Written by Sean McPheat |
People often ask me what makes a successful salesperson?
Technical ability, product knowledge and communication skills rank highly.
However, being successful in sales doesn’t require academic ability, good looks or a posh accent.
The most important attribute you need is confidence.
Here are some tips on increasing your self-confidence:
Start with you.
Being fit and healthy is important.
Eat a healthy diet.
Get regular exercise and invest in your personal relationships.
If you are fit, healthy and happy at home you are more likely to be happy at work.
Invest in your business dress.
Whether you are male or female spend some time effort and cash in improving your appearance.
The better you look the more confident you will feel.
Become an expert in your field.
Many people in sales don’t invest time in getting to know more about their subject.
There are many hundreds of books that have been written about sales and selling.
If you read just 3, or 4 books a year you would be better off than most of your colleagues.
Find a role model.
Find someone who is already successful and match what they do.
Many successful people are happy to share the secrets of their success.
Set yourself objectives.
Successful people have clearly defined objectives both for the long and the short term.
Put together a plan.
Objectives are great but without a plan they often remain unfulfilled.
Set yourself timescales.
Work out a strategy and begin putting things into practice.
Review progress on a regular basis and change the plan as required.
Work on your body language.
When you meet people look them in the eye and smile.
Have a positive handshake and try to look and sound confident.
Build rapport by asking questions rather than talking.
Use effective listening skills.
When you are talking to someone respond to what they are saying by using verbal and non-verbal listening techniques.
Verbal listening techniques include asking questions and summarising what has been said.
Non-verbal techniques are physical responses that show you are interested.
These can include nodding, smiling, taking notes, responding visually in an appropriate way and looking relaxed and interested.
In meetings sit up straight.
I know that this is probably what your mother told you to do when you were young, but it has been estimated that our body language represents 55% of the message we send out at meetings.
Tone of voice represents 38% of the message and the words we use only represents 7% of the message we send.
Do something scary!
Volunteer to make a presentation to a group or set yourself a task that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Go to the theatre on your own.
Just do something that makes you feel nervous and you will feel a real sense of achievement when you realise that everything is possible and achievable.
Build up your network.
Keep in touch with your customers and build in time on a regular basis to prospect and expand your network.
Keep a sense of perspective.
We all find ourselves in situations where we don’t feel confident.
Try to remain positive and keep a sense of perspective.
Buyers will always claim that your competitors always give great service are cheaper than you and are great people to deal with.
Just keep reminding them what a great service you give and what value for money this represents.
Originally published: 14 February, 2017