‘She walked into the office with a smile and confidence in her steps as she dropped yet another cheque with the business support team, this was her third deal in two weeks and her other colleagues were grappling to close one deal. They shot daggers at her with their eyes and made snide remarks about who she was sleeping with to get all these orders while they struggled’.
Does the scenario above sound familiar? What side of the divide are you on? Are you the person who got in the deals or the one who struggles and complains bitterly? Yes I know it is not your fault, the company does not provide adequate support. They are unreasonable with their expectations and worse of all they don’t even appreciate your efforts (I have been there)!
One day I went out for a meeting with some members of my sales team and they were lamenting how hard it was to sell our product& services in a very saturated market. They felt the organization should appreciate them for all their efforts and realize it was not easy to close a sale in such conditions. Then I asked them a question that cracked them up, but is food for thought; how would you feel if your salary account was credited with ‘effort’ every month? They thought it was funny, but it buttresses the mindset that separates salestars from the average Joe; salestars don’t make excuses, they focus on results!
In my experience working in sales, I have learnt a few things that have helped me succeed in some of the toughest terrains selling products and services that people did not need, or did not appreciate, or thought it was too expensive, or did not know much about the organization I was representing and sometimes the market was saturated. Some of the things I learnt are:
- You need to have a positive mindset: this is one of the most important factors that determine if you will fail or succeed. Like the famous saying; if you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t you most likely won’t. No matter how challenging it is, reach into yourself and believe that you have what it takes. Choose to see the glass as half full and not half empty. The good book says that as a man ‘thinketh’ in his heart, so is he!
- You need to fail fast: one of the greatest fear sales people have to overcome is the fear of failure. Truthfully the more you fail, the more you increase your chances of success. This principle applies in sales as in everything in life. As a sales person, have a large lead pool so that for every 3 clients that say no, 1 would say yes. I would be releasing my free ebook: 5 smart secrets for meeting and exceeding your sales target next month so join our subscription list to make sure you get it.
- You have to be persistent: every salestar knows that if you want the extra, you have to go the extra mile. Persistence is an attribute that would get you to the extra mile. Don’t give up on a prospect because they did not respond as quickly as you wanted or they did not seem interested at the first visit. Find ways to keep in touch with them or get on top of their mind. The balance to this is you shouldn’t become a pest to your prospects, let every follow up call be value adding to them and this would be easier if you have built a relationship with them. I speak about this in 5 selling skills that make you stand out. Read here
- You have to enjoy the ride: a career is sales can be quite intense and challenging, so you have to enjoy the ride. This is one area of personal conflict for me because instead of spending time celebrating every deal won, I become consumed with the next deal to win. Learn to celebrate milestones and achievements and as important as it is to bring in the sale, it can still be fun!
- It is all about the relationships: a salestar knows that every deal is not just a transaction, it is a long-term relationship. I have benefited from relationships I have built with clients over the years across the many organizations I have worked in. Be as deliberate in building relationships as you are about closing the sale.
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