I have spent the better part of the last 20 years in some kind of sales capacity, the latest being as CEO of Eagle … which of course is a sales role too. For the last couple of months, I have been involved in pulling together a sales training package for Eagle’s sales team and over the next couple of days I will be presenting it.
There are really remarkably few secrets to success in sales. Despite the multitude of sales methodologies, “tricks and tips” and sales gurus the formula is really quite simple.
1. Know what you are selling! Whether it is a widget or a complicated solution, the sales person needs to know and understand their “product” and how to answer the common questions that are raised. This comes down to basic training from their company – good training breeds the confidence to succeed.
2. Work hard! Probably the biggest failing of most sales people. This is a tough job, and to succeed you MUST have a good work ethic. Long lunches, golf days, short days on Fridays are habits to avoid.
3. Work smart! Good time management skills, good organizational skills and an attention to detail will get great results.
4. Listen! The client will tell you everything you need to know to answer their concerns … if you shut up long enough to listen!
I am convinced that if you can “ace” these four things, you can be super successful in sales. I don’t believe you need to be “personality of the year”, an extreme extrovert or a party animal to be a successful sales professional. An outgoing personality can definitely be an asset, as it can in any people-based career … but is not essential.
Now I need to “sell” my sales team on this!