Making consistent sales is one of the most important components of a business’s survival in the market. While naturally there are other components to making a business successful, having a sales team or sales person that is a great salesman/woman is vital. There are many sales people in the world today.
Actually, everybody sells something…whether it’s an actor selling their image or a computer salesman selling computers or a cupcake shop that sells baked goods. We all see something to make our lives better. But here is where the paths veer. Very few people really know how to be good sales people, or if they are successful, then it is a blind stab and they don’t really know what is happening. They are on a wild ride, and they are going to stay on it as long as they can. I’ve seen this many times, and they burn out fairly quickly.
The main reason is this: They don’t know what they are really selling!
For me, and this is based on what I have learned in the last 26 years as being a somewhat successful salesman, is that it doesn’t really matter What the product is that you are selling. There are countless stories of people going from one career to the next and still being pretty successful. The very most important product that you are selling is YOU! That’s right… it’s you. Sure you may be pushing the next great invention, or the best product for your home or office or blah blah blah… But if you unknowingly present yourself as a poser or as a slick know it all who drives the latest, hottest car… then you run the chance of failure most of the time. BUT, if you are sincere and truly care only for the customer’s needs, then you will prosper beyond your wildest dreams.
Let me ask you a question here. How many times in each day do you get a crank call from a salesman who calls you by your wife’s last name? Or by someone who doesn’t give two shits about you or what you need. Or someone who just starts to give you their pitch? How many times in each day do you hang up on a salesman who is either rude or pushy or clueless? For me…it is at least 5 times a day. And I always hang up on them in the middle of their spiel. Why? Because they do not respect me or my time or even what I may want or need.
In my opinion, here are the 3 most important things that you can do to become a successful salesperson.
1. What does your customer or prospect really want? Take the time to find out. Ask questions and always be respectful of their time and needs. If you don’t have or can’t give them what they want or need… then walk away. Don’t try to push it. It will only make them resentful and defensive. And then you have not only lost the sales, but any possibility of selling them something in the future.
2. Always be honest with them. If you can’t help them, then say “Thank you very much for your time and consideration…I really appreciate it. I am not going to be able to help you here. May I call you in the future if something does come up?” And then walk. You have now elevated yourself to the top of the chain with this contact… because you cared more for their needs instead of yours. They aren’t stupid. They know you need the sale. But they aren’t going to do something that is detrimental to their company’s needs.
3. Try to develop them as you would a new friend. If you like them, and they like you, then why not add a new friend into your life? Not someone who hangs out and comes over to your house for dinner… not that you can’t do that. You can. But if they are your friend, then they will stay with you your entire selling career.
Here is an example from my own life. I started out as a water conservation salesman in 1990 and was here for 3 years. I met many new people that eventually became my customers. Many of them became my friends and stayed with me. Now here’s the point. When I moved to another company in an entirely different field, they all came with me. All of them! I have 3 companies that have been with me now for 23 years. I am still selling them products 23 years after I first met them.
Could they have purchased the products from a competitor? Absolutely!! But they didn’t. Because they trusted me and because they knew that I would always put their companies needs first before mine. And that ALWAYS leads to closing the sale.
About The Author:
John Montana has been a successful salesman since 1990. He currently lives with his wife and travels between Chicago and Los Angeles. He created his site – ABMSNOW to offer tips and ideas on how to become better at Selling …no matter what your product