Hey ya’ll, I’m Grace and this month I took on the challenge to set myself up to become a successful sales rep in 30 days. In this project, I landed a job as a sales rep, traveled with the company to work a booth at a trade show, networked at mixers with new and existing clientele, created leads lists for my area, made cold email sequences, and presented material to clientele.
Check out the full project here!
Working in sales was always the goal for me. I love people, I’m basically a golden retriever. It has always been comfortable for me to walk into rooms of strangers and make friends. In line for coffee, on the plane, even in the grocery store I’m likely to start a conversation or just help someone who looks like they need it.
Given my tendency towards a good-natured and outgoing relational style, I didn’t realize how many hard and soft skills I’ve been collecting over the years to make interactions even easier.
Like a dog, I’ve learned a few tricks, keep reading to see some of my most valuable sales lessons/tips.
Get Over Yourself
You might already be rolling your eyes, after all, you could think you’re more like a cat and aren’t as fondly perceived. But we all have our traits and things that make us invaluable and lovable.
Get over your fears, people pick up on anything that’s fake. Trying to pretend you’re really extroverted won’t get you anywhere. Having a preplanned script can seem so insincere. When I had a prewritten script, I would freeze if the other person didn’t react how I had originally predicted they would. Allowing myself to experience people for who they are and start with organic conversation was a much better segway into a business-based conversation.
As long as you know your product, know yourself, and trust that if you are authentic you WILL be perceived well. Some conversations may end negatively, but that has very little reflection on who you are if you go in authentic.
Learn New Tricks
An old dog can learn new tricks, contrary to popular belief. You need to continue learning from every call, email, and in-person sales pitch you make. Treat every day like a lesson, talk to more experienced sales reps, they have years of wisdom to share. Or at least a solid list of things not to do. Not only do you learn new skills for the future from those, but you can learn from the clients themselves.
My dog reads my mood and acts accordingly, snuggles when I’m sad, plays when I’m upbeat and happy, etc. You can get a good read on what tactic to take just from your first interaction with a client.
If a client is super receptive to you, it’s simply playing off their energy and walking them through the product. If they aren’t having a good day, it’s your active listening that will enable you to find a solution to their mood and problem.
Charm + Action
We are all charming, whether we think that way or not. Having a client enjoy you as a person is half the battle with sales. If they like you, they will want to continue to work with you for reorders moving forward. Walking into any meeting I give myself a little pep talk, “you’re likable, you can do this, you know what you’re talking about.” If I can believe it, anyone I talk to can pick it up as well.
No matter how much a client fell in love with you, you need to follow up. Following up was not a natural strong suit for me. I’d connect great in person, but I had to learn to set up a system to remind me who to follow up with. Then I learned to let my written copy reflect my tone, it needed to be professional, yet language I would use so clients could still connect.
Keeping your sales funnels in constant motion will indicate success and growth. Following up with new and old prospects alike, everyone likes to feel like a priority.
Sales Is Service
People don’t always respond well to a pushy salesperson. Your goal should be to become a consultant. Listen to the problem or need of a company and recommend them based on what they really desire.
When you learn what it is that a customer needs, you can guide them with the knowledge you have on your product/company. It’s more about pitching a solution or value add to a client, not shoving your product in their face.
Walk with people towards their goals.
People have a skill known as “smile sense” where we can hear a smile even through a phone. When you are smiling audibly, people can hear your passion and joy through the phone and in person. Faking a pleasant tone doesn’t come across as authentic, relax and let your joy for the interaction seep through.
Even if that part doesn’t seem natural, force a smile and it will slowly turn into a real one. Particularly for phone calls, I discovered when I started a call or picked up the phone with a smile on my face the person on the other end of the line responded better to me.
You don’t know if you don’t ask. Goldens will ask anyone to throw the ball, that doesn’t mean everyone will. If you don’t ask for the sale or call, you’ll never know if it would have happened.
Present the ask as something helpful. Don’t just say “Would you like our product?”. Instead try “I know ______ is important to you and your company, would you like to make an investment with our ______, making those problems we discussed a thing of the past?”
Remember you are selling services here to make their lives easier or merchandise that can turn them a massive profit.
Asking never hurts if it’s done in an organic way. Don’t force the conversation in that direction, gently guide them.
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