While you may well have all the skills required to be a good salesperson, your ultimate success will be determined by your ability to put these into practice. We give some tips to help you on your way.
Think long term
The best sales professionals do not focus purely on making a sale, they look to build long-term relationships. You want your customers and clients to trust you and come back to you time and time again. Go the extra mile with your customers by, for example, following up after a sale to make sure they’re happy with the product and service they received. This is the sort of thing many sales people don’t bother with so will make you stand out.
Once you’ve positioned yourself as an expert, you’ll also find your customers recommend you to others. Thinking about building relationships and your business in this way therefore sets you up for long-term success.
Invest your time wisely
Productivity is so important in sales. Many sales professionals will waste their time on activities that ultimately yields little or no return. You need to be of the mindset to accurately analyse the value of every call or meeting – only spend time on tasks that will tell you something useful, either for the immediate or distant future.
You need to really care
The best sales professionals treat their roles as more than just jobs. You need to be devoted to growing your business and have a hunger to find out everything you can about both your existing and potential clients. You also need to be prepared to give up your spare time – networking is so important to developing relationships, be they at evening events or on weekends on the golf course or high-profile sporting occasions. Never turn down an invitation because you’re “too busy”.
Know and believe in your product
Sales people should believe in the product they’re selling – if you aren’t convinced yourself, how can you expect to persuade others of its value? A key factor underpinning this is your knowledge. You need to know everything about the product – both good and bad points – and have every base covered in terms of the questions you’re likely to be asked. In particular, you need to know the exact needs the product addresses and be able to tailor these according to your clients to make it relevant to them.
The best sales professionals do not focus purely on making a sale, they look to build long-term relationships.
Know your market inside out
Never think you know everything about your market. There’s always more to learn. The best sales professionals not only know their own product inside out and back-to-front, they also know everything about their competitors and what they offer. Armed with this knowledge, you can make sure you prepare for any difficult questions from your clients.
In addition, you should always stay on top of the latest news in the market. Has a company posted positive results which may be interested in your product? With economic conditions tough and many businesses struggling, any leads of this nature should be explored. At the same time, how do any developments in the market affect your job? Has legislation been implemented that will make it easier or harder? Have your competitors updated or created a new product offering? You need to react to these changes quickly and effectively to ensure you stay on top of the game.
Think of failure as an opportunity
You will work on deals that fail. It’s inevitable. But what’s important is how you react to these disappointments. In fact, you should look on failures to close a deal as investments for the future. What have you learnt? How can you apply this to make success more likely next time? Could you go back to the client in the future when they may be more interested in your product? All these points will set you up for long-term success.
Looking for your next sales role? Search the latest opportunities.
Alternatively, find out how much you're worth with the 2015 Robert Walters Salary Survey.