You perform, you will be celebrated as Kings and Queen, but you miss the target, you will be treated as losers. You must have understood about whom, I am talking. Yes, I am talking about life of a salesperson in the corporate world.
The world is changing every day and corporate world is not immune to this change. Targets are witnessing an upward trend; timelines are shrinking leading to stress and disturbance in work life balance. Difficult to say which profile is the most stressed but the pressure of getting revenue is on everyone. One of the key priorities for the companies is to find good people who can bring revenue to the organization.
If you tell someone outside of corporate world that a good salesperson is the most prized hiring for any company, he or she is not likely to trust you. You go to an MBA classroom, and you will find only few interested in sales profile. Ironically, 90% of MBA graduates ends up finding jobs in sales. It’s an interesting paradox that the job profile that brings revenue to the company is not on the priority list of the aspirants.
Leave aspirants aside, do you know- a high percentage of people working in sales wish to move to non-sales profile. Targets, and stress related to sales is one of the major reasons why people are afraid of being in sales.
This brings me to my next point- a very important fact of corporate world. If you are a successful salesperson, you are the star of the organization. No-one can compete with you. Questions are rarely asked from you but if not, then also you are going to be center of attraction of your managers. When not performing, you must answer questions that are not even remotely linked to your sales performance. It’s this swing of the spectrum that terrifies people to take up jobs in sales. However, in the world where there is scarcity of job, many don’t have choice. They end up getting job in sales.
Many people don’t know but if you are good at sales, it takes much lesser time to climb corporate ladder. So, smile my friends because returns are great and quick in this job profile.
I keep telling my son once you start enjoying your boredom, you will never be alone in life. Similarly, once you know that secrets that make one a great successful salesperson, you will never be worried about sales. Your love for this profile will grow with your successes in sales.
How few become a great salesperson while others struggle every day. Are successful sales champions are born salesperson? The answer is a definite no. Anyone can become a fantastic salesperson. It needs dedication, direction, and time.
Here is the thing, there are few important behaviors needs to be inculcated that will make you a star salesperson. Being a star of the organization is always an aspiration of an employee and champion salesperson is always a star.
Here are the seven behavioral learnings that once inculcated, will help you to climb the corporate ladder seamlessly
- Play to your strengths- Every individual has a unique talent. One may have great art of engaging with the customers. Other may have a special way to explain the product to the customer. One can bring positivity to the conversation. Other can be a master in negotiations. The biggest mistake all does in corporate world is to blindly follow other people. There is great incentive in learning from others but following the footsteps blindly must be a complete no go. In the process of following others, one loses its own identity and become one of the many salespersons. Always know your strength and converse accordingly with the customers. The moment you can bring customer in your strong zone, the probability of sales closure jumps many folds because you are very strong in this zone. So always play to your strengths.
- Value Proposition- A customer is approached by many salespersons for the similar kind of product. In many scenarios, customer has an option to buy directly from the digital platform. The challenge is how to convince the customer to buy only from you. A time where online sales like amazon sale, flipkart sale, vijay sales are influencing the buyers, transaction selling will soon become history and its relationship that will give edge to the companies where it is for direct or indirect selling. The days of selling product have long gone. Nowadays service matters more to the customer and that’s the way you can create a value proposition in the minds of the customer. A small service request must be taken seriously and resolved on priority. Trust me, if service request is resolved in right spirit, you don’t have to worry about sales, Customer will buy product from you despite it being higher price from other products in the market.
- Focus on soft behaviors of your customer- Knowing your customer must not be limited to knowing pan and addhar card numbers. It is far from this transactional documentation. In the age of social media, it has become so easy to know about interests, hobbies about the customers. Knowing behavioral insights helps having a result-oriented conversation with the customer and reduces sales conversion time. Imagine, one of your customers is a frequent traveler and you offer him a forex card, he will buy it immediately, but you offer him a current account then you will make him angry.
- Stop demeaning the competitor products- I am sure all of you while talking to the salesperson observed that they deliberately demean the products of the competition. Trust me, this is not appreciated by any customer. One doesn’t need to demean other company product to prove the superiority of his company product. This behavior never appreciated by the customer and a high percentage of customer avoid buying products from the salesperson who deliberately demean other products. The best way to stick to USP of your own products.
- Don’t argue but give constructive feedback- While many salespersons always say yes to customer, there are few who argue with the customer to prove that they are right. There is reason why customer is called God because you don’t argue with the God but give constructive feedback and suggestions. No one likes arguments, it’s in human nature and when you are on customer chair, he or she feels no less than God. In general, customer feel that they are doing big favor by buying product from you. One must be very careful of this mindset of the customer because one small argument and salesperson is out of the conversation. Hence, feedbacks are welcome but not arguments.
- Believe in your product- If you don’t believe in something then you always be seen pushing that product to the customer. And when you are seen pushing the product, there are less chances of customer buying that product from you. As salesperson, it’s natural to find fault in the product and reason it to the managers on why customers are not buying the product. But it doesn’t help you at any point of time. During HDFC bank days, I sold maximum Youngstar insurance policy. Later I realized, 70% of insurance policies sold by me are youngstar. One of the key reasons for this high percentage is that I genuinely believe in this product and children education is one of the causes, I am working for a long time. At point of time, you feel that product is inferior to the competition then provide constructive feedback to the product team but don’t frustrate yourself by blaming company for poor product. Help them to better the product and improve your sales.
- Know priority of the customer- You try selling helmet to a Punjabi, it will never work. As salesperson, you must understand the priorities of your customer. Most of the customer have limited budgets and they priorities spending. The easier way to sell is to map your products against priorities of the customer. If children education is his priority, then he is most likely to buy children education plan but if his priority is child’s marriage, he will want to safely put money in fixed deposits to meet marriage expenses. Irony is that many salespersons try to have one way communication of pushing products which doesn’t argues well with the customer. If your product meets customer priority, then it is automatically sold, and you don’t need to make huge effort for closing the sales.
Top salespersons reach out to the customer with the intent of helping them. As a salesperson, one must value his work and celebrate small wins because these small wins will act as foundation stone of future success. As Jeffery Gitomer quotes, “Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win.”