This article is based on my 17 years of direct sales experience working in SME, Corporate and Public Sector.
I have been a top 10% National Sales Performer for over 15 years, which included no. 1 position in 1998 and top 3 performer for 3 consecutive years nationally with Orange, and Regional Newcomer of the year in 1990 and Regional Sales Person of the Year in 1991 with Yellow Pages. By following these simple rules, you too can build up your own sales success.
Desire – You can have all the skills and experience in the world, but without desire you will never be the best you can be.
Determination – Learn to accept rejection, it is a part of life and a very big part of any sales role. You cannot win them all: if you do not win a sale, identify and understand the reasons why, learn from this experience and then make the necessary changes to increase your chances of success in securing the next contract. Remember: no means no, not right now, not never.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” (Winston Churchill)
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” (Henry Ford)
Dedication – Put the effort in and you will be rewarded.
Belief – Believability is key to you winning business. Have complete belief in yourself, your company and the products or solutions you are selling.
Passion – When you are enthusiastic and passionate about what you sell and the company you work for, people will buy from you. Enthusiasm is truly infectious.
Recognition – Recognise the help, support and value that people bring to your success. Say thank you when a job is well done and ensure that the people who help you secure a contract are recognised for their contribution. If you adopt this approach, you will gain a team of people who will willingly support you and your customers. Taking all the credit all of the time will create enemies and resentment from support staff and colleagues.
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” (Harry S Truman)
Work SMART – Work smarter not harder, although this is easier said than done. Focus on the parts of your job which are vital and spend less time worrying or working on tasks which do not add value to you, your team performance or your clients. Delegate well and utilise the resources, experience and support you have available to you to help you manage your workload effectively.
You will need to have excellent rapport building and interpersonal skills to master the art of delegation and persuade people to go out of their way for you. When delegating always ask yourself what is in it for them and why should they go out of their way for me. Your ability to sell yourself internally as well as externally is important if you want to gain a good support network that will help you on your journey to success.
Focus – Know what is required of you, including your own personal goals and expectations. Plan and review your performance regularly and manage your time effectively.
Use SMART objectives when setting your personal targets and objectives:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely
Positive Attitude – We have all been there: those days when you get too many emails that you haven’t got time to deal with; customer complaints; a report we need to send to our boss by noon; and a traffic jam which means there is no chance of getting home to watch your favourite footie team play in a crucial match. It happens, but the main thing is to make sure you wake up the next day with a completely positive attitude, put your bad day behind you and move on. Being in sales is tough, stressful and demanding: however, the rewards are high when you perform well so think of all the positives the jobs brings you and you will bounce back to full form.
”Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” (Albert Einstein)
Trust – The saying goes: ‘people buy people’. This is absolutely true – a good account manager can retain customer loyalty through their excellent relationship with a client. The key ingredient is trust; this is why people really buy from people.
Solutions2Success provide a range of Sales, Management and Communication & Influence training courses to help you develop or refresh your skills. You can also share best practice with people in similar positions to further strengthen your skills, and our in-house training courses are available should you prefer an internal only training session or customisation of the course. Visit www.solutions2success.co.uk for further details.
I would be your trainer if you attend any of the open (public) sales training courses & I also provide training for some of the In House programmes. I look forward to meeting & working with you – Happy hunting!
By Debbie Sweeney – Managing Director & Sales Trainer, Solutions2Success