Sales success starts when we truly believe that we are doing something of value
How Did I End Up As A “Sales Person”?
What do titles such as Managing Director Owner, Systems Engineer, Partner, Client Support, Business Development Manager, Marketing Support, Principal, Account Manager and many others of similar structure have in common? Is sales success part of their objectives?
None of them mention the word ‘sales’ in their title and yet every one of them normally means engaging with clients and prospects on a regular basis. As such, to a large degree, the owner of that title is a salesperson for their company.
When I discuss this with training audiences, that realisation is met with responses ranging from acceptance and pleasure through to abject denial and disgust!
The vast majority didn’t sign on to be a sales person. They are just doing a job that happens to involves sales activities. I often describe them as the ‘accidental sales person’.
So why the negative responses? Let’s face it, sales has a generally poor reputation. The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ did us no good whatsoever in the credibility stakes! People often associate the role of sales person with aggression, pushiness, dishonesty, mercenary behaviours and wasting people’s time trying to convince them to buy stuff they don’t need.
Turning A Wasted Sales Opportunity Into Sales Success
If you are an ‘accidental’ sales person with that attitude approaching clients, what do you think are your chances of consistently convincing people that what you offer has value?…of course the answer is ‘not high’. This is a huge wasted opportunity, because often people in these roles have enormous credibility with clients.
So how can we overcome this?
I normally start by asking people to consider characteristics they associate with a good sales experience. Invariably they use words such as honesty, empathy, listening, the sales person knowing their products, being interested in the client needs, communicating, meeting commitments and lots more very positive traits. The sales person didn’t look like they were selling!
Once they realise that good sales people do not have to lie, cheat or be pushy to be successful, it does start them on the track to feeling a bit better about being seen in a sales role.
Experience shows that clients really want sales people to do two things:
1. Be honest and meet commitments; deliver what you promise, turn up on time and other fundamentals
2. Be competent in their role; understand their offerings and why they might actually be of benefit to the client and then engage effectively with clients.
Anyone can be a “sales person”. They don’t have to compromise their principles or do “hard sell”. They simply have to be themselves and from there confidence and sales success can follow.
Sales training should be about effective engagement with clients towards a mutually beneficial outcome.
If you are a business owner, you can support your team (of one or of many) by making your key team members feel good about having meaningful conversations with their client. Use an effective training to support the accidental sales person(s) in your business and to boost sales results.
If you are a business adviser, you can support your clients’ efforts to grow their revenue by helping them explore who in their business is really in a sales role and how each individual’s attitude affects the outcome.
For any question, contact Gordon Smith via the contact page.