Have you ever said, “I would have liked to know that!” before you made a mistake? You’ve probably said that to yourself if you’re starting a sales career. It’s most important at the beginning of your sales journey to be aware of the ideas that will help you sell. Getting frustrated from failure is more likely if you don’t know where to start. Here’s where you can start selling and avoid frustration.
What is selling anyhow?
Too many salespeople starting a sales career with some big misconceptions about what sales is. They think the objective is to get someone to do what you want them to do. Most of the time that is to buy something. Yes, successful salespeople end the sales process with a sale, but that’s not what the objective of selling is.
Selling is simply helping someone make a great buying decision. Sometimes you help a customer to buy your product or service. Sometimes you will make the decision that it’s not a great decision for your prospect to buy from you.
The successful salesperson is very clear about who makes an ideal prospect to buy his products or services. That means he is mostly recommending to prospects to buy his products because it’s a great buying decision. There’s something his products offer that reduce costs, avoid costs or help prospects make money.
Poor salespeople don’t clearly define their ideal prospects. That’s a big mistake. They waste time with prospects who shouldn’t be buying their products. They get frustrated from their failures and mostly become unsuccessful salespeople.
What’s it going to take for me to be successful in sales?
Yes, there are a few skills that salespeople need to be successful. There are misconceptions about what those skills are. Some people new to sales think incorrectly that if they have the gift of gab they can talk anyone into buying anything. Yes, your communication skills are important for sales. It’s not the talking that’s most important. It’s the listening that is much more important.
Salespeople need to hear not only what the prospect says, but what the prospect means. Read between the lines. Learn to hear doubt when someone speaks. You ask more questions to uncover issues that the prospect didn’t realize he had. You observe your prospects so you can quickly build rapport. All these skills are part of listening. As a result, successful salespeople are great listeners.
Can I really do this starting a sales career?
All great salespeople have heard the word no from multiple prospects. For some salespeople, the fear of dealing with rejection paralyzes them. I worked with an inside salesperson who was great at leaving a confident voicemail message to a machine. Yet, he froze when the person answered his phone. It was as if the person actually talking stunned him.
You have a choice if the idea of rejection scares you. You either get over it or you realize sales isn’t for you. This is an especially important realization as you start a sales career. It’s better to figure out now if you’re not suited for sales.
If someone says no to you, so what? What will happen to you? Yes, I realize there’s no commission for that, but it’s time to learn something. Find better prospects. Hone your message. Ask better questions. Get more referrals. Look at the successes you have had and examine what worked. Get someone who you admire to work with you to critique what’s not working. Then do something different. You just might hear fewer nos.
I do think that some people are more suited for sales. They make fewer mistakes when they begin their sales career. Why not make fewer of these mistakes as you start your sales journey?