Sometimes, average salespeople look to their top-performing colleagues and wonder what it is that they do differently to achieve such spectacular results. Part of their success lies in the rituals they perform before each sale. Here are five rituals top performers use to capture that big deal.

1. They research. Before making their initial call to a new prospect, top performers invest time researching their prospect’s company. They find out who the key decision-makers are, look for areas of opportunity and learn exactly how their product, service or offering might benefit that company.

2. They plan. Top salespeople invest more time planning than the average salesperson. They carefully craft their opening statements and value propositions for cold calls, face-to-face meetings and follow-up conversations. They anticipate potential objections and determine the best way to respond. They determine what the next steps should be and figure out the best strategy to move each sales conversation forward.

3. They rehearse. Top performers never “wing it.” They take the time to practice and rehearse their presentations and pitches. They run through their sales call script out loud before picking up the telephone. They practice their responses to objections. And, they practice asking for the sale.

4. They warm up. No athlete or singer would ever start a performance without a warm up. Even rock bands that have been playing for years don’t take the stage without warming up first. Top salespeople are no different. They often practice their openings and run through the potential concerns and objections their prospects might have. As a consequence of such preparation, they are completely ready to “perform” when they walk into a prospect’s office.

5. They study. Great salespeople study. They know they need to constantly improve and upgrade their skills if they want to succeed. They study other top performers. They analyze their sales calls to determine how they can improve. They study their competition and know everything about their products or solutions. And they read sales literature and trade magazines and constantly add to their database of knowledge.

Athletes, musicians, actors and singers all have rituals they follow before they perform or play. Top performing salespeople are no different. What are your rituals?

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