For anyone, landing your first job in sales can be quite exciting. As a new employee to sales, I began with little to no knowledge on how exactly to conduct myself. The job of a sales representative is multi-faceted. Sure, it’s about bringing in revenue, but in order to do so a sales person must be customer centric and establish a personal business relationship with clients and prospects alike. Sales involve a lot of targeted prospecting. This can be achieved through various vehicles such as email; social media; phone calls; following up with old leads; re-engaging past and inactive clients, etc. During my own initial foray into sales, I learned a few lessons that are worth sharing, and helped to make me more productive and successful.
Keep it casual:
When attempting to make a sale to any potential client it is important to remember to keep it casual while staying professional at the same time. When I first began to make my initial sales calls, I was very robotic and sounded scripted. That method annoyed clients and I my attempts to strike up a conversation were rejected. Instead of going right into trying to make a sale, ask “How are you?” or “Is this a good time for you?” Introduce yourself and your company in a concise but complete manner.
Listen to the potential client:
Assuming that you continue to engage in conversation, the number one skill is listening. Success is often determined by learning about a company’s environment and feeling out the pain points or needs that a decision maker faces. You cannot force a sale, but you can persuade a client that you can provide solutions in certain areas. Clients and prospects appreciate your willingness to listen and any helpful suggestions you can offer. A simple example is telling them what your observations are of the marketplace and the ease or difficulty of finding specific resources, current salary levels, etc.
Follow up and touch base:
When networking to potential clients it is important to follow up with them and touch base often – but not too often. A good practice is to ask when might be a good time to touch base again. When they need you, they need you – period. As long as you keep your name in front of them, there is a good chance when a need arises they will reach out to you. Selling is a fluctuating discipline, with peaks and valleys, and where opportunities can come and go quickly.
While you can take all kinds of classes in the art of selling, different approaches work for different types of sales representatives. Try not to be an “order taker”. Establish and cultivate relationships. Eventually, you will find what works best for you and your personality type. Demonstrate respect for the individual and understand the challenges he or she faces within their organization. Be persistent but not overbearing. Success is earned, not granted.
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