Sales pointers

I work at a tech/consulting firm where I spend most of my time on the sales team trying to bring in new clients. I'm relatively new to sales and in my first few months on the job I've learned a couple lessons that have helped me a lot not just in sales, but also in other areas of my personal and professional lives. Some might find these points obvious. I, unfortunately, learned them the hard way.

1. Don't be intimidated by the guy you're talking to. Hes just a guy with a job.

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Its easy to get nervous before talking to a new person, whether on a sales call or in a social setting. When I started in sales I worried a lot about what the person on the other end of the conversation would think of me. What if I said something stupid? What if they asked a question I didn't know the answer to?

Once I got a little more comfortable with the material I was talking about I started to realize that the guy on the other end of the phone, even if he is a senior-level person, is just like me he's just a guy with a job. And while I always try to be respectful and polite, there is no reason to put these people up on a pedestal either in sales situations or elsewhere. The people you talk to are just regular people. So relax.

2. Don't have a sales pitch, just have a conversation.

When you are new to sales it's tempting to cling to rehearsed pitch or speech, and for a while it might be necessary to use your pitch as a crutch. But the sooner you can stop pitching and start having a real conversation with the person you are selling to, the better you'll do. This means listening a lot, asking smart questions and responding in a genuine human way rather than with canned sales-y answers.

In personal conversations I know I don't always listen well enough. I'll sit there hearing what the other person is saying, but in my head will just be waiting for them to finish so I can say the thing I've been wanting to say. I'm trying to break this habit by actually listening well, asking smart questions and being truly interested and engaged with what they have to say. But breaking habits is hard

3. Frame the conversation in terms of what the other guy wants, not what you want.

This is related to point number 2 and is straight out of Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People.In sales you'll often be talking to extremely busy people with goals to meet and bosses to please. And if you go into a conversation focusing solely on what you want (i.e. to sell them something) you'll probably have a tough time holding their attention. Instead try to frame the conversation in terms of what they want. Do they have a problem they are trying to solve or a pain point that you can address? If so, then there is probably a great opportunity.

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Posted in Marketing and Advertising Post Date 01/26/2016


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