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Getting Started as a Salesperson

Getting Started as a Salesperson

So, you want to be a salesperson, huh? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an amazing journey filled with remarkable opportunities at every turn. It is a field where you’ll meet many like-minded people with the same goals as you and one where you will help people decide where their time and money should be invested. Quite a responsibility!

The problem is you can’t become a salesperson overnight. Well, you could, but you probably won’t be very successful at it. Becoming a top-notch salesperson requires more than a nice suit, a briefcase, a nice smile, and the ability to talk to people. How you prepare for your new career will play a large role in determining your level of success. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started on the right track:

Step 1: Hone Your People Skills

Nobody expects you to be Sir Galahad, but you should definitely be courteous and courageous while interacting with others. In the world of sales, there’s no place for unsociability or time for timidity. Salespeople must be able to maintain their composure in fast-paced and competitive environments.

To convince your clients that your product is superior to your competitors, you must be confident enough to approach clients and promote the brand you represent. Obviously, don’t lie or exaggerate about your product to make a sale but you must be convincing and able to understand how customers behave and actively listen to assist them in making decisions.

Don’t you find it strange when no-one acknowledges you at a car dealership or in a furniture store? It makes you wonder if you’ve made the right decision coming there in the first. Don’t act like an automatic sliding door in front of the grocery store, expecting customers to approach you so that you can perform your duties robotically. To sell your product effectively, you need to take the initiative and share all the knowledge you have with the customer. This way, you can enlighten them on how the product can improve their lives.

Step 2: Develop Your Own Strategy

Salespeople aren’t born good at selling. If you want to be a successful salesperson, you must put in the time to study the art of sales. There are literally hundreds of books on the subject you can borrow from your local library, or if you’re a visual learner, studying sales online might be a better option.

Above all, don’t make the mistake of relying on the company you work for to provide you with all the training you need. While many companies offer excellent sales training to new employees, it doesn’t always cover all the sales techniques you will need to be successful. Worst case scenario: Some companies don’t provide training, preferring to rely on you to pick it up as you go. This is penny-wise pound foolish on their part and disastrous for you if you plan on being a successful sales professional.

Step 3: Research the Product

Trying to sell something you’re not familiar is challenging at best, impossible at worst. You need to know your company’s product or service inside and out if you hope to convince someone else that it is a good purchase. Come across as not knowing your stuff and you will lose that sale. For that matter, not knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is also going to put you in a tough spot. If you don’t exude confidence in your product or service, why would anyone want to buy it?

As you consider your career as a salesperson, consider what services or products you already have an interest in or know the most about. Going into an area you’re already interested in is going to help you develop more in-depth knowledge which will help you be more convincing when pitching to customers. For the most part, you want to avoid going into industries you know nothing about unless you’re a quick study and want to put in the work to get caught up.

Step 4: Get Comfortable at the Bottom

It is common for new salespeople to jump the gun in the early stages of their careers and start pressing for promotions or bigger accounts that they aren’t ready for. Start your career with entry level positions even if you were relatively senior in your old field. Selling is not easy and there’s a lot more to it than you might think. Ease into it. Find a mentor and develop your skills before you start pushing for leadership positions.

Step 5: Never Stop Growing

One thing all GOATs have in common – regardless of their field of endeavor – is that they never lose the drive to learn and improve. At age 35, tennis great Roger Federer hired a specialist coach to help him improve his one-handed backhand; he worked with him for two years before he was satisfied. When asked at a press conference why he made a move like this so late in his career, Federer appeared not to understand the question. His quest for perfection was what made him such a successful tennis player. In truth, it was the only way he knew how to play the game.

Never become cocky and unteachable because you’ve had a couple of good quarters. Stay humble. Work on your craft and that enthusiasm will come through in your dealings with customers and colleagues. For many people, “continuing education” are the two dirtiest words in the English language. Start your career with a thirst for knowledge and do whatever you need to do to stay thirsty.