When you think of sales professionals, what are the familiar images that come to mind? Tag along salespeople pushing their wares on hapless passersby? Over-the-top television advertisements selling miracle cleaning products or exercise equipment? Charming con artists who can talk anyone out of anything they want? Well, if you thought of any of these, you aren’t too far off the mark.
Selling is essential to every business, whether a mom-and-pop shop or a major corporation. Everyone has to sell something for their business to survive and thrive. Even if they don’t want to admit it, everyone has to become good at sales; they have to get creative about how they go about it.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your integrity and become a sleazy car salesman if you get into sales. Sales is not always high-pressure and slimy;, if you get good at it, you can help people … a lot of them! All it takes is practice and patience.
If you are looking to get into sales, it’s essential to understand what exactly makes a good salesperson so that you can take the best path forward for yourself. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting jaded after spending years pushing products on uninterested customers who can’t wait to get away from you without buying anything.
So, what does it take to become a great salesperson? Here are some tips and tricks of the trade that seasoned vets use to get ahead:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
The Internet has given us access to an unprecedented amount of information and new ways to learn. There is almost no excuse not to do some homework when starting. Between Youtube, Reddit AMAs, and some Google searches, you can find out more information about the industry that interests you within hours, rather than days or weeks of waiting for a book to come in the mail.
Please don’t be shy about asking someone successful in sales before their secret is either. Most people are more than happy to share their advice with you as long as you aren’t overly obnoxious about it. You never know, the person you ask might be able to help point you in the right direction for more information.
A seasoned insurance agent can give you the marketing tips you won’t find in books or google. This is because they know what has worked for them, and they are happy to share that knowledge with you. If you take the time to find someone passionate about their career and willing to help you out, it will go a long way towards helping your career as well.
Don’t Sell Stereotypes
One good thing about millennials is that they don’t have the same prejudices that their parents do. It’s easy to think of stereotypes about millennials being lazy or selfish, but they usually aren’t true.
The truth is that most people are good at heart, and are willing to help someone who needs it. If you are working in sales, it’s important not to sell your customers stereotypes, but to work with them as individuals.
Remember that everyone is different, and treat them accordingly. This will go a long way towards helping you land more customers in the long run because you aren’t trying to push stereotypes onto your potential buyers. We all know what it’s like to be judged without knowing us personally, so don’t do the same to your customers.
The best salespeople can relate to their clients on a personal level. People like doing business with people they feel like they could be friends with; it makes the entire experience of buying something less awkward and weird, which is what we usually associate with high-pressure sales pitches.
Chances are that you aren’t a billionaire or a celebrity. If that’s the case, it’s important to be relatable in some other way. Most people can relate to feeling overwhelmed with their busy lives and all their responsibilities.
If your product helps them save time or money on something they can already relate to, it makes it easier for them to buy from you. Furthermore, if you are relatable, they feel less awkward about asking questions or needing help to understand something about your product.
Don’t give up too easily on people who are initially reluctant to buy. If someone says “no” once, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will say “no” forever.
Don’t feel ashamed about sending a follow-up email or text message to people who weren’t interested in your product when you first talked with them. This is especially true if they use your services, but never buy anything from you. It means that they are at least somewhat interested in purchasing something at some point in the future, and it’s just a matter of reminding them that you have what they need.
Please don’t be pushy, but don’t forget about people who aren’t ready to buy as soon as you first speak with them either. It can take days or weeks for someone to decide that your product is what they want.
Give a Lot of Face Time to Sales Prospects
As a new salesperson, it’s pretty easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people you need to talk to. You can spend hours or days on your phone without making much progress, all because you are trying to make calls at the wrong time. The best strategy is to be proactive about setting up meetings with potential customers instead.
Ask them if they are available during certain times of the day to talk or schedule an appointment with them instead. What’s great about using this strategy is that you can focus more on relationships which will help you build rapport with your customers.
To be a great salesperson, it’s essential to keep a positive outlook on the world. There are many people out there who need your help and expertise to get what they want or need. Believing in yourself is half the journey.