Sales is an important part of every successful company. No matter how great the products and services of a company are, there is a role that a sales person must play to ensure its success and advancement. That role is very closely related to their selling skills. The effectiveness with which these people play their role is based on their understanding of certain secrets and dedicated practice of the same. Every sales strategy is nothing in itself without these secrets. These are the things which often make the difference between successful sales people and the companies they work for as opposed to those that fail to attain certain heights of success. These outstanding secrets of successful sales people are the keys to success in sales. These are what we discuss in the following lines knowing that they have the capacity to help you perform better as you understand and put them to practice. These tips constitute what being a sales man is about.
Successful sales reps first have a good understanding of themselves. Their shortcomings and strengths, temperaments, level of knowledge and experience. These are things that help them better prepare for the challenges that are faced by sales reps on a daily basis. As a sales person, you will often have to visit several places and meet new people. Your interaction with these people and places are based on your personality. It is therefore imperative that you have an understanding of what the various aspects of one’s personality are so you know where and when to make adjustments that help you achieve your objectives in whatever setting you find yourself. Changes will often have to be made with respect to certain attitudes and character traits as far as is within the confines of integrity and enhances your ability to make sales. You cannot develop other selling skill mentioned here if you do not really know yourself and make changes to help you become more productive
Develop and maintain a tested successful sales process
For sales people as with most other professions, there are always several sales strategy suggestions given by many people. Some are out of experiences, some out of research and knowledge gathered from readings and so on. But only tested keys to success in sales can bring desired results when applied. All those ideas that suggest better ways to be successful at making sales and building a more successful career may sound very wonderful but the truth is not everything that sounds great actually works. The challenge successful sales people have to face is testing those suggestions they find interesting, knowing which of them actually work and sticking to them. Two successful sales people in the same field or industry may apply two different methods at making sales successfully and one will be just as effective as the other. There are no up tight rules, so those in this career have to be flexible while at the same time possessing the tenacity to actually stick to what works until they cannot get results from it anymore.
The real issue is not in proposing theories and suggestions, it is in applying them consistently and seeing results. This can only be done when a sales man or woman has tested the method he or she employs and finds it effective in bringing the required results. Their persistence and success with certain sales processes or methods is based on convictions born from the test they have passed those methods through. There is no need holding on to something that does not work. There are several methods to make sales successfully, just figure out what works and hold on to it. If you find out that certain methods do not bring results, let them go, no matter who advocates for them.
Know their products
You see, at some point of your career or the other, you have to come to terms with this powerful fact. Knowledge of what you are selling or the company you represent and its goods and services is one of the irrefutable keys to success in sales or the business of convincing people to buy whatever you are selling. It has a wonderful way of enhancing your selling skills and making you stand out in the midst of competitors. Every sales strategy without adequate knowledge of what one is selling will inevitably lead to confusion and frustration. Customers and prospects are hard to persuade or convince, but you will find things even more difficult if you don’t have proper knowledge of your products and the company you represent.
The issue of convincing people to buy a product, especially for the first time is quite technical but your entire career depends on it. Your knowledge about the products you sell have to be very sound or else you will hardly be able to convince anyone. For example, customers want to know why they should buy your products and not one of the many other substitutes available in the market place. This will require more than price differences to convince them. You must be able to explain the advantages of the product over others, its effectiveness in solving their problems or meeting their needs by properly explaining what the product is all about, how to use it and what they can do to get the best results. All of this must be done persuasively.
You have to realize that most customers can tell whether or not you understand what you are talking about from the way you speak. Your attitude when you speak communicates certain levels of conviction and understanding. So if you don’t really have proper understanding of the company you represent and the products you are selling they will be able to tell from the way you talk. It is hard to convince someone about something you are not persuaded about yourself. And persuasion will only come through firm knowledge. This is not about being eloquent and knowing how to use the right words. The right words without the right knowledge is usually a waste of time.
If your product is something you can use yourself, make sure you use it and know about it experientially. This proves that you understand and believe in what you sell. Some people will only be willing to buy what you sell if they know you use the product yourself and are pleased with the results you are getting.
They are great at persuading
Persuasion is a powerful tool in closing sales deals. As a matter of fact, it is one of the foundational pillars upon which every successful sale is made. The art of persuasion is one common factor among those who are successful in sales. Some times people just know what they want and you may not need extra effort to get them to buy or be interested in what you are selling. But most times, that is not the case. As a sales person, you can only be successful by making more sales and that means persuading as many people as you can. Without this quality, it will be hard to record ground breaking success in your career. But it is not just persuasion as a general concept. There are two principal aspects or tips that enhance persuasion and these are the things that make one successful in the field.
- Use the right words. There are words that excite potential customers especially and hold the power to make them pledge their loyalty to purchasing a particular product. Such words are a vital component of selling skills. They are words that emphasize the customer’s needs and the effectiveness with which those goods and services you are selling can meet those needs. Words that simply make customers interested. Such words as Now, Instant, Free. Easy, Effective etc. These are words that command interest in the customer and will make most people willing to at least try the product.
- Being Insistent. Successful sales people do not pull back easily. They understand that because customers have other options, they may sometimes be reluctant to make any particular choice at the moment. And you know that if the customer walks away, he or she is very likely to buy a substitute from a competitor, not because it is of better quality or will give more results but simply because the other sales man who got them to buy his products was a little more insistent than you were. Over time, I have seen the power and importance of being insistent as a sales person. This should however not be confused with being pushy or forceful. It is about being persuasive beyond your initial effort to convince a customer. It comes from a resolve to gently try more when the results do not come as soon as one had expected. I consider this particular issue of being insistent one of the keys to success in sales. It is a vital part of being a salesman and one of those selling skill without which one can hardly make any meaningful impact.
They are people of truth and integrity
Integrity is an important ingredient needed in any honorable profession. It is one of the foundations on which every successful sales strategy is based and carried out. Selling skills mean little or nothing without integrity. This is because whatever you build with the skills you may have developed over time, lack of integrity will surely tear it down in time. I like to think that sales men and women need to be even more truthful in their dealings in order to be productive. Customers are always skeptical of sales people or any person who tries to sell anything to them. Sometimes you have to prove beyond all reasonable doubts that you are a person of integrity who is interested in solving their problems and making life easier for them through the products and services you are selling.
But the issue of being truthful and having integrity goes beyond a moment’s sales. It is possible to convince someone to buy something and by so doing close bigger opportunities of selling to other people or to that same person again. This often happens when sales people misrepresent their products or make promises they are not prepared to fulfill. Like other professions, there is usually the temptation to tell lies here and there and get into some funny situations all in an effort to convince prospect and make as much sales as possible. When things like this are done, you leave behind a trail of disappointed people who will surely pass on the impression they had from meeting you to other potential customers. That’s a great recipe for failure as a sales person.
Believe in what they sell
Believing in what you sell is a very important part of being a salesman and of course one of the keys to success in sales. It is not enough to know the details of what you are selling. You have to be convinced about its ability to deliver results as promised. Most sales people fail in their presentations and efforts at convincing people because while they are putting all the right words together, those they are talking to can tell that they have no real experience with the product they are selling and as a result they don’t really believe in it. They know a lot about the details of the product but their hearts are not convinced about the information in their heads.
Successful sales people make the effort to have an experience with what they are selling. If it is something you can use for yourself, make sure you use it until you know first hand what its benefits are. If someone is talking from a place of experience, you can usually know from the confidence in their voice. This attribute will sometimes convince even people who had made up their minds not to buy what you are selling. For those who cannot have a first hand experience with what they are selling, you can increase your confidence in the product you sell by talking with customers who have had a great experience with it. Have them narrate the reasons why they love it and why they will buy it again. Don’t just listen to them. Understand what they are talking about and try to relate with their experiences.
There is no way anyone can be successful at sales without making a commitment to follow up on their customers. The process of follow up is in itself a sales strategy without which no successful salesman can be productive. It is a sign that you are really interested in the satisfaction of your customers. When you make a presentation or make a proposal to someone, you have to get back to them to find out what their experiences are with the product. That is what most successful sales men do. If you just talked to someone about your product and he or she promised to get back to you, be sure to reach them if they don’t get back to you on time. Remember customers have other people calling for their attention. There are a number of other options in front of them and if you are not committed to making your propositions and dealings with customers stand out, it will be difficult to actually win anyone over to your side.
If you look at big and small businesses today, even those which do not employ sales men and women, you will realize that a great deal of attention is paid to follow up customers. Sales men and women who are successful in their careers are passionate about this. They give their clients or customers the opportunity to get back to them with feedback when sales are made. This is part of connecting to customers and that connection is absolutely important for anyone who succeeds as a sales man or woman. Don’t take it for granted that people have made the move to buy your goods and services. For most customers, if there is no follow up strategy in place to keep contact with them, they will simply switch to some other person who is willing to offer that privilege.
In an effort to seal sales deals, sales people sometimes make the mistake of ignoring the power of listening. Customers have needs and they want to be sure that you understand their needs. If you don’t, it will be difficult to keep them loyal, though you may be successful at an initial sale. Knowing what your customers want is the first step to meeting their needs or solving their problems. But you can only know enough if you are a great listener. You will think being a salesman means one will automatically know something like this, but that is not always the case. Successful salespeople know that it is of no profit to sell something to someone whose needs you have not understood. It is in understanding the needs of your customers that you are able to tell how important your product is to them. If you cannot listen to them state their needs or problems, your customers will know that you are not really interested in helping them. You may just want to make the sales and get their money, whether or not your product makes any impact in their lives.
Keep emotions in check
Any experienced and successful salesman can tell you that emotionalism is not good for the profession. If you play by your emotions, you are going to make terrible blunders that could ruin your entire career. People have different temperament levels and you have to sell your company’s goods and services to these different people. If you must do that effectively, you have to always keep your emotions in check. There is no way you are going to make it by allowing your emotions to come between each deal you try to make. Realizing that there is a difference between personalities and the deal you are trying to seal is important to making things work. Again and again, you will go through episodes that test your level of tolerance and commitment to serving people. As you continue to look past your own emotions to the needs and expectation of customers, you will be able to relate better with them.
Build personal relationships
There are different types of customers and some are clearly more important than others. Personal relationship with customers is not usually named amongst selling skills. And even those who appreciate it are not always as conscious of its importance to being a salesman as they should be. While every customer is an asset to the company, there are customers you should take special note of and build a relationship with them. Such customers are links to other customers and most of them serve as gateways to new opportunities. As you develop a relationship with them, you begin to have links to other customers and that is how your client base grows. Look for influencers. Clients who have the capacity to link you up with other clients. Keep those ones very close and endeavor to maintain a cordial relationship with them.
Interest in the Customer’s Success
Business and especially the aspect of sales should always be a win-win process. Successful sales men know that the best way to win is by helping your customers win too. Your customers have interests just as you do. The natural instinct is to be self centered and just expect them to see things from your perspective. Don’t be so blinded by your desire to make sales that you never consider how your customers feel about the deal. In considering the interests of your customers, it is important to be truthful. That means being willing to let them know when your product will not meet their needs or cannot solve their problems. Those who don’t care about how customers feel will find it hard to move to higher levels of accomplishment in their career as salespeople.
Everyone who engages the business of sales has launched into a challenging field. But you will be at the advantage to remember that no worthy profession is without challenges. Now you know the skills and secrets that will surely make you a better salesperson. Just put them to work and watch positive changes occur.