What are the key components to success in professional sales? Is it just a matter of hard work, knowing the right people, and never accepting “no” for an answer? Or is it more about proven processes, becoming known and trusted in your market, and personal commitment?
If you knew the answer to this question, what difference would it make in your business?
We all know that hard work is important, yet we also know that working hard on the wrong stuff makes you nothing more than tired at the end of the day. And while it matters who you know, it matters more who knows you.
We also know that persistence can pay off, especially for longer-term, consultative sales. Otherwise, customers will be influenced to say “yes” to a question for which the true answer is “no” and the chance of creating a loyal customer through that transaction is slim to none.
3 key components to success in professional sales
First, a professional sale is an on-going process – it has a beginning, followed by several critical steps, and it never ends.
The process begins with the introduction. First impressions count. An old, but certainly not outdated thought is “if they don’t buy you, they won’t be interested in anything else you are selling.” A good introduction allows you to gain favorable attention by establishing rapport.
Genuine interest, demonstrated through a healthy dialog begins to build trust, forming the basis for a new relationship. Trust is essential to the discovery process, i.e., helping the prospect recognize and understand their wants and needs.
Once given permission to do so, it’s time to present the benefits of doing business with you, which is followed by the customer truly saying “yes” and making a commitment to buy your product or service. The sale has occurred, but this is not the end of the process… it is only the beginning of an ongoing professional relationship.
Second, success in sales depends on your ability to identify prospects. Consider a dual approach to this factor – becoming known by people and getting to know people. Effective market communication allows people to learn who you are and what you do. This can be accomplished through advertising, networking, trade shows, etc. Likewise, prospecting may include a combination of activities, such as referrals, strategic alliances, centers of influence, etc.
Whatever methods you use, it is important to have a process for beginning and growing relationships with people who will eventually do business with you because your products or services help them, or their organization, in one of three ways – to gain a benefit, avoid a loss, or solve a problem.
Finally, and possibly the most important key to success is you! We should regularly ask ourselves the question “is my attitude and behavior consistent with what it takes to produce the results I need and want?” If the answer is “no”, then change so your answer can be “yes”.
You can’t get different results by doing what you always did or by thinking the way you always thought. Sometimes, we really can be our own worst enemy. If this describes you, consider taking steps that will help you make the necessary changes, so you can get the improved results you want and deserve.
For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.