What is a true salesperson? Below are a few common myths I hear when people tell me they “could never sell.” These are all legitimate and understandable concerns, however I’d like to address them one-by-one so that you don’t hold any of these as excuses for not being successful at sales!
What is a true salesperson? Excuse #1: I’m not the selling type
When we see people who are naturally good at selling or speaking, it’s easy to attribute their success to their personality type. Studies however, have shown that any personality type is capable of becoming successful in selling. Furthermore, by believing that successful salespeople are so because of their personality type, we discount the hard work that has gone into perfecting their craft. What will influence your success in sales more are your attitudes, knowledge, skills, and discipline. In the words of Michael Jordan, retired legendary basketball player, “talent is overrated.”
What is a true salesperson? Excuse #2: I don’t have the gift of the gab
Once again, we are talking about a natural gifting rather than hard work. How many of us were excellent at talking at birth? Did we not all have to learn and develop our ability to speak? Furthermore, not having the gift of the gab may work in your favour, because people value others who are good listeners rather than good speakers!
What is a true salesperson? Excuse #3: I don’t want to be unethical
It is unfortunate that there are many unscrupulous salespeople who care more about their pocket than your well-being. Sales in and of itself however, is neither ethical nor unethical. What matters most is your intent and your character. If you are an unethical person, then you will focus more on what you can get from your customers than what you give them. Ethical salespeople on the other hand, focus more on the value they can give rather than the commission they could earn. Ultimately, ethical salespeople will far exceed unethical salespeople because they will earn the repeat business and referrals from customers who appreciate their values.
So now we know what a true salesperson isn’t, let’s look at what a true salesperson is. My favourite analogy is a medical consultant. When you walk into their office, they will sit you down, ask questions to find out more about your situation, run diagnostics, and only then make a recommendation. In this manner we need to be “doctors” of selling. Rather than pushing our products into people’s faces, we need to become excellent at asking qualifying questions to fully understand our prospects’ needs, wants, and pain areas. Only by going through this process can you make a recommendation to link your product to their needs.
Here’s an important point: consultative salespeople need to be prepared to advise against buying if there isn’t a good fit. Why? Imagine what would happen if you persuaded someone to buy your product even though it wasn’t right for them. When they don’t receive the value that was promised, they will cause problems for you and your staff. When speaking to friends and writing on social media, they will create a firestorm for your reputation. In addition to this, stating upfront that you are willing to advise against doing business if there isn’t a good fit shows your prospect that you truly care about their well-being. It gives you an air of confidence and non-desperation. In short, you will close more sales.
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