Written by Sean McPheat |
There’s no hard and fast rule for being the best in sales.
Natural ability plays a part, but the way you develop your communication skills, your competencies and knowledge of uncovering opportunities will take you further in your career.
There are processes you can go through to develop your sales talent but, in my experience, there are five keys to building quality salesmanship, and I’ve made them easy to remember by using the vowels of the alphabet.
Yes, just think AEIOU, and you’ll be safe!
First, Attitude. Defined in three areas, our attitude can help or hinder us, depending on its nature.
The Cognitive component of our attitude refers to our beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that we associate with something. The Affective component refers to your feelings or emotions linked to something. Your responses will affect your attitude toward that thing. For example, if your response to difficult customers is to walk away from conflict, then it will affect your attitude to those kind of people. Finally, the Behavioural component refers to past behaviours or experiences regarding something. This means that people might infer their attitudes from their previous actions.
Simply put, we choose our attitude. No-one forces you to feel the way you do. It’s one of the few things you have total control over. So, by deciding what attitude you will take on a call or to a sales meeting, you end up determining the outcome, or at least you confirm your control over your response to the outcome.
Next is Enthusiasm. Think of this as the results of your attitude. Originally from the Greek word meaning ‘possessed by a god’, how you show your enthusiasm for something may determine the results you achieve.
Other terms that come to mind are eagerness, fervour, zeal and passion. People who have these qualities in abundance influence others for the positive. We’re not saying you have to be over-the-top with your enthusiasm and make others wonder what drugs you’ve been taking! Controlled enthusiasm shows you are aware of the impact you are having and the effect can be very positive if it’s genuine and for real.
The next word is Involvement. This entails building rapport with your prospect and involving them in making decisions or choosing from a range of options. When buyers feel involved, they ask more questions, build closer relationships and look for further opportunities. By involving your prospect in the presentation, negotiation and problem-solving, you confirm that any decisions are joint decisions and build confidence in them that they can trust you.
Next, you should be always looking for Opportunities. What might these include? Well, you might see the company are expanding or building new offices. Maybe they are taking on more people. It’s possible you pick up news from the grapevine that they are increasing investments in the area you cater for.
Whatever it is, the opportunities available to you will always present themselves if you keep involved with the company and the potential they may be offering you.
The final word is Understanding. Whether this means you need to ask more questions or seek out more information, it requires you to listen, contemplate, enquire and critique before you make decisions. By understanding the way your prospect thinks it enables you to decide together which is the right direct for both your companies.
Stephen Covey once said that you should “Seek first to understand before being understood”. This means you put the focus and emphasis on the prospect’s business before wondering how you can help. By doing that you can make sure your level of understanding is sufficient to offer alternative solutions to your prospect’s challenges.
So, remember your AEIOUs in order to make the best impact you can with your future prospects.
Originally published: 12 October, 2015