Sales success doesn’t happen overnight. Most veteran sales leaders’ careers go through a series of trial and error. But whether good or bad, each experience is essential to developing the skills and best practices necessary to become better. I had the pleasure of meeting over 10 sales experts as we developed the Sales 101 course and this Sales Allies community. Learning from them has benefitted me greatly as an entrepreneur and CEO of Creative Allies. I want to share some of these tips for excelling in sales with you. It’s common to learn lessons the hard way when you’re just starting. However, with the following tips, you can avoid many of the pitfalls early on and rise the ranks to become a leading industry expert.
Lesson #1: Lean In To Who You Are
It may sound generic, but being yourself is the most important thing you can do in sales. As you discover new things about yourself, your sales approach will become more personalized. This allows your customer to feel closer to you and your story. Your unique qualities and characteristics are ways for you to create a shared experience with your sales prospects. When you hold back during meetings or tone down your personality, you’re not allowing others to connect with the real you. Selling like others around you only makes you sound like a robot. Your potential buyers can see right through the act.
Lesson #2: Make the Customer the Hero
When you’re just starting in sales, it’s common for your sales pitch to feature you as the star. But instead of claiming to fly in with your red cape and save the day, give your customers centerstage. They are the star, not you. Consider their needs, desires, interests, and feelings throughout their buying process. How can your product or service empower your customer to solve their problem? Allow them to discover their own needs and solutions with your guidance. In this way, the customer sells themselves on the product or service, and all you have to do is provide them with the details to help them complete the transaction.
Lesson #3: Start and End With the Basics
When you commit to a career in sales, you become a lifelong student. Similar to other professions, there is a set of skills you need to master. But you must also continuously grow your foundation, such as research and practicing the basic art of sales, until it feels natural. Once selling becomes second nature, your sales pitch will feel more like a conversation. While new trends that promise to produce high results may be attractive, having a fundamental understanding will ensure that you always have a foundation to fall back on. No matter the technology, platform, or stage, you will be able to apply these principles and move your customers to make a purchase.
Lesson #4: Serve the Customer
The sales process is an exchange between you and your prospect or customer. Provide something when there is nothing in it for you, and you’ll open the door to make customers want to give something back. Remember that you’re a servant, and the more you’re serving others’ needs and the better you are at it, the more they will give back to you by buying your services and products. Even if a person isn’t ready to make a purchase now, you can provide a referral or make a connection. In this way, you become more than a salesperson. You become a solution provider that they remember, and they are more likely to come back to you.
Lesson #5 Listen with Purpose
Every exchange is a selling opportunity, but you don’t just come across a lead. You must be in the moment, reading it correctly, and actively listening. Take time to understand your client, focus on their problem and discover where they are and what they need at various stages of the buying cycle. If you go in and listen to your prospect’s needs, you’ll be successful in aligning your process with the customer’s journey, and when you give customers what they want, they are much more likely to continue to buy from you.
Tips For Excelling In Sales: From Theory to Practice
Now it’s time to put these tips for excelling in sales into practice. While certain aspects of sales may come naturally, other areas can take time to develop. Head over to our YouTube to learn how to close that gap in sales. Using the tips and other resources you find here, you’ll learn to sharpen your skills and become an elite sales professional within no time.