Being in the sales career for an exceedingly long time and also having my own trading business at one point of time, apart from working in a sales organization has given me enough insight to write on it. To start with, sales career is easier for someone not hesitant by nature. While I was a team leader for a company selling financial products, I found most of the candidates who were not performing were somewhat reluctant to start a conversation with a stranger. Such employees were hesitant either because they were too shy, or had an ego large enough, which perhaps, prevented them to enter into a conversation with strangers.
Ability to initiate conversation
The ability to start a conversation in a way as to induce a positive response from a potential client is right on the top of the list of qualities one should have to be successful as a sales person. No matter how convincing you are, you may have a lot of information about the product you are selling, but your ability to begin conversation will lay a platform to promote your cause. It also prepares your client to listen to you. Many deals took place successfully because the impact of the start was big.
However, how dressy your start was, it also depends on how smooth you had been with your pitch. You definitely cannot annoy your potential client. You must have the capacity to read people, situation and end up with the right observation. How good you observe will determine how good your start is. You must have the skills to find the perfect set of words to speak on the spot.
Are you a pleasant listener?
There are often many clients who have the curiosity to know more. They may or may not buy your product, but they will certainly raise questions about the product you have brought to sell. Some of them will ask silly questions, which can make you crazy, but you still have to answer back, hoping, at the end of the dialogue, they might order. Do you have the patience to go through all this?
It is the line, which separates a successful sales guy from the not so successful ones. And remember, if you are not successful, you will never stick to sales. Sales are a performance oriented profession, and there is no scope for non performers.
Can you prove others wrong?
The best sales people are those who can convince clients to purchase products. People generally want to be proven wrong by the sales person, before they buy. I am not sure why it’s so. But I have closely watched customers, and I have found it to be true. Clients have a preconceived notion, particularly, about the product they know about.
And they love bragging about it. Some of them even prefer to disagree to prove their point. It is exactly where a sales person has to use his wit and wisdom to achieve supremacy in the ongoing debate. Once you can prove your client wrong, you can be assured of the deal.
Can you sustain the pressure of fulfilling sales targets?
The competition has become extremely stressful for companies, and with the ongoing competition, there is no scope for complacency. Every company is looking to maximise sales. There is enormous pressure on the sales staff to come up with figures. Companies are not willing to compromise on performance, and, therefore, if you can handle this sort of pressure, then the sales profession is for you. Otherwise, a sales job is not for you.
Do you love to maintain relationship with your past customers?
Many greenhorns are only concerned with customers till they end up with a sale. The moment the sale ends, the association also goes up in smoke. Having this kind of attitude will never make you a successful salesperson in the long run. If you want to take up sales career seriously, keep track of all your past customers because you never know when you might need one of them. You should ensure that you at least keep the relationship with your clients, if possible, which means that you don’t have to waste time and energy just to maintain relationships.
And once you are ready with all the traits mentioned above, you can jolly well pick sales as your career.
By Rajiv Sighamony