Are you aware that 80% of people who choose a career in selling do not complete their first year in their chosen industry?
They quite often try to sell in a different industry for a while but very few who enter the field of selling actually succeed.
If you want to build a sales career for yourself you will first need to exceed the consumer's preconceived opinion of sales people. It's a sad fact that sales people are at the bottom of the trust rung, this has come about through dishonest sales people treating their customers poorly, even dishonestly.
The information I am about to share with you, will, if practiced diligently, lift your profile to that of the sales PROFESSIONAL which promises a lifetime of the type of work, money, respect and pleasure you will be excited to pursue every day.
1. Successful Probing to build TRUST: Most people have only a vague idea of what they want BUT they are quick to list what they DO NOT want. The Top Gun Sales Professional who continues to lead the pack has taught how to finely tune their probing skills. For people to trust you, you need to successfully forget their wants. Remember, most people do not really know what this is and are often unclear on how to articulate it. If you guess about what they want, do not have mutual understanding of the consequences and rewards or do not know what 'has or will' stop them and do not know how they will make a decision, or what resources they will apply to getting a solution that meets their needs, you will likely miss the (undefined) target and trust will suffer.
2. Promise and Deliver: It sounds simple but it is one of the most over stated and under used of principles. Sales people quite often add a 'sweetener' to get the deal done and it is a well understood concept but quite often they offer more and then forget or do not bother to follow through. If you promise something, follow through is essential – it continues to build the trust. If there is a reason why you can not deliver what was promised speak with the recipient and explain, then ask them to decide how things should proceed from here. If they still demand what you initially promised then you are obliged to see it through!
3. Get it right in your own mind: Transparency is a fabulous building block to trust. Consumers are savvy, they understand that the 'sale' benefits the salesperson – why else would you do the job. But what the consumer needs to see is the mutual benefit; they do not mind the deal being good for you as long as it serves them well first. Be clear in your own mind as to what each deal has to offer – be so clear that it becomes second nature and this will allow you to sell fearlessly and enjoy the process.
4. Rejection – it's a 2 way Street: Consumers have either experienced firsthand or at least heard the stories of bad experiences with sales people. Generally a sales situation deteriorates due to lack of trust or transparency from either or both parties. But your initial defense against rejection is to avoid using terminology that triggers rejection. Typical words that create fear in consumers are:
BUY – swap this word with OWN – we all want to own so you are turning a negative into something warm and exciting.
COMMISSION – a word that is guaranteed to conjure up images of sales people living abundantly for having not done much at all to earn it. Train yourself to use the phrase 'FEE FOR SERVICE' – everyone knows there is a fee but this phrase sounds like you understand that you need to provide excellent service to earn it!
DEPOSIT – swap this with 'Initial Investment' and 'Monthly Payment' with 'Monthly Investment' – we all have the desire to invest in a better life for ourselves do not we ?. Big Corporations already use these phrases well.
SIGN !!!! This word creates the biggest fear of all – a commitment to heaven knows what! Were not you always told not to sign anything without reading the fine print first? By altering this word to OKAY or AUTHORISE you are subconsciously giving the customer the power.
There are plenty of jargon words that pertain to different industries, give some thought to words / phrases commonly used around you at work and swap them for poses – practice them constantly until they are second nature. I have even heard of bosses fining their staff for using rejection words.
5. Follow Up: Finding customers is a constant hurdle for any business, expensive mass marketing is generally the process most businesses use to address this problem. But if you, the sales professional recognize the potential of each customer to return to you for more business or equally important – that they feel impressed enough with you that they will refer people to you, then you will never have to mass market again. The 80/20 rule is a proven ration of 80% of your business coming from 20% of your customer base. Successful businesses use this information well. 'After Sales Service' only seems to be of interest to the big companies but each of us can practice this regularly to set ourselves above our competition. It can be as simple and easy as a follow up call or even simpler – an email. It can be as impersonal as your next special deal or an update on your industry. You have already created a relationship with these people and by keeping regular contact with them (monthly depending – depends on the industry) you will be at the front of their mind should they they need what you have to offer or equally important – tell a friend.
6. Keep Learning: Sales Professionals are those people who have learned quickly that their income is in direct proportion to their ability to give people what they want. We choose sales as a career because we can control our income – if we need more money we go and sell more! Those who can not master this thinking do not last long. And those who work out quickly what is needed and not readily supplied to exceptionally well. Find a niche market and you will design your own income but remember you have to stay ahead of the game. Most long term sales people improve their skills and obtain a higher level of success but then they rest on that level for their entire career. Consumers are savvier then they have ever been with internet assisting their knowledge base so to reach professional status you need dedicated commitment to further learning, both personal and professional.
7 The Power of Positive Thinking; Yes we all know what this leads but how often do we practice it? Seriously, make yourself do it. Create a vision wall for yourself with the things you want – new car, holiday overseas, home upgrade – there is no limit to what we can achieve. Positive affirmations are also important especially if you are having a rejection day. It is true that most people can tell you more about what they do not want then what they do want. And focusing on the 'do not wants' blocks the positive power of concentrating on want you do want. Train yourself to think only of what you want to happen now, today, tomorrow and picture a successful outlet.
A true sales professional is just the kind of seller you would love to have if you were the buyer. One you could really trust and admire.