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Often customers remember your business’ initial offering, but have difficulty imagining you producing new services. You’re not alone: being pigeonholed is a common business problem.
Everyone can become good at sales. It’s true that some people have a natural proficiency for selling while others have to work harder to achieve similar results, but the same can be said for nearly every task or skill.
Selling is increasingly complex, which means sales recruitment is critical. Many managers prioritise sales experience in the recruitment process, but this can prove a big mistake. By focusing on industry know-how, you could be seeing the same old people with the same tired ideas.
True entrepreneurs are focused, resourceful, passionate, and driven to succeed. They're pioneers discovering new lands, mapping the way forward, comfortable fighting on the frontline.
Where once the lone salesperson was exalted for their solo efforts on the frontline, now more than ever selling is a social enterprise. The simple phone call to a prospect isn’t where your reach ends – nor is it your client’s final chance to play a killer hand. Blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets and retweets bounce around the internet 24/7, each with the potential to spread positive or negative messages about your salespeople, your business’s promises, your customer service proposition and your brand.
It seems we’ve outgrown the old saying ‘the customer is always right’. While it still underpins our attitude toward customer service, nowadays it’s more a two-way relationship. With more choice on offer, customers are increasingly likely to seek out the salesperson’s expertise. At the same time, a good salesperson will ask for the customer’s opinion, uncovering their exact wants and needs so that they can deliver accordingly.
I’ve met many business professionals frazzled by the sales process. Normally a pillar of strength, smarts and savvy, they hear the word ‘sell’ and their palms start to sweat. Unfortunately, selling has to battle decades’ worth of bad PR to become a valued tool in most professionals’ arsenal. Far from instilling fear, it should be the basis of engaging discussions regarding the activities, processes and behaviours required to sell.
University, with its seemingly endless array of subjects, is an exciting prospect for many folks. Endless, that is, with the exception of a degree in selling. Everybody lives by selling something. Whether you work in a sandwich shop, for a large corporation, are self-employed, or even unemployed, everybody has to sell their skills, their product or a service at some point. Although selling strategies have been around for years, sales people are often poorly regarded and misunderstood.
Can you tell when someone is reading from a script? While many organisations understand and appreciate the importance of a sales script, a clumsily-worded pitch teamed with awkward delivery is unlikely to inspire confidence in your business. Similarly, a salesperson who’s unable to think on their feet when the prospect strays off-script makes your brand look amateurish.
For many sales and marketing professionals, customer complaints are one of their biggest bugbears. While it’s never nice to be on the receiving end of aggro, most of the time it can be diffused (or avoided altogether) if the relationship is handled properly from the outset.