I recently facilitated a presentation for a group of engineers. One of the questions was, “What advice would you give new engineers to be successful their career?” My tips apply to sales career success. Here’s what you can do to be even more successful in your sales career.
Do it now rather than later.
Nike is only partly right. ‘Just do it’ doesn’t really give you enough information for when to do it. My tip is to think of doing it now rather than later. Why is the now important? You will find that sales is often unpredictable. You get into trouble when something more important comes up later when you thought you had time to do an earlier important task. Now you’re stuck. Both tasks are important and now you don’t have time to do one of them.
I’m not suggesting that all activities are equally important. What I am suggesting is that you schedule without delay your important tasks. I’ve known salespeople who file expense reports months after one they’ve traveled. It’s more time consuming even to file soft copies of information. Do it now applies to reports, scheduling, file management, problem solving and any tasks that you realize you must do to manage your sales territory.
It’s a mindset to realize that you should do the work now rather than delay it. If you’re more likely to delay, just focus on the stress you’ve caused yourself with your recent emergency that you could have avoided had you done the task earlier.
Learn how to really listen.
Sales success comes from learning enough about your customers to be able to offer them better alternatives. You are more likely to learn when you listen, not talk. Some salespeople think if they talk on and on about their products they will persuade a customer to buy. These talking salespeople hurt their sales ability. They don’t learn anything new about their customer and the customer is not engaged in the conversation.
Instead, ask your customer questions to engage them in conversation. You will learn more when your customer does 80% of the talking in a sales call and you do only 20% of the talking. Your customer is more likely to feel respected when you ask your customers questions. Your customers will probably think you’re more intelligent too since people do enjoy talking more about themselves.
Be organized for a reason.
I’ve found that customers are very appreciative when you solve problems for them quickly. Solving problems means that you are able to retrieve information quickly or get to someone who knows the answer to their questions. What’s your organizational system like for both information and people? Can you quickly retrieve information when someone asks you a question? A successful salesperson has an organized paper and soft copy system and knows how to quickly retrieve information when he needs it.
Hope these tips help you become even more successful in your sales career!