Today's guest post is by Ryan C. Lowe, author of Get off Your Attitude!
Sales can be frustrating and complicated, or it can be very simple. Now when I say “simple,” I don’t mean that it is not difficult. Selling is difficult. However, once we take out some of the complications you’ll be able to sell more, and, hopefully, enjoy yourself.
I know the frustrations. I remember when I first got into sales, I thought it was going to be easy. I thought that all I had to do is be a good talker, have a nice smile, knock on doors, and the sales would start coming in. I learned the hard way -- after being fired from one of my sales jobs -- that success in sales required much more. I learned that it is an art; to be great at sales, you have to work on yourself as much as you work on the job.
First, you must have a positive attitude. If you wake up dreading your job and hate what you do, it will be almost impossible to sell anything and your potential customers will see right through you. You must carry yourself in a positive way, and have the confidence in yourself, product and the company you work for.
Second, develop personal and production goals. The important step to achieving any type of goal is to write it down. If you don’t write the goal down, I consider it a wish, not a goal. You must know what you’re aiming for. You can wish for how many sales you will have for the year, or how much money you will make. After writing them down, you must look at them on a daily basis.
Third, prospect. This is the time you must go out and add qualified customers to your inventory. There are several ways to prospect. You can do it the hard way -- by going out and cold calling -- or you can be smarter about it. Ask the customers you already have, and the people you know, for referrals. Did you catch that last phrase? You not only can ask, but you should ask for referrals. A woman once told me, after one of my seminars, that cold calling is a way of God punishing us for not asking for referrals. I loved that comment! Referrals are the best way to get business.
Fourth, know your presentation. Do you know that 76% of all sales people wing their presentation? That is why those same salespeople fail. They don’t present their product in a professional manner. They are simply all over the place and the customer gets confused and gets scared … and doesn’t buy! Your goal is to know your presentation backwards and forwards. The only way you can do this is practice. Practice!
Fifth, ask for the sale. The number one reason sales professionals fail is because they never ask for the business, or they get to the end of their presentation, and ask a question, such as, “What do you think?” The customer will reply, “Let me think it over.” You don’t want to ever get that answer. This is one of the most -- if not the -- most important steps, because this where you either go back to the office with a sale or with nothing. Learn several closing techniques and make them part of your presentation. I promise, you will see great results.
If you follow these five tips and build on them, you’ll be more confident and successful, and you’ll enjoy your life in sales much more.