Many corporations fail because they don’t truly recognize the importance of well-researched marketing in conjunction with a strong, well-educated sales force. Even though today the internet, newsprint, television, and other direct-to-consumer mediums are available, salespeople are the lifeblood of a corporation. I feel companies are misguided to think that they don’t need a sales force because of technology.
The marketing team must put in the hands of their sales team a product that people or corporations perceive they want and need. The sales team needs to be trained in the merits of the product and how it stacks up against the competition. They must believe in the product and the company marketing it. Even if the marketing team does everything right, salespeople fail if they are not properly trained in selling skills and relationship-building.
Let’s examine why some seemingly talented sales people fail even when armed with a great competitive product. Remember, even if you are not in sales as a profession, pay close attention because all of us are trying to motivate others to take action. Studying the art of selling is a very informative way to understand some insights into relationship building. As you read about mistakes salespeople make, see if you can understand why they are mistakes. I think you will find that taking the time to think through the sales process will better equip you for achieving your goals in life even if you are not in the selling profession.
You have no doubt heard the expression, “We are all salesmen.” One way or another we are selling ourselves, a product or trying to convince our partners to let us do something contrary to what they want us to do. Selling is the act of convincing someone to take an action we want them to take. Remember, people do things for their own reasons, not ours. Learn to paint pictures with your words, and let the prospective client sense and feel the benefits of your product or service. If you are promoting retirement planning, let them imagine a European cruise, extra time with the grandchildren, playing golf three days a week, or just more time with each other.
It’s all about the quality of life and happiness. If your product can improve the prospective client’s world, they are interested. If your product or service can help a corporation be more profitable and be more efficient, they are interested. Make them see the benefits as if it is already happening now, and they will get the picture and want to buy.
Have fun with the selling process; learn to enjoy interacting with others. Don’t let disappointment get to you. Selling is a numbers game, and there is always another sale around the corner. Stay away from negative people and situations that are toxic. They will bring you down and deprive you of the pleasures of life.
Don’t judge success by how much money you have or make. It’s meaningless if you are not happy or stressed out all the time. Surround yourself with quality, honest, well- meaning, giving people and life will be more pleasurable. The money will come if you don’t obsess over it and let it come to you naturally. The laws of attraction will bring it to you, if you just work toward your goals.
Most importantly, bring love into your life and find friends and loved ones to share your success with. Wealth and success are empty without someone to enjoy it with. Try to feel good, smile a lot, and find time for pleasure with your friends and family. Work smart and learn good time management so you can make the time to have fun.
Salespeople may fail because they….
- Blame others for their mistakes or inability to perform. Ask any successful person and they will tell you they made lots of mistakes; that’s how they learned and got better.
- Lack the necessary level of persistence. We don’t want to be labeled as pushy salespeople, but if you believe in your product, be enthusiastic about it and transfer that belief to your prospect.
- Do not believe in the product they are selling. Get further educated to find the merits of what you are selling; if you can’t find them, find another product.
- Do not commit to lifelong learning. Get your feet wet, learn by doing. You need the experience fielding the objections and perfecting your presentation.
- Fail to listen and learn from those around them. This is a big one. The more you listen, the more you learn about the person you are trying to sell. Eventually, they will tell you what they want to buy.
- Lack understanding of the industry or product knowledge. Be the go-to guy/gal in your field, and know your stuff. People want to deal with the expert.
- Fail to develop the essential attributes or skills required to become a masterful salesperson. Learn selling and people skills. There are a zillion books on the subject, including this one.
- Cannot cope with change. Learn to welcome and embrace change. Life would be terribly boring without it.
- Forget that the objective of selling is to deliver value to each client. It’s not about your salary or commission. People deserve and want what you are promising to deliver to them.
- Only care about what’s in it for them and how much money they can make. Greed is negative and there is no place for it.
- Do not ask for the prospect’s business because they feel they shouldn’t have to. Don’t ever assume anything; business has to be earned.
- Are driven by fear rather than their personal vision and measurable goals, which honor their priorities and force them to have integrity.
OK, so now we have a better understanding of what not to do. Let us now examine traits that can improve our selling ability and people skills.
What do successful salespeople need to do to succeed?
- Become great listeners. Let your prospective client open up to you and he or she will eventually tell you exactly what they want to buy.
- Learn to read body language and buying signals. For example if a client moves forward in his chair towards you, they are now more interested in what you are saying.
- Learn your product inside out. Know how it compares to the competition and its advantages over their products.
- Believe in what you are doing and selling. Believe in the quality and integrity of your company and their ability to deliver on their promises.
- Learn to deal with people who think differently than you. If they are analytical, show them facts and figures to support what you are saying.
- Always tell the complete truth. If you can’t sell a product or service by being honest, you shouldn’t be selling it.
- Treat people as equals. Don’t look down or up to them; relationships should be adult to adult. Treat people with respect and be social and courteous.
- If you have a good sense of humor, use it. People love to be around positive people that make them feel good.
- Be positive and upbeat at all times. Don’t ever knock the competition; just show the merits of your product.
- Get in good physical and mental shape. Diet and exercise with some meditation thrown in is a good formula.
- Last but not least, learn to smile. Think of broadcasters who have a pleasant, warm smile.