Vincy Workplace
March 11, 2005
Sales Basics

Selling really is an art and not everyone who has the title of sales person knows how to master this art. Unfortunately, the sales profession has been suffering from a black eye inflicted by greedy, unethical people who make the word sales sound repulsive. We all possess some sales skills; we use it to convince others to help us accomplish a task or buy our children’s raffle tickets. If you are in sales, there are quite a few issues that must be addressed before you can be successful in your position.{{more}}

Nurture your competitive spirit. A successful sales person must love to compete. Today’s customers have many choices and can decide at anytime to change their minds from a product or service the minute they become dissatisfied. Your competitive spirit must fuel your desire to do everything possible to keep your customers coming back to you and not to your competition. Whether you compete against your last sales record or you aim to beat your competitor’s record, the goal must be to win and win big.

If you dislike competition, then sales is not for you.

Build your confidence. Great sales people are confident in their ability to close deals. You should not be shy to make cold calls or talk to complete strangers about your product or service. When you approach a new prospect, your mind should automatically be programmed to expect positive results.

There is no second-guessing, or negative self-talk and you expel all thoughts that could derail your concentration and convince you that you cannot win. The biggest differentiator between a mediocre sales person and an excellent sales person is the belief that person has in their ability to ask for and close a deal, regardless of the dollar amount, the status of the client or the talent of their competitors.

Know and love your product. When you love the product/service you sell, success comes easier. You will know whom to approach and how to solve the customer’s problems with the solutions you offer. One of the common mistakes some sales people make is approaching the wrong customer and in that situation failure is guaranteed. You must know your product, how does it compare to what’s already on the market? What makes it bigger, better, more functional than the competition’s?

Solve your customers’ problems. Selling is not about you building a lucrative career; it’s about you solving a customer’s problems, which in turn helps you to make money. It’s always about the customer, you make them happy and you will be more than satisfied financially as they will spread the word. Look out for their best interest and make recommendations before the customer even realizes that they need the new product you are selling.

This builds good will, trust and a strong business relationship that makes it harder for your competitors to penetrate.

Follow-up and relationships. As a sales person, make sure you keep your word and maintain contact with potential customers. Understand that a “No” is simply a yes waiting for the right circumstances. Stay in touch with prospects on a regular basis, call, email, write as one day the funds will become available, the competitor might make a mistake, the company may have a new focus and if you have been diligent you will be there to capitalize and watch that NO become a big “YES, lets do business”.

•Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to