Selling is the world’s oldest profession. For several centuries people worked this profession to make a living. Apart from being one of the oldest profession it is one of the only profession that has transformed people’s lives beyond imagination. Yet sales is considered not to be the most preferred profession in the world.
In reality we all are selling something or the other. A child most dramatically sells his need to have an expensive toy, aging parents sell their need for support, husband sells his desire to get his tea to his wife, wife sells her desire to have a beautiful golden necklace. At office we all sell our needs to grow, get salary hike or a long due promotion. We also sell our desire to go on vacation. So, sales is not just limited to people who are tagged as Sales executives.
Why selling is important?
To understand it’s importance let’s look at what is termed as selling. Selling is a basic human need and nature to communicate availability of an item, service, emotion or support that he intends to offer to fulfil other persons needs or desires making it a win win proposition for both to live a deeply fulfilling life.
My god, this isn’t what we heard about sales. However that is exactly what sales per say is. Selling doesn’t mean dumping something on someone to benefit. That is a win-loose proposition. It doesn’t work for long. However it is the job of the sales person to unearth the real need of the person that which he may be aware of or more so that which he is unaware of. Why? The reason is humans are meant to live together by helping, sharing and loving each other.
That is possible only by exchanging what they have. Let’s look at some examples. You need a grocer to give you grocery so that you could prepare your food, you give him money which by the way is exchange item or exchange energy. You work for a company and offer your service to them helping them service their customers needs. They exchange your service by paying you a salary. Similarly people in sales profession exchange their item, service or support with a payment from the buyer.
How to be a top sales person?
To reach top of the ladder requires certain disciplines. Let’s unfold these disciplines.
Step1. Choose to be sales person. If you aren’t sure ask yourself what is the other area I like to work in order to have a deeply fulfilling work life. Set your goals. Once you choose sales as a medium of your genuine growth and fulfillment then you move to next step. Simply taking a sales job because this was the only available will take you to wrong direction.
Step2. Connect with your product or service.
Before selling the product to someone you have to sell it to yourself. Buy the product, use it, feel how it feels to use it. Know what it can do for you, what difference it makes to your life. If it feels great to you it will sell well to other’s. If you cannot buy it because it’s price is way too high, request your company for a sample. Use the sample. Then look at who would benefit the most by using this product. There is an obvious segment of people who need it. This will give you the focus on applying your time and energy for the prospective buyers. However it is difficult to prospect every time. Advertisement helps to reach out to prospective buyers. Give a presentation to the prospect. Your enthusiasm and conviction is what they will connect to. Give a sample of your product or if you are selling service volunteer one free service. Sampling is one of the best techniques to close prospect. Joe Girard holds Guinness book of world records for highest sale of motor vehicles for consecutive 12 years. He has sold over 12000 vehicles. He recommends selling is an art to connect and bond with people. Joe states that more than what product the customer is buying he is making decision to buy because he trusts the salesperson. This must be the focus area. That is why your physical appearance, manners, nature matter a lot in closing the sale.
Step3. Closing. People do phenomenal presentation but in the end they say “did you like the presentation?”. That is doubting yourself. If you want to be modest you could add ‘This presentation is all what I have learnt and experienced over a period of time, I am sure there could be some things to be added, yet it will give you fair idea about our product or service’. Closing has to be direct. Some people do whole presentation and do not know how to close. They either feel shy or scared to ask the final question. Yes, the question that will decide whether the prospect gets converted to a buyer or walks away. How to close the deal? Be direct. For e.g. if you are selling a mobile phone ask ‘which model did you choose to buy?’ Or if you are selling service you could close with ‘when do we sign the contract’ or if you have given options ‘which of these service’s would you like to buy’. Then take a pause and let the prospect respond. If he has liked your product he will choose and tell you what he is buying. If he is still undecided you can ask him what will it take to decide. This will give you a chance to unearth if he has some questions. If he is still not sure, thank him for his time, give your card and with gentle words ‘This is my card, once you make your decision just give me a call and I will be most happy to help’.
Step4. After sales followup. This is very critical. Pennies in sale and fortune in a followup quotes America’s most popular philosopher Jim Rohn. Follow up you give affirms your care for the customer. The followup has to be within 24 hours of your meeting as the persons memory of the event and his enthusiasm or connection of the event is active for this period after which it fades. It doesn’t mean he won’t recollect your meeting him, however his enthusiasm would have died down. Make your customer feel special. Joe Girard had his own way of making customers feel special. He had tied up with mailing company to send about 12 greeting cards to his customers, one for each occasion, the thanksgiving, the Halloween, the Christmas and birthday. He personally signed the card. People remembered him always due to this and they also referred him to their friends, family.
If you follow these basic steps you will have tremendous fan following, your sales figures will triple, quadruple. Soon you will do better than other’s. Consistency has its own rewards. Be consistent.
There are many more tools for rising to the top, since this is an introductory blog we will stop here. If you need further tips write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck.