Successful Sales People and Their Traits!

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Courtesy Google

Sales is not just about selling. It requires numerous traits to be successful. These traits are required irrespective of whether you sell product, service or your ideas. Make it a point to have these skill or else learn to develop them. Based on my experiences and observations highly successful sales people have following traits:

1) Effective Communication Skills: It is the most important trait that every sales person should have. I must say its a prerequisite to be in sales. By effective communication I mean that a person should be able to convey the message clearly and effectively. It not only involve how we speak but more importantly our listening skills.

2) Develop Sales Strategy: You cannot just randomly start selling. You should have a proper sales plan, as you cannot hit the target you cannot see similarly you cannot start approaching customer without have an effective strategy. It is advised to draft you sales plan/goals before acting on it. This will give you the step wise step directions to fulfill your goals and excel in your career.

3) Know Your Target Segment: Even before you enter the market to sell your products/services. Understand your target market segment because if you do not have a clarity on your segment no point jumping into the market as it will not fetch you anything. As this will help you position your product and draft you sales plan accordingly.

4) Passionate: Successful sales person is one who believes in himself and have a deep belief in what they sell.If you don’t believe in the product that you sell than you cannot sell.

5)  Product Knowledge:  In all my posts I always stress on the importance of product knowledge. It is always necessary to have a proper knowledge about your product. This will not only help you win more sales but will also help you have an edge over the competitors.You can refer my last post for details on this (https://salesgayan.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/how-important-is-product-knowledge-for-sales-people/)

6) Don’t Sell a product Satisfy the Need: Successful sales people do not sell a product they try to satisfy need. It is always suggested to understand your customer’s need properly before pitching about the product. Try understanding the customer’s pain area and then try to solve the problem by positioning your product accordingly.You can refer my post (https://salesgayan.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/dont-sell-a-product-satisfy-the-need/) for details.

7) Handling A Call:  Successful prospectors understand that the purpose of a call is to set an appointment with a qualified candidate.  Stop seeing anyone who will see you. Make sure the prospect qualifies to do business with you.  Stop selling on the phone.The quality of the phone call determines the quality of the appointment.  Your goal is to identify on the phone if your  prospect has a problem that you can solve.

8) Follow Up: For you to be a successful sales person develop the habit of following up with your customer.It is not your customers duty to remember you. It is your duty not to let him forget you. You Can refer my post (https://salesgayan.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/how-important-is-follow-up/) for details.

Master these eight skills and you are well on your way to enjoying a successful sales career.

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

― William Faulkner

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How important is Product Knowledge for Sales People?

Courtesy Google

Have you ever thought why did you loose a particular customer, when your product had almost everything he/she was looking for?

Did you ever think how competitor with the same product is able to make more sales than you?

Is competitor’s product really superior than your’s?

Do you really know your product inside out?

The answer to all the above questions is “Product Knowledge”. In all my posts I always stress on the importance of product knowledge. It is always necessary to have a proper knowledge about your product. This will not only help you win more sales but will also help you have an edge over the competitors.

Having an elaborated product knowledge will help you handle the objections from customers in a better way.You will be able to explain in a better way and will also be able to present those features which customer is looking for, making your presentation more customer centric. On the contrary if you do not have proper product knowledge, even if your product has a particular feature which customer is looking for, you might not be able to explain or present that feature resulting in the loss of sale.

Product knowledge to a large extent helps in boosting your confidence when you present your product/services. You clearly have an idea what you have to present in front of your customer and how best you can position the product/service to meet all the requirements of the customer.

The best way to have the product knowledge is by using it. It is always recommended to use your product and understand its features before you start selling it. It will give you the fair idea about the product’s benefits and its short comings. Moreover if you are able to experience the products and services of the competitor, you will be able to explain how your product is different and hopefully better.

Just presenting the brochure to the customer does not help, you need to have the proper understanding of the product because written words and spoken words are very different. You can also have a better product knowledge and understanding by meeting existing customers and asking for their feedback. Try to make it clear that you want brutal honesty, since there will almost always be ways in which your products are both good and bad and the more you know about both aspects, the better.

More importantly your sales pitch should not only cover the benefits and advantages of your product/service. Honestly customer is not interested in that, the way your product/service meet customer’s requirement is of more importance. And you can communicate the same and position your product accordingly only if you have proper knowledge of your product. Being too technical in explaining your product is also not advisable. The product should be presented in a way that is self explanatory.

The sales people should not only depend on company’s training for product knowledge instead they should always keep themselves updated with the new and added features in their product/service. This would help in gaining a competitive edge and at the same time making more sales.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin

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Announcing one of the most Comprehensive Sales Training Program in India

SalesGayan in Collaboration with Consultative Sales Academy (USA) launches one of the most comprehensive sales training programs in India

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Consultative Sales Academy is committed to providing timely and relevant training and development programs that enhance your business needs.
To support your business development needs, we are pleased to offer our:
Consultative Sales Certification Training Program
Our Consultative Sales Academy-Consultative Sales Certification Program (CSA-CSC) is a comprehensive sales performance development program that:
• Is proven to increase sales and service performance
• Develops measurable sales competence by enhancing consultative sales behaviors
and performance
• Elevates the credibility of the sales profession through demonstrated capability
• Provides bottom line business results for your company
Sales professionals who know and apply consultative selling skills:
• Earn 33% more than their average counterparts
• Sell 3-4 times more
• Build loyalty and trust on a consistent basis with their internal and external clients
What Is It?
The Consultative Sales Certification Training Program provides standards of measurement based on eight core consultative sales competencies.
Those seeking CSA-CSC certification will participate in assessment of their sales skills, blended live &e-learning, coaching and demonstrated sales performance.

This program is not a single training program, but a comprehensive approach to sales skills development, integrity, demonstrated capability and sustained performance.

For any further queries please feel free to contact:

gayan.sales@gmail.com

mdagostino@consultativesales.net

toma@consultativesales.net

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Are Sales People Honest Enough To Themselves?

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Courtesy Google

Do sales people lie to themselves? The answer to this question is certainly yes. Around 80% of the sales people lie to themselves which affects their sales performance and restrict them from succeeding in their career, which results in frustration and hatred towards their career. 

Many of you might not agree with me on this  but I suggest probably we do lie to ourselves.

Here are few lies or excuses which sales people make:

#1 I could not sell because of price : This is the most dangerous lie which sales people tell themselves. The reason being the price is always the major factor based on which the customer makes the decision. It is not that your company did not do the market research before setting a particular price. Very few companies set their price higher than the existing market trend.

If you say that you lost on price than probably you were not able to show the value and benefits that your product is providing. You failed to show that difference between your and competitor product. Most of the customers are willing to pay the price provided they get additional benefits. So it is an extra effort that you have to put to position your product accordingly which most of us failed to do.

#2 Market is saturated : Is market really saturated or you have not approached enough number of customers? If market is saturated how competition is still selling, do they have a magic stick to create more customers for their product? Stop making judgments based on your meeting with few clients. Do not generalize it that if few customers are not buying, the entire market is saturated. As I always say try approaching as many clients as possible, do not restrict yourself. The bigger your sales funnel is the better is the chance of closures.

#3 Competition is offering better price: There will always be few competitors who will be selling at a price lower than the market trend but also understand this is here where you have to show the differentiation between your and competitor’s product, this is where you have to display your sales skills. Also believe me there will be only few competitor who will be selling at a lower price but majority of them will be competitively priced.

#4 This sale is a done deal and I can count it as closed: Please understand that if a particular customer has agreed to meet you and he liked the way you presented your company and its offerings, and has shown some positive signs, that does not mean he will buy from you. He might have had 100 more sales guys who had visited him. I am not disappointing you, you might have been better than 99 but what about that particular 1 who had made the difference like you had. So till the time the agreement is not signed there is no deal which is closed deal. This is the bitter truth which you have to digest.

#5 Territory assigned to me is too big (small): With the growing competitions companies are trying to get more and more from a particular territory with less sales force, the simple mathematics being the cost. So there is no point cribbing about your territory, on the contrary spend quality time recognizing present potential customers and future potential customers. This will help you in planning your sales activity properly rather than wasting time meeting less profitable customers. You have to know your territory inside out.

#6 Product is not up to the mark: Are you really sure about this? How many competitors product have you evaluated? If your company is surviving that means the product is up to the market standard but it is failure on your part to position it properly. So it is advised to put your energies in finding the right prospects rather than giving excuses.

#7 I do not need to practice for my presentation & my sales pitch is perfect: Often we tend to make this mistake of not preparing for the presentation before meeting, the reason being we consider all our clients are same. You can refer my last post for details on this (https://salesgayan.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/is-every-customer-same/)

#8 I do not need to make cold calls my pipeline is enough: How long will your pipeline last? Your pipeline is a result of cold calls that you had made initially. So as sales professional it is your duty to grow your sales pipeline continuously. No pipeline will last long without adding more to it. 

#9 Economy: I have recently noticed many sales people complaining about the current economy for not able to achieve their targets. If your competitors are getting the numbers why is economy only hampering our sales. 

Avoid telling yourself these sales lies because they limit your ability to increase your sales and fully achieving what you are capable of accomplishing.

 

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
― George Washington

 

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Is Every Customer Same??

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Courtesy Google

How would you feel if you enter a Hair Salon and the hair dresser there gives you a haircut without even listening to your style requirements? Firstly whether would you even accept that? Secondly would you even consider going to the same saloon again? The answer to all the questions is but obvious NO!

Most of us tend to do this mistake and the biggest reason for us to do this is lack of research that we do for a particular customer. We do not want to put in an extra effort to understand what the customer is exactly looking for rather than we just try to sell what we have been selling for long. This is when you lose your customer and blame your company for not having up-to the mark product/service. But the question here is “Did you even listen to the customer requirements properly before giving him/her a solution?” The answer again is NO! We all want to take an easy road where we can close the deal without even putting an extra effort.

It is not that you don’t have that solution which customer is looking for. Please understand you got a chance to meet the customer because he has evaluated you before coming to you for a solution or initially when you started pitching your product/service it made him believe that you can provide him with the kind of solution he is looking for. As a sales professional it is very important for you to listen to your customer’s requirement patiently and understand it, before providing the solution. Once you have understood the requirements, than accordingly position your product keeping in mind your customer’s requirements and focusing much on the areas which he/she is looking for. It is very much possible that these points you might not have even used in your past sales but this sales require you to highlight those specific points,and why not would you do that when your product/service has everything the customer is looking for. Therefor do not blame your product/service, as a sales professional you have to put in an effort to understand the customer’s problems and accordingly customize your solution.

Treat every customer a different customer,than only you can make a difference and it will help closing the sale more easily than your counterparts. Treat every sales call as a new challenge and trust me you will succeed in your sales career.

Few Points to remember:

1) Accept that all the customers are not same.

2) Focus on individual customer value.

3) Customize your offering to each customer.

4) Inculcate the habit of listening to your customer before jumping to the conclusion.

5) An extra degree of effort can be the difference between success and failure.

6) Most importantly believe in your product/service.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

Vincent T. Lombardi

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Customer Service…is where you can make the DIFFERENCE

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Courtesy Google

Excellent customer service is the back bone of any business and it is where a sales person can also make the difference. Just imagine in today’s competitive world how many companies would be selling the products/services as your company’s (may be 100 or 1000) and why would a customer prefer your company when he has 99 or 999 other options and some of them might be selling at  50% of your price. Have you ever thought of this and if you have, you must have got the answer why some companies with premium price do so well in the market than their competitor selling almost similar product at half the price.

The answer to above questions is Customer Service. It is the customer service where you can make a huge difference and can take your company’s reputation to greater heights. Just imagine the situation where you have some issues with your credit card bill or your mobile bill and you contact the xyz company’s customer care and response you get their is very cold and even the queries put forward by you were not even addressed properly. Your bill due date is near and you again contact the customer care and you get same cold response, and the customer care executive does not even know what exactly is the issue and he/she just gives you the lame logic. How frustrated will you be? I personally will be damn pissed with such kind of customer service and will for sure discontinue with their service after I clear my bill. It is not about just 1 customer, how many other customers would have done the same thing after experiencing such bad customer service. It will surely effect revenue and more than revenue the company’s reputation.

Customer Service does not mean attending customers calls or attending to customers queries after the sale has happened. As a sales guy you can make the difference in the entire sales cycle by exhibiting excellent  customer service which would also reflect the attention your company pays to the customer and will help in building that confidence in the customers mind.

As a sales professional you can achieve this by:

1) Answer your phone : Whether it is presales or post sales make it a point to attend your customers calls. If you are not able to attend the call due to some reason, always do return the call. Because as a sales guy you are the face of the company and the way you handle the calls and customer query, will also reflect your company’s customer service during the later stages.

2) Listen to their complaints : It is always good to listen to your customers complaints and help them in resolving the same. Follow up with them whether their complaint has been resolved or they need any further assistance.

3) Take that extra step : If you have closed a particular sale that does not mean your job is over. It is your duty to regularly call them and update them about any up-gradation in your system which would be helpful for them. Or you can make a courtesy call to just enquire if everything is going well or they need any further support. These extra things will help build customers confidence in your company and you might get their next order also.

Now as far as the customer care centers are concerned:

1) Always hire courteous staff, they should always welcome any query by the customer and their attitude should reflect that they are there to help the customer solve their problems.

2) Train your staff, it is very mandatory that your customer care executives should have the clear understanding of the product/services your company is offering and they should have to the  point solution rather than giving any illogical solutions and answers.

3) If somehow customer care executive is not able to solve the problem, they should inform customer that they will get back to them in the stipulated time with the solution.

4) Customer care staff should be regularly trained so that they are well familiar with their products/services and are able to handle almost all the queries put forward by the customer.

It is the customer service where you can make the difference and win more business than your competitors.

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.

-Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart

In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.

-Doug Warner

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Negotiations……and you say you HATE it!!!

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Recently I was negotiating with one of the big corporate house and thought of sharing my experiences on the same:

How many time have you encountered the situation when your client tells you:

You have to be very price competitive if you have to qualify for our screening.

I agree that your product and services are superior and so is your competitor’s but you have to drop the price otherwise we would be left with no option other than going with your competition.

What additional can you provide at the same price.

Trust me I have faced this situation ‘n’ number of time and have felt really miserable especially when you know that this particular deal is really important for you as well as for your organisation. At this stage how you handle your customer and negotiation process will help you close the sale. You need be very cautious and should keep following points in mind before starting with the negotiations;

1) Is your product really serving the need and is providing the benefit that customer is looking for.

2) It is essential for you to know how much time would the customer will take to close the deal, may be at this point of time they are just looking at the options and negotiating at this early stage is not advisable.

3) Try to get the information about your competitors, this would help you understand who really is your strong competition and accordingly you can position your product/service.

After you have done your homework and you know that you are in a strong or similar position to your competitor and your product/service has all the ingredients that the customer is looking for, its the time when you should sit on the negotiation table.

To have an effective negotiation you should always:

1) Make sure you are not negotiating with anyone, it is always advisable to sit on negotiation table with the decision maker, user may not always be the decision maker. It is important to identify the decision maker before starting the negotiations.

2) Quote your price firmly and confidently, nobody is there for social work, the main motive of the business is to make money. It is you who know your product well and nobody else.

3) Never offer your best price to early, let your customer be the first to quote their expectation.

4) Be patient as most of the big corporate deals does not happen in few hours or few days. Both the parties have their price limits set in their minds, it is OK to ask for the time if you think you need to discuss with your management before offering the final price. Do not bring you ego during the negotiation process.

5) Know you lower limits and when to stop negotiating as there is no point closing the sale for loss, this would not only cause loss to the company but will also tarnish the image of your company as you will not be able to deliver what you have promised when you close the sale for loss.

6) Make sure to provide all the details of your product/service and the benefits that they will be getting in doing business with you and your company.

“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow

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