How to become a super salesperson

Tags: Knowledge
People scoff at sales as a profession. It may not be the oldest profession in the world, but it is probably the least appreciated. Let us face it: what image comes to mind when you hear the word ‘salesperson’? Some guy in a whiteshirt and a loud tie trying to peddle a used car that a lady doctor drove only to the school for dropping the kids? A fast-talking insurance salesman you do your best to avoid? A door-to-door sales lady selling some MNC brand of deodorant at half the price only for that day? Probably nothing you would consider professional.

Anybody can be a salesperson. If you go out right now and begin knocking on the doors of businesses, within 24 hours you would have a job as a salesperson. You might be on straight commission with no salary or expense account. There is a world of difference between “being in sales” and being a professional salesperson — a knowledgeable expert and consultant, who brings business-building ideas to his or her clients. Those professionals know there are a few traits that differentiate the pros from average.

First, selling is a skill, not a talent. You may have thought of someone as a natural salesperson, but professional selling is a learned skill, not a natural talent. It starts with knowledge and expertise about your product or service, your customers and their needs, your competition, and your industry. Professional salespeople have developed effective communication skills, including the ability to ask questions and listen, to identify customer needs, and to address product benefits that will satisfy those needs.

In sales, you are the most important product of all. If a customer is not sold on you, chances are that he or she will buy from someone else. Professional salespeople accept personal responsibility for themselves and their lives, committing themselves to personal development and an effective, organised personal management style.

Relationships, emotions and feelings are the key factors in sales success. People buy from salespeople they like and trust, and though we often justify our decisions with facts and logic, the trigger to sales success is often vivid images and emotions. Professional salespeople not only have all the facts, they also create positive emotions about themselves and their products.

You must effectively identify and develop prospects. That means having an organised system for locating qualified decision makers, the discipline to contact those people to request appointments, and the skills to persuade them to see you in person. In my life I have learned not to rely on anyone. Hence, do not forget to provide proper service and follow-up to your current customers to help build repeat business and referrals.

A sales call is a performance. Make sure you have handled all your meeting room arrangements and double-check to be sure that all your equipment are working properly. You must also ensure that all the necessary items are there in the room, which your prospect also may require. When you open your presentation, begin with a bang to get your prospect’s undivided attention and interest. Get the prospect to participate in your demonstration to discover and Develop the skills of effective negotiation. Anyone can make a sale by cutting the price, but the professional salesperson closes a profitable sale by developing and using negotiation skills that identify all points of agreement to weave them together into a mutually beneficial package.

Remember that objections are your friends. By encouraging the prospect to express objections, you uncover concerns, benefits and buying motives that can help make the sale. The professional salesperson loves objections and has the skill to move every content-based objection directly toward a closing.

Finally, remember to ensure a proper closing always. The professional salesperson begins closing at the outset of the presentation by building an agreement and helping the prospect decide how, not whether, to buy. Through the judicious use of closing questions, this professional helps the prospect complete all the points of a mutually beneficial transaction. Now that you have the highlights that differentiate the sales person from a super salesperson, make a commitment to develop those skills and become a super salesperson. zz

(The writer is CEO and MD of CustomerLab)

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