Becoming a true sales professional involves an awful lot of work, you have to be a technician who understands all of the specifications of the products you sell, as well as the engineers who designed it. You have to be a psychologist who can extract, read and understand a customers’ needs and wants, in most cases better than the customers themselves. You have to be the social host who can entertain the customer and help them relax and often a hunter in your search for new customers. It’s a complex job.
There is an abundance of information on the Internet that focuses on the positive steps you need to take to become a much better sales professional, in this article I’m going to take an opposite type approach and focus instead on the three things that will cause you to lose a potential sale every time.
Yet, much of the information out there that helps you learn this job is focused on
First, always remember that people like people, it is you that matters to the customer and not how fancy or good your sales material is. Many sales professionals make the mistake of relying on brochures, websites, handouts and specification sheets instead of developing a relationship with the customer. A customer is going to be influenced by you, not by your glossy publication. Likewise, no handout or website can take the place of human talent and contact. Your sales materials are simply a way for the customer to begin to understand the products or services you offer, they are not a substitute for you.
Second, you put an awful lot of time and effort into each and every sales call. Make sure, at the very beginning of the sales cycle that you are actually talking to the person who has the authority to purchase your products or services. Decision makes come in all shapes and sizes and a great many sales professionals waste an enormous amount of time spinning their wheels so to say as a result of not ensuring they are speaking with the ultimate decision maker. Don’t waste your by making this same mistake. Make sure that you’re pitching your product or service to the right person.
Third, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to sales and sales professionals. One of the biggest of these misconceptions is that successful sales professionals are aggressive, hard sellers. In reality nothing could be further from the truth. The most successful sales professionals are actually the ones who have taken the time to hone their skills and do the preparation necessary to close a sale. Yet, the misconception continues, largely due to inexperienced salespeople thinking that they actually do have to be aggressive, hard-hitters and callous in order to make a sale. Don’t buy into this myth yourself. There isn’t a single customer in the world that enjoys or responds positively to a hard sell. The only person you’ll hurt if you do is yourself.
Oh and did you notice that I don’t often use the term salespeople, I personally don’t like this word, sales is a highly skilled profession and you should in my opinion call these professionals what they are… sales professionals.