Do you want to be a successful person in sales? Well you’re going to need a toolbox of skills and specific traits to help you out. There are actually many ways to learn how to be a great salesperson, and these methods are more accessible than ever however not all of these lessons can be found in a textbook.
Some of them you’ll have to learn just from putting yourself out there and some of them you’ll have to learn from your failure. Here are eight tips to help you on your path to be a better salesperson.
Walk your own path
My first tip to be a better salesperson is that you need to understand the path to success is often unconventional. Some of the best stories of sales involve huge failures and strange strategies that lead to success.
You should not think that you have to take the same path as all the salespeople around you. A unique idea could be the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and brings people to your business.
Never stop learning
Sales tip number two is that there are always new lessons to learn. Your education doesn’t stop with reading this article, or a book or a course completion. As the world of sales and marketing evolve, new tactics and strategies will become more successful and old ones will die.
Things such as email marketing, retargeting advertisements, Facebook, even artificial intelligence and personality selling – there are always new things to learn so make it a priority to keep educating yourself and keep learning.
Number three tip to be a better salesperson is to understand that customers want a salesperson who is relatable. Sure, you can get down to brass tacks and talk business and sales, however the real magic happens in the conversations that aren’t about the features or benefits or the unique value proposition of your products.
Relating to your customer will help them trust you. If they see you more like a friend than a salesperson, you’ll be much more likely to actually be able to help them out. If you can understand the why behind your customers purchasing decisions, you will be much more successful in sales.
My fourth tip is understanding the importance of following up. You may know some interesting statistics about acquiring new customers versus getting new business from regular customers. This will save you more money to grow a base of loyal returning customers that you can count on, however business school won’t always teach you how to bring someone back for a second or a third or even a fourth purchase.
I recommend to keep track of your customers and follow up after their purchase every single time. Selling is a cycle. Once you close a sale, you have to continue selling and following up. Give your customers a phone call once a year to check in, or start sending regular email newsletters to update your customers on your business and new product updates.
No matter how you follow-up, it will keep your name in their mind and if you don’t follow up and someone else does, they might steal your customers. This comes down to just caring about your customers.
Confidence and humility
Tip number five is that you need a balance of confidence and humility. So rejection is very humbling and to fight the negative feelings of rejection, you’ll have to have a bunch of confidence in your overall abilities as a salesperson.
How much confidence is too much, and how often does humility start to play into your sales meetings? Well, the answer to this question will vary based on your industry and your customer base. It’s not something that you can find in an article like this. You will need to do some self-reflection to assess yourself and your confidence and humility and where you might need to make some changes.
Network is gold
In order to be a better salesperson, you need to know a good salesperson doesn’t work alone. Sure, you may be the only person on your side of the table, however as a salesperson you never truly work independently. A good network is the best toolbox you can have as a salesperson.
Your customers are the best resources for your network, they can give you feedback, refer you to other customers and help you see things about yourself or your product that you might not recognise yourself.
My seventh tip is fairly obvious, however it’s that rejection happens. Business school teaches you the road map to a successful sale, however what happens when there are obstacles in the way and doors that are slammed in your face? Some people out there are pretty rude to salespeople and can completely bog down your day. To be a better salesperson, you need to understand that there are good ways and bad ways to deal with rejection.
You must learn to deal with rejection in your own way, which often requires a look at your confidence and your beliefs about selling, generally.
Final tip at number eight is that it takes experience to sell. You may have a diploma to prove that you can actually sell, however the real lessons come from real world experience. Everyone is going to make mistakes during their first attempts to sell and try to make it big.
In my experience, the sooner you can make those mistakes and actually start to learn from them, the sooner you can take on any challenge in selling. I’ve sold all kinds of things in my life and every situation is a little bit different, however after every sales transaction I learned just a little bit more and get a little bit better at sales.
At the end of the day, to be a better salesperson you need to know to truly understand human behaviour and become a persuasive helpful salesperson. Many people think selling is something sleazy and wrong however once you understand how selling something really works, then you will find that sales starts to become a skill that you can take absolutely anywhere.
It could be buying a new car, going for a job interview or even convincing someone to go on a date; basically you’re selling yourself and they all use the same concepts, the same ideas and psychological biases and those concepts are exactly what makes a great salesperson.