So you have a business. You started it with a dream of making it your way. Time. Money. Freedom. You have your superpower and you see how you can make a difference for others.
Your future is exciting.
You open the doors and then….
Nobody told you that you were going to have to be a sales person too.
After working with literally hundreds of people as a sales manager, trainer and consultant there is one thing that I have heard from most people and that is, “I’m just not a salesperson.”
Being a salesperson is not in the DNA. It is not something you have or don’t have. It is a learned skill. You probably were not born with whatever is your superpower or your passion. Those were all things that got developed over time.
Just like any skill, developing yourself in that skill is available to anyone. This is good news for those of you who think it is something you are born with.
So what does it take to be successful in sales?
1. You already are a salesperson
Selling is really calling someone into taking an action in its simplest form. Haven’t you been asking people to do things and guess what, you have been doing that since the day you were born. So the good news is you are a born salesperson!
2. Selling is honorable.
Yes, you read that right. Sales is an honorable thing to do and one to be proud of. Now I can hear you already, “Yeah but what about the Used Car Salesman we all hear about? Not so honorable.” So yes of course there are people who give sales a bad name. But I bet if you look in your industry you could probably find people who give your industry/profession/product a bad name too.
Over the years of hearing people talk about this concern there is one thing that I have discovered. That is that if you have that concern you could never ever be a pushy, sales person anyway.
3. You care about helping people.
Selling is helping people find the answers to their problems or challenges. A sales conversation is really just discovering what people need help with and if you are the answer or not.
4. You like to learn
True salespeople are not born, they are trained. There are no magic bullets or secrets that lead to sales success. Successful sales people spend a portion of each day reading, listening to podcasts, etc. So remember that developing yourself in all ways is a powerful way to increase your effectiveness in sales.
5. Believe in your product or service.
You must believe in your product and/or service with all your heart and soul. If this is not possible, then don’t do it. This is when pushy can come up. If you don’t believe in your product or service then you are just in a conversation to take someone’s money, and THAT doesn’t feel good for anyone.
6. Be honest, and do what you say
People do business with people they know like and trust. This begins with being honest and doing what you say and what people would expect from you.
7. Be a good listener
You know the old saying, “You have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as your talk.” This is one of the most important qualities of a successful Salesperson. You listen for what matters to the potential customer, because then and only then can you know how you can help them.
8. Be curious
You have to be like an investigative reporter. Asking questions upon question. Being curious to what they want, what they are challenged by, why they want it, how bad they want it.
There are times when I have been in a sales conversation with someone that they had their biggest breakthrough by being asked questions that allowed them to really dive into what really matters to them. If people think it is something they “should” want you likely don’t have a buyer.
So do you have what it takes to be a successful sales person?