Understanding Sales: What It Takes To Be Successful.
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
Sales exist to increase revenue and foster good customer relations. Every company has a different way of doing this, but the type of person they employ to do it is relatively similar. Those who connect with most people and close the most deals, share these attributes.
Readily confused with sympathy, which is taking part in someone else's feelings, empathy is the ability to understand those feelings. A large part of sales is listening and relating to strangers. The prospect on the other end of the phone is a person with problems very comparable to yours. The faster they feel comfortable talking about those pain points, the faster a deal can be made. This requires empathy. A salesperson with unmatched motivation to put up numbers isn't enough. They have to understand why the problem is such a pain, and then communicate that understanding in a personable way.
Rejection, rejection, and more rejection. This is what all sales jobs have in common no matter the location or product. If you cannot recognize the opportunity rejection brings, you will never succeed in sales. For example, an experienced sales rep will welcome the "I don't think your product is right for me" resistance because it shows the prospect is intuned with what you're saying, which can then be exploited. A great salesperson believes in the law of averages. They know if they persist through enough rejections, closing a deal is inevitable.
When talking about sales, having confidence means you know your shit. It stems from being prepared. Researching your prospect and how your product can solve THEIR problems is vital. Not to mention being aware of how your product matches up to the competition. You will know that what you're saying is accurate because you researched it first hand. Your confidence will be more evident in what you're pitching the more you prepare.
Confidence grows with experience because, through trial and error, you learn what's more important to prepare for and how to do it efficiently.
There is no such thing as a master salesperson. Every product is uniquely catered to its audience. So as far as the sales approach, one size does NOT fit all. But it's easier to teach a new product than the core attributes all salespeople need to succeed. Particularly in entry-level positions, having a good balance of empathy, persistence, and confidence is much more important than the small amount of experience needed.