Oh the allure! Just think of the fancy cars, mansions, luxury trips and sales seems like the dream job that everyone should be competing for. And then there’s the reality. Making sales is really, really tough. It’s certainly a lot harder than it should be and even more challenging than you expect it’s going to be when you take on the role. Why is that? Why is it that sales, although potentially highly lucrative, remains one of the least admired roles? In fact, people hate selling.
Is sales right for you?
It’s easy to forget that COVID (or, maybe it’s not so easy …) has kept salespeople at home. This group of folks is more like a rolling stone that gathers no moss – so being at home and not traveling, navigating new cities, suffering the slog of airport security and so on, may actually be a refreshing change. It’s tough coming into a role as an entry-level person but it can also confer competitive advantage as you can use the “I’m new here” excuse to cover a number of initial faux pas. Of course, there is a sell-by expiry date on using that tactic, but it can get you through in a pinch.
The reality is that there is a great path to revenues for many salespeople. As a career, it’s always in demand from selling RVs (which are flying off the lots these days) to selling enterprise software. Contrary to popular misconception, good products don’t actually sell themselves. There’s a lot of voodoo magic product development and marketing that happens behind the scenes to make it look like it’s happening “automagically” but that’s not the case.
Being your own boss is an attractive angle for many people, but it comes with the caveat of having high self-management, discipline and motivation to get out of bed and go prospect for leads. For some people, that sounds like the worst thing in the world – almost as soul-crushing as cold-calling. It also takes persistence, tenacity, positivity and a whole lot of confidence to get out there and pitch.
So, you’re an introvert. If you are, you’re probably thinking that you’re not cut out for sales. Not so. Studies show that introverted people are just about as effective as extroverted people. It’s those ambiverts (a bit of both) people who really clean up with big commissions. They’re generally twice as effective since they tend to appeal to every personality type that they sell to; they just lean towards one side more than the other for each client.
Tips to make more sales
There aren’t any magic bullets here. Selling can be a slog but you can be smarter about it. Here are a few of the best tips compiled by our experts.
TIP 1: stop selling – start solving. When you zero in on the client’s problem, you can shift from a selling mode to a solving mode. This makes all the difference allowing you to get out of the, “Hey, buy this widget” approach into one that actually converts because the person with the problem is in such desperate need for a solution that they’re going to be willing to pay for it.
TIP 2: vet the lead. Are they really the right kind of customer? Is the timing right? Is your widget the right solution for their problem? The sooner that you can answer these questions, the sooner that you’ll know if you’re going to close a deal and get that big commission check. Knowing sooner also prevents you from wasting any extra time chasing a dead-end when you could be investing your time and effort on a prospect with a real chance of winning.
TIP 3: tag team. We’ve all been on the receiving or giving side of a good cop-bad cop routine at least once in our lives. Tag teams work well because you can complement each other’s skill sets and fill gaps, essentially offering the prospective customer a whole solution. Plus, it’s less demoralizing when you lose together – misery likes company! The buddy system works to buoy people up for that same reason.
TIP 4: open your ears. We could add, “Shut your mouth!” to that but let’s keep this blog kind – sales is already hard enough. The more that you listen, the greater chance that you’ll hear some insight that could change the trajectory of your relationship and put you closer to the path of a victory dance.
TIP 5: up your resilience. Immune resistance is a good thing to up as well, be sure to get loads of Vitamins C & D to stay healthy, but resilience is a critical factor here. Get used to rejection, clients crapping on you, missing targets and getting fired. Yup. It’s only a matter of time. When a company misses its numbers, salespeople are the first to be escorted out; it’s just the nature of the beast.
So, get out there. Get solving, not selling. And may the force be with you! Hey, don’t forget about cool sales presentations and sales proposal templates – clients love those! Find some HERE.