- Do you invest ample time to properly prepare for sales meetings, presentations or the solicitation of new clients?
- Are you researching data on your clients or prospects prior to beginning communications with them?
- Have you ever tried to “wing it” because you believe that you can dance with the best on a whim?
If you answered Yes to any of the above, then you are playing a very dangerous game with your success...
Proper preparation is critical to achieving success. You are a professional, not a hack. To be viewed as a professional, you must be viewed or perceived as an expert about your brand, products or services. Therefore, you must be thoroughly educated and prepared to educate everyone that you come in contact with. This means you are able to answer any questions, or concerns and overcoming objections that are presented to you.
“If you devote one (1) hour a day to learning your craft, and commit to it, you will become an expert.”
In order to become an expert, you must continually perform research about your industry and learn everything you can about your products, services and about your competition.
As an industry, the sales profession has received a poor reputation over the years because of the fast talkers and snakeoil sales people who are all about selling the sizzle without any substance or credibility. Generally, these folks are not trained professionals and often lack ethical sales practices. How do we change peoples' perceptions? The best ways to accomplish this are by constantly improving your knowledge base, listening closely to your clients and building your credibility by delivering measurable results. As a result, you will elevate your game and your clients' satisfaction. (The concept of building credibility is for an entirely different discussion)
“Becoming an expert in your chosen field requires a daily dose of training which is ongoing and never ending.”
Consultative selling or Solutions based selling is an art form which requires a mixture of formal training, creativity, applying your skills, passion and knowledge. And, of course, learning by rote (learning from your mistakes).
"Sales is a Contact Sport which requires an athletes' preparation, mental toughness and sheer determination to become the best." - mn
“Success is learning from failure. Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Failure only truly becomes failure when we do not learn from it.” - John Maxwell
TOOLS OF THE TRADE:
Social Networking /Research Software Tools to utilize:
- LinkedIn, Spoke, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Digg, Plaxo, Bebo, Zoom Info, Hoovers.com, etc.
Sales Training Methods to review:
- Miller Heiman, Sandler Institute, Dr. Charles Karrass, Dale Carnegie, Robbins Research, etc.
Authors to review:
- Napolean Hill, John Maxwell, Stephen Heiman, Robert Miller, Og Mandino, Les Brown, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar etc.
Contact Management Programs:
- Act, Goldmine, Salesforce, Maximizer, SugarCRM, Zoho, etc.