Sales…what a love/hate relationship we all have with it. There is nothing as rewarding as closing a big sale or as disheartening as a day full of no’s. As we all know without sales, businesses wouldn’t have the capital to run or means to provide a service or product. If you are like me there is a fine line between being a great (honest) salesperson and a lousy (deceiving) salesperson. Hopefully you are on the right side of things. If not, you probably won’t want to read the rest of this because it isn’t going to help you.
Sales is the true test of discipline. One thing that I have learned while being in the sales industry is that there is no such thing as a quick fix to sales. In order to have long term success you must do the little things day in and day out to build your pipeline and customer base. If you are thinking you can just put in work when you want and sales will follow, boy you are in for a rude awakening. Each day you must do some sort of sales activity whether that is being on the phone, emailing prospects, or working social media networks, etc. You’ve got to always be doing something. Being able to keep track of contacts and your prospects information will be key to keep all of these sales activities in order. There are tons of CRM’s out there that will help you do this job or you can keep a notebook full of your own notes. Whatever it may be, stay disciplined and do at least one sales activity a day and make a record of it.
I can’t stress this principle enough. As a salesperson you already have a disadvantage working against you. The stereotype salesperson is dishonest and only wants to take their money is something you will come up against. I have found success in my sales career by being straight up honest with people. Do not tell a white lie to get them to sway to your side or intentionally avoid giving them enough information to make a sound decision. If you want to build a relationship with these people you need to be honest. I firmly believe that every great salesman has built his book of business upon relationships. If you want to close the big deals you better learn this principle.
Sales people need to be some of the most creative minds out there. There are some principles of sales that will be around forever, but for the most part we must be creative and we can’t get frustrated if an idea doesn’t work. The world we live in is always changing and so are the people, so we need to think of creative ways to communicate our product/service’s value.
Now this principle ties in with #3. Don’t try to be something that you are not. Quite often we try to frame ourselves as something that we are not, or could never even be. I think one of the best things any salesperson can do is figure out that question of who are you and who you want to become? With those answers you can better convey yourself, your product/service, and the value you offer to the customer. One thing that I tell every sales guy I work with is that something that may work for someone else may not work for you. Now this doesn’t mean there aren’t common principles, but the way the sales technique is framed and then their personality on top of it will affect the way the pitch is given. Do things that work for you! If you are a high energy type person then be high energy. If you are someone that is straight to business and like to get things done, then do it. Whatever you do just do you!
Before contacting a prospect first think, am I really bringing value to this person or am I just selling to sell? I think our perception of salespeople would be completely different today if each person trying to sell something would ask that question and be honest with their answer. Not only is this better for the prospect, but it ultimately gets you a better client who will make your life easier in the end. No one wants to get sales calls and emails where someone is pitching something they honestly don’t need. Save yourself time and effort by putting yourself in their shoes and thinking would I need this?
Sales is a never ending battle, but when correct principles are used over time you will create a sales generation machine that will take your business to the next level. Different techniques will come and go but these principles will always stay true because they are the core of all sales transactions.