone, waste minutes and hours due to a lack of focus and methodology, it reduces the time available to work on important tasks, such as finding new business. Planning doesn’t happen on its own; time must be made for important tasks. To make time, first, activities must be organized.

Top Consultants Use Good Time Management

Top consultants understand that time is their rarest commodity, and they protect it. The best consultants delegate tasks that others can and should complete. They plan their week and their day. The most successful sales consultants limit distractions and understand the difference between an urgent fire and an important task.

Time management is crucial to getting more value out of your projects and improving the quality of your life. To improve your time use, you must be brutally honest in analyzing your time usage. Interruptions at any time, especially during the “golden hours,” before deadlines are met, should be limited. Determine your most important times of the day when interruptions should be limited and let others know.

Organize Your Time

The key to having more time to sell is organizing your time using simple time management tools. Follow-up and repetitive tasks can be organized and scheduled. Activities that are repeated shouldn’t require a lot of thought. Using brain power to track and juggle tasks that could be handled in a reusable format takes time away from creative pursuits such as selling.

Step One: Use a To-Do list

Use a weekly planner and a daily to-do list to prioritize, track, and schedule actions. Taking the time to plan your week and day keeps tasks in focus. A lack of planning leads to folks following their noses, wasting time on unprioritized and less important tasks than selling.

Step Two: Set Notifications

A to-do list shouldn’t be bogged down with long-term follow-ups, projects in waiting, or next month’s itinerary. Rather than wasting creative energy keeping track of future events, use notifications. Using an application such as Google Calendar or Outlook for reminders saves brain power, which could be used in client prospecting. Preparation for a future event is one thing; misusing time and energy is another.

Step Three: Create Checklists

A checklist can simplify routine and repetitive tasksFor example, if part of the sales process is following up on orders, you can use a checklist to avoid missing steps, document progress, and free up space in the hard drive we call our brain. A checklist doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as the following:

  • Artwork sent to design
  • Customer approval received
  • Material ordered
  • Project sent to production
  • Inspection completed
  • Shipped to customer

You can use a simple checklist to track and follow up on processes, thus freeing up time.

How Valuable is Time?

Time is the most valuable commodity any consultant has. Time is precious, and when it’s squandered, it’s gone forever. There is no time bank to save up seconds and minutes for when they’re needed. Spending the time to organize, schedule, and plan saves time. Weekly planners and daily to-do lists, notifications, and checklists create time to sell.

Are You a Top Consultant? 

How many of 5 things top consultants do have you embraced? Are you at the top of your game? If not, the points listed above are a good beginning. Set activity-based goals, believe in what you’re doing, get organized, use your time wisely, and maintain a positive outlook. If you do those things, you’ll be at the top of your game.

New Age Consulting

When I was younger, I used every sales trick in the book and even invented a few. I used these tactics to sell and taught others how to dupe a customer into buying the product I wanted to sell, which was only sometimes what the consumer needed. I’m not proud of my early years in sales. I was “that” Salesperson.

Eventually, I learned that helping customers rather than “selling” them built lasting relationships. It not only made good business sense, but it also felt good. It was the right thing to do. Are you ready to do the right thing? Do you want to learn how not to be a compassionate sales consultant and increase sales while building your customer base? If so, read this book. How to Sell Without Becoming “that” Salesperson

If you liked this post you might also enjoy The Platinum Rule

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unspl