Do you have what it takes to be successful in Sales?
Sales roles are not for the faint of heart, daily struggles in various forms such as cold calling, gaining product knowledge, dealing wCredit: www.about.comith complaints/issues, securing the next big deal and most importantly.. reaching your sales budgets to keep the boss happy and make a commission!
A salesman must treat their job as if its their own company that they are promoting. Sales reps live and die by their sales as without them you don't have a job!
The more thought and effort you place into each potential sale will hold you in good stead to secure the business.
Cold Calling - A Salesman's worse enemy
As someone who has previous experience in the art of cold calling, I know the high's and low's of this much hated yet highly required task. In my early years of sales, there were numerous days whereby I was rejected at the cold face all day long and I couldn't even get past the rude and unhelpful receptionist. It would leave me feeling dejected and depressed!
Preparation I found was the key to receiving a greater chance of getting through the front door. With todays resources at your disposal you can call upon tools such as your smartphone or the web.
Add an account on Linked-In (social networking website for people in professional occupations) and try searching for potential leads by looking for contacts within the organisation you wish to attack. A lot of large corporations will not divulge the information of employees within their organisation if you do not already know who you wish to speak with.
If you still have no luck send them a network invitation to "link up" and hopefully a business relationship will evolve from your connection.
Credit: www.multitouch.nlThe next best option is to research the company via its website (generic site, facebook, twitter etc) as some businesses will publish their chain of command, whether it be in financial reporting documents or previous news releases. The more information you have on hand, whether it may be on personnel, products or services offered, the greater chance you will have in securing a meeting with the decision maker!
Should the previous tips not be available or successful for you, try going in through the back door, (literally) or thinking outside the square! Many of my greatest sales were achieved by simply going through the warehousing departments or marketing departments of a business.
The receptionist may provide a closed door however the warehouse or administration staff will generally be more helpful towards you. Attempt to provide higher value or a means of differentiation whilst doing so as these guys will be constantly harassed by unsolicited calls/approaches. Always bring something that may be left behind (it must contain your name/ company logo/ contact details etc) whether it be your business card, a catalogue, samples or perhaps a useful gift like a coffee mug or calender. Without having a relevant reason for calling on the client you will most likely be quickly dismissed.
A tip I would recommend for product based salespeople would be to leave a catalogue with the product earmarked that your promoting to the customer. As soon as the customer opens the catalogue they will see the item you wish to discuss with them. They previously may have not known it was available or that your business sold it.
Another tact I have tried is going through the marketing department. The marketing team of large organisations can have a great influence over the purchasing department. I have secured deals in the past whereby I have provided marketing programs (which incorporated the products I was selling) that gave the client previously unthought of ideas to promote themselves.
Keep a log of all of your cold calls in an Excel Spreadsheet with as much information as you can. As time passes, people move onto new jobs, are promoted or sacked. Every three to six months yCredit: jobs.ezinemark.comou should revisit potential accounts as it shows that your keen for their business. Continue to show added value through new products/ services that are available, send new business their way (if applicable) or simply get to know them better.
As much as you would rather not, you must win the client over to get them to give you a go. If you do manage to obtain their business, do everything in your power to lock them in.
This may be in the way of contracts, wining and dining or providing an offer they simply can't refuse!
Unless you are a highly confident individual who has the "gift of the gab" I would recommend putting some thought into how you approach a "cold call" as it may be the only opportunity you get to provide your sales pitch!
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of the "King Of Sales - Becoming a Successful Salesman"..