Some membership site owners seem to hit their member quotas with ease, while others trail behind their targets. Do these top sales performers have any secrets that help them close deals faster, and could this advice help you as an online business owner? Most definitely.
According to the 2018 Buyer Preferences Study by Miller Heiman Group, only 53% of sales professionals are hitting or exceeding their target numbers. This is a decrease from 63% in the recent five years — an indication that salespeople are struggling.
However, it is possible to achieve great sales conversions like those of David Ogilvy, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, and other renowned sales performers. After all, if it weren’t possible, they wouldn’t be pulling it off.
In this article, we’ll go over 10 little known secrets of top sales performers that, along with a good amount of hard work and dedication, will get your sales numbers up and running. And don’t worry, pushing people into purchasing isn’t on the list! So let’s dive in.
1. They Have Deep Product Knowledge
Show us a membership site owner who always hits their target, and we’ll show you how much they love their product and understand how it works — whether it’s a box subscription service or a set of online learning courses.
Consistent sales are a by-product of product knowledge. It doesn’t matter how exciting or boring the product might be, a deep knowledge of that product will help the salesperson effectively communicate its benefits and features in a way that nothing else can.
Data from InsightSquared shows that the top 1% of sales agents have gained deep product knowledge. And that’s because they do the extra work of studying the product extensively.
They examine flaws, identify how the product compares with similar products in the market, and understand how to communicate its features and benefits in context.
2. They Build Relationships With Prospects
Being able to build relationships with prospects and clients is a priceless sales secret top performers depend on. After all, it’s a lot easier to retain customers when they trust you.
There’s something inarguably powerful about developing relationships with new prospects and cementing the bonds you already have with customers. Over time, you’ll make more money through this tactic.
And you don’t have to rely on gimmicks to get people to buy your products. When you build the right relationships with your prospects, they’ll naturally trust you.
And these days, the “building a relationship” part begins when you create actionable content that truly helps your target audience.
And don't accept excuses: “That won't work in my niche. My niche is too small. My industry is too boring,” and so on.
Every time I hear this objection I refer to the example iNECTA, a food ERP software. Despite that they are in a small and, some would say “boring”, niche, they produce amazing blog posts and YouTube videos, and even operate an iNECTA university — all of which helps their target audience succeed.
Efforts like these tremendously help to build a great relationship with your audience, which will result in amazing conversion rates and increased sales.
3. They Have Grit and Resilience
Top sales performers find ways to grow from setbacks and rejections.
The truth is that membership site owners will face and deal with rejection all the time. As a salesperson, you naturally expect a response to your efforts from your customers. But you should come to expect to be left in the lurch sometimes.
In the words of Calum Coburn:
“Sales suffer from one of the highest attrition rates of all professions, which is why it serves to recruit salespeople who show resilience and grit.”
In sales, grit helps you to stick it out in the face of knockouts. You don’t back down or give up. You move, you learn, you persevere, and you win.
4. They Have Unmatched Empathy
In the concept of sales, Empathy is a measure of your ability to understand and share the feelings of your prospects and customers.
Top sales performers always put the customer first. They feel their pains, understand their complaints, and strive to alleviate their problems by creating solutions.
To show empathy, you need to get closer to your customers. Beyond offering them a product to buy, join the conversation so you can become a friend.
Along these same lines, you never want to miss an appointment with a potential client. Scheduling tools like Woven can help.
Empathy is a soft skill that helps you to anticipate your customer’s needs and wants.
You also build better relationships with your customers when you show empathy. This can translate into more sales and revenue for your company.
5. They Have Active Listening Skills
Listening is one of the strongest communication skills. When you’re listening, you’re communicating. It shows you care and appreciate the person who’s talking.
To develop a successful membership site, you should actively listen to your customers. And when you connect with new leads and prospects, ask questions then step back and listen to them. When you post on social media, for example, give people the chance to leave comments and be willing to respond.
Sales professionals who listen more than they talk tend to close more sales. You should make up your mind to hear what your customers have to say.
6. They Enjoy The Sales Process
Top sales performers love what they do. Whether they’re involved in lead generation or getting actual sales, they love the process: meeting with customers, making presentations, or explaining the features of a product.
You need to cultivate an aptitude for sales. This will cause you to enjoy the process, as you grow to see it as an adventure that helps you better understand your target audience.
7. They Succeed With The Help Of A Team
Oftentimes, sales teams are happy to talk the talk of teamwork without actually acting as a team. But for your membership business to achieve success, you need to carry your team members along.
Although you may be rewarded or get promoted from outpacing every other person in your team, your true competition is outside of the building, not within.
Treat those around you with a high level of respect, appreciate those who offer help, no matter how little. This is one secret that benefits us all both inside and outside the marketing environment.
8. They Can Communicate From The Customer’s Perspective
What do customers want from a business relationship? Most salespeople will go as far to imagine this, but a top performer will take it a step further.
When you interact with a potential member, try to identify their top priorities and concerns. Ask questions to find out what they’re going through. Then use the information to tailor your product offering, ultimately addressing their needs in real-time.
This is the best approach to take when you’re looking to personalize your product offering. As long as you can communicate from the customer’s perspective (how they see things), you’ll capture their hearts and nudge them into becoming members along the way.
The sales team at ClickMeeting, one of the best webinar software out there, is smart. When you sign up to use their product, they’ll prompt you to watch a video on how to host your first online meeting. The goal is to get customers excited so they eventually buy the software by anticipating their questions and concerns from the outset.
9. They Promote Value Over Product and Price
The product’s value is more important than the offer itself.
When you’re marketing online, it can be difficult to tell your customers the best features of your membership, especially when you’re focusing on organic business growth.
Prospective members have probably not met you in person, so how do you convince them that your product is the best?
Hone in on the value they’ll get from their membership.
Yes, the product’s price should be fair — but communicate the value at every point. Move away from highlighting the features of your product, and instead focus on the benefits it can bring to your client.
Bonus: Share success stories to buttress your points. Focus on video testimonials since they communicate emotion and tend to convert most effectively. And don’t worry too much about production quality. A simple selfie-style video testimonial can convert just as well (if not better) than an expensive, high-quality video production.
A great example is how Infinite Recovery presents their testimonials. They’re authentic and honest — all without a full-blown video production company behind them. If you’re interested, head over to get some inspiration there.
10. They Track The Competition
Top sales performers always track their competitors.
They don’t claim to know it all, and so are continually looking over the shoulders of other companies and salespersons. Then they design better strategies to outperform them.
You need to spy on your competitors to see what they’re doing well. For example, check your top competitors’ websites and podcast channels to see what type of content they put out, what are their top organic keywords, and from where they get backlinks. Where are they running ads? What does their sales funnel look like? In other words, do your research!
Armed with this data, you gain a competitive edge that will help you make smarter decisions, gain more members, and hit your targets.
All in all, excelling in sales isn’t a one-off thing. Top sales performers are unrelenting.
If you want to become a top performer, then you need to develop soft skills (e.g., empathy, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving) and make up your mind to provide solutions.
You need to know your products inside out. Go beyond memorizing the features, and understand your product and the people you’re selling it to.