Working in sales can be a difficult and stressful occupation. The responsibilities of salespeople (managing quotas, juggling customer profiles, staying up to date on products, etc.) can feel like a full-time job, and you haven’t even sold anything yet! But with the right tools, attitude, and a great management team backing you up, you can unlock your sales potential, bringing success to yourself and your company. After all, you already have the best products, why shouldn’t you be successful in sales? As you continue to grow as a salesperson, these tools will prove effective time and time again.
The Importance of Salespeople in the age of Online Shopping
Even decades into the Online Age salespeople are still important because they offer a personal connection that will never be replicated by automation or AI. Salespeople draw on their experience and knowledge to provide advice and help answer questions, which can’t be done with an online order form. As relationships grow salespeople develop a better understanding of their customers’ needs. Because salespeople know their company’s products better than anyone else, they can quickly and easily offer personalized recommendations to fit those needs. Salespeople may have access to special sales opportunities and discounts unavailable elsewhere, providing additional value that cannot be found online.
Your salespeople are also important to the image and culture of a company. A successful sales team brings an air of professionalism and confidence to your business, increasing productivity by improving morale. After all, nothing boosts morale quite like success.
Now that we’ve reminded ourselves why salespeople are important, let’s take a look at some time-tested strategies to make your salesforce as successful as possible.
#1 Lead with Empathy
It’s important to understand that every customer has a different perspective and background, so leading with empathy and understanding is important in building relationships. When you show that you care about your customer, you’re building trust, which will help them feel confident in their purchase decision. Suddenly, instead of a salesperson and a potential customer, you become two allies with similar goals and a shared desire for success.
#2 Educate Your Customers
A good salesperson is also a teacher; it isn’t enough to present a product, you must teach your customers why your product is right for them and how it will improve their business. But an effective teacher knows that there is a limit to what can be learned in one sitting; never overload your customers with information or confuse them with too many options. Be sure to leave lots of time in your meetings for questions, so your customers leave with the information they need, as well as the information you want them to have.
#3 Listen More Than You Talk
While being an informative and warm presence is important for a salesperson, it’s also important to know when to listen. In fact, if you can listen more than you talk you might be surprised by what you hear. Customers will often describe pain points outside the scope of the product being discussed, which gives you the opportunity to provide potential solutions. If you spend most of your time talking, you’ll never hear the extra info that can turn a simple purchase into a long-lasting relationship.
Simply listening to your customers has the added benefit of making them feel safe and heard, and not pressured into spending money. Maybe there’s no sale today, but the potential customer will feel respected and will be calling you again soon.
#4 Turning Objections into Questions
As salespeople, we hate hearing “no.” But sometimes, a customer’s objection is an opportunity for you to shine. When a customer has concerns or objections with your product, don’t just accept it and shut down. Ask your potential customers to elaborate and explain their worries. If you’ve done an excellent job listening to and making them comfortable, your customers will feel safe expressing their concerns. As you continue to listen, you’ll better understand the situation, and be able to offer solutions and provide more information about your product. Asking questions makes the customer feel involved in the process, which can lead to more sales and a higher rate of success.