The sales profession is the highest paying hard work and the lowest paying easy work. Virtually, the sky is the limit in earning potential in sales. So it’s obvious that such a profession would require a disciplined and professional approach. A casual and halfhearted approach would only result in lost opportunities and revenues in this field. To rise in sales your approach has to be thoroughly professional. In fact, the more professional you are in your approach the more money you can make. The professional approach to sales is based on certain principles that anybody can follow and master easily.
The Professional Approach
An ordinary approach to sales is what produces mediocre sales people. A professional approach on the other hand transforms an ordinary sales person into a super achiever.
- Being Assertive and Selling with DignityA professional sales person is assertive. They operate from a position of integrity and strength. They are neither aggressive nor submissive. They treat their customers well and in turn get treated well too. An ordinary sales person may allow the client to take them for a ride or be unnecessarily rude to the client, thereby losing the opportunity to make a sale. An unprofessional approach to sales also means allowing the client to be rude with you. It doesn’t matter much if you make the sale but lose your self-esteem. This is not so for the professional sales person. A professional sales person creates win-win situations for both the customer and himself. A professional person sells with dignity.
- Doing Homework WellA professional sales person does their homework well before calling prospects or meeting them in person. Even the process of prospecting is done with a professional approach. Bigger prospects are typically given more weight than smaller ones. But all prospects that provide even the smallest sales opportunity are taken in to account. They find out everything that needs to be known about the prospect and sets about calling or meeting them.
- A Cool AttitudeThe attitude and mannerisms of a professional sales person is cool, calm, and self-assured. They should talk in calm voice and at an unhurried pace.
- Professional Turn OutAttire and appearance speak a lot about professionalism. A personal sales person is smartly dressed. They maintain their mental and physical fitness and acts with honesty and integrity. The old sales adage is “who you are speaks so loudly, of course I can’t hear what you are saying”. Who we act, dress and communicate, both verbally and non-verbally influences our success with prospects.
- Proper EtiquetteYou wouldn’t interrupt the customer while they are talking. You would rather listen to the customer intently. Make note of the customer’s requirements. Note the objections very clearly.
- Talking About the Needs of the CustomerA professional sales person knows that the customer is more interested in themselves. A customer is least bothered if a salesman meets their sales target or not. They don’t even care to talk on the phone for more than one minute if there is no mention of their needs. A professional sales person knows about this. They tailor the sales presentation to suit the needs of the customer. When their turn comes to talk, a professional sales person talks in a clear and pleasant tone.
- Removing ObjectionsThis is where the cool and professional approach comes to the fore. You remove objections so swiftly that the customer doesn’t even realize that they were ever listening to a sales person. The customer feels as if it was their trusted friend that was removing doubts.
- Closing DealsA professional sales person knows when to talk and when to stop. They don’t keep rattling on when there is no need to. You also don’t rush in to close a deal. Your timing is perfect like the drop volley of an ace tennis player. Once you sense the close is approaching you cease the opportunity swiftly and ends the deal with a warm smile and a handshake.
- Honoring Commitments:A sincere salesman only commits what they can deliver. You don’t over-promise and under-deliver. That’s a professional approach. A professional sales person would say, “Perhaps we can give you a maximum reduction of 12.5%”. And you would give at least a 12.5% reduction, not less than that. You promise less and deliver more. You wouldn’t promise a reduction of 15% to the client and retract his commitment.
- Punctual ServiceA customer’s time is very important. A professional sales person keeps this in mind and honors every appointment as per schedule. You wait for the customer and never keep the customer waiting for him.
- Doesn’t Give UpA professional sales person doesn’t give up easily. A ‘NO’ for this person is a signal to try harder.
- Looking For MoreWhen one sale has been made with a customer, a professional sales person takes it as just the beginning. You know the same customer may buy more or provide many referrals later.
Optimism and stick-to-itiveness are the traits of professional sales people. Professionalism in sales involves paying attention to the details. That’s where ordinary sales people falter and professional sales people excel.
About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.
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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.
Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching
Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)