Boom or Bust: A Guide to Sales!
When you hear the word sales, what comes to mind? A used car salesman trying to push you to purchase a lemon or a real estate agent showing a new family their potential first home? For me, it’s the latter. For young professionals starting out, sales can be either boom or bust. As long as you follow this simple guide, I will tell you how to make it boom like the grand finale on the Fourth of July!
Sales is not just selling.
I know I am going against everything you’ve been told, but sales are not only about pushing products on customers or an endless number of cold calls. Sales are the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between buyer and seller. And just like intimate relationships, sales requires solid communication and understanding between both parties.
To be successful in sales, you need to know 4 key things:
Learn to Listen: A day early but still a buck short.
As a child, I had a hard time with number one. I used to drive my mom crazy because I would either cut her off with what I thought she was going to say or started doing what she asked while she was in mid-sentence. I soon discovered that listening and understanding in full was the correct path to go.
Because mopping the floors before you sweep will not give you your allowance.
Sales are the same way. Without understanding the problem a potential customer is facing, how can you find a solution? Jumping the gun and not being thorough with your thoughts or actions solves nothing.
Think then do, not do then think.
When I was in elementary school I asked my mom if I could make my lunch for the next day but only have half a sandwich instead of a full one. After getting permission I made my lunch and came back with a question:
‘Hey, mom, what do I do with the other half of the sandwich?’
Luckily, my ability to listen and critical thinking skills have improved since then. No matter how hard you work you need to have skills. Whether it be learning a new tool, understanding a complex theory (or in my case, common sense), or just mastering soft skills and understanding people — skills are important.
Sales is no different.
Hone your skills and improve. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Software tools provide people in sales a great benefit, and it’s not distancing oneself from talking to people. It’s the complete opposite.
Software tools and skills provide sales representatives with more time. More time to talk to potential leads, reach potential leads, and understand them. Understand the problems they face on a day-to-day basis while formulating an answer that best suits their problem. They relieve clients of time restrictions and unneeded stress to focus on more important things, such as making their son’s baseball game, going on a date night, or expanding and improving their business.
Some solid software tools and how they help are:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator: to find potential leads and points of contact.
Hunter.io: to find the points of contact’s contact information (such as professional emails).
Seamless.ai: to see all potential leads within an industry.
Don’t be that guy, be my guy.
Establishing a solid customer relationship through communication and understanding is essential in sales. It allows the buyer and seller to get to know each other better and form a bond and create excitement before talking or going to a meeting. I’m not telling you to treat a client like a therapist or vice-versa but there should be some fun in the art of the deal.
At the end of the day, a sales representative wants to land the client but does so in a way that both parties grow. Your goal is not to be known as ‘that’s the sales guy, Jake’ but “that’s my sales guy Jake, he really helped me out”.
Before leaving for Colorado in 2016, my hometown was flooded, especially the street where I lived. Luckily our house was not damaged, but many of our neighbors lost everything. Seeing this, my mother made lunch for everyone and had myself and my sisters walk door-to-door to see if anyone wanted or needed anything to eat. We did this as FEMA drove down our street to assess the damage and no way to leave the neighborhood. One neighbor made sure to give each of us a hug and thank us while fighting back tears. On that day, we went from being ‘those neighbors’ to ‘our neighbors’.