I once received a message from an old friend asking for advice…
This old friend was going through a career change and had applied to become a sales person. The good news was that my old friend had an interview for the role, but he wanted some help and advice to help nail down the job. This was the first sales job my friend had ever taken and he wanted to do as well as he could.
The below notes are taken from my message back to him. In my eyes, these notes are the basic points that every sales role applicant should bare in mind. Every sales job is different as is every person applying for a sales job – however these are my top things you will need to remember when getting into sales.
Shut up and Listen
The old cliche is that people with the ‘gift of the gab’ are natural born sales people. Those that can talk their way out of any situation are put on a pedestal as a sales whizz and yet this is such a common misconception. I have had the delight to work alongside some great sales people, been raised by one, and have been mentored by many, and the one thing that all of the top earners have in common is their ability to LISTEN. Listening is such a basic skill and yet is so rarely practiced. You see, in listening to any person you come into contact with you will soon unearth all of their desires, their wants and their needs. If you listen for long enough a customer will tell you everything that they are looking to buy. Your job as a sales person will be so much easier by listening – your job will simply become that of a problem solver; finding the solution to the problem your prospect has given you.
So next time you find yourself talking over your customer and boring them with statistics and boring facts, shut up, and listen. Thank me for it later.
Quiet People Have The Loudest Minds – Stephen Hawking
Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Down
You cannot win everything. That is a simple fact in life. This fact rings true in sales more so that any other profession. You will face rejection, you will have doors slammed in your face, you will have people put the phone down on you. All of this just comes with the territory. You will see successes of course you will! You will get some sales under your belt and you will be rewarded so – I am sure of it. But you have to remember also that you will hear the word ‘no’ more than you ever expected. Do not get into sales if you cannot face the word ‘no’ and will allow it to drag you down.
The best sales professionals out in the work place know this and will take it in their stride. The best of the best will hear the word ‘no’ and will keep pushing forward for a sale from another prospect, or will find a way to turn that ‘no’ into a ‘YES!’
A rejection is never personal. Remember that. Try and try again.
Don’t Quit. Suffer Now and Live The Rest Of Your Life As a Champion – Muhammad Ali
Be Remembered For The Right Attitude
I can remember every over pushy sales person that has ever tried to sell to me. I can remember every single sale I have walked away from because of the attitude of the sales representative. On the flip side of this, I can also remember every single sales person that has taken their time with me, listened to me and cared for what I wanted.
Working in sales allows you the chance to meet incredible people and to help them make decisions that can impact their lives; from a bed side cabinet that your customer will use every day, or to a house that your customer will raise a family in. Do not ruin this wonderful chance you have to help others. Your role is not to manipulate others to just hit your targets and make some commission. Your role is to help, assist and support your customer. This point alone will make you an incredible sales person. So do not forget it.
Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible – Dalai Lama
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