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Sales Training: The Road to Success

The Salesman As Negotiator

A lot of people are “negotiations phobic;” which is to say, they are simply uncomfortable with the idea of saying how they feel and asking for what they want in an atmosphere that feels slightly confrontational. However, when the aim of the negotiation is to close an important business deal, the stakes are even higher, because issues of financial gain and job security are also at stake. In The Salesman As Negotiator, we help you to see that what is really at stake in a negotiation is the opportunity to build a valuable relationship.

The Road to Success: Be a Winner in the Sales Industry

Equip yourself with the appropriate selling skills and mindset before you step into the sales battlefield!

Doing sales is no longer the same as before. One has to constantly upgrade his skills so as to attain a larger market share in such competitive times. Without the appropriate skills and mindset, selling is an extremely tedious process, especially in the long run.

Having the appropriate sales skills and mindset is vital, as all these assist a sales person to compete in the challenging sales market. How do you know if a sales person is facing difficulties in selling?

The following symptoms may indicate that you or your sales team lack the skills and motivation to be competitive in the market:

· The sales person requires monitoring at all times, so as to motivate him to perform. On the other hand, a good sales person is able to perform routine tasks with minimal supervision.

· The sales person suffers from Monday blues. He dreads going to work and feels unenthusiastic and gloomy especially on Mondays. His productivity is low during the first few days of the week.

· The sales person holds several part-time jobs simultaneously, despite having a full-time sales job. This could mean that his income from his full-time job is insufficient and hence, he ends up sourcing for more opportunities after office hours. Very often, one’s performance is measured in terms of his contribution to the company and as such, the sales person has to focus on his main job. This will definitely affect his attention for other sales activities after office hours. If he fails to perform well in his main sales job, this could either mean that he is not giving his full commitment to his full-time job or that he lacks the skills for the job. From my research, most sales people who are holding multiple sales jobs will not be able to perform well in their full-time jobs.

· The sales person feels negative and stressed in his job. He might even criticize the products should he face difficulties in selling them. His lack of confidence in selling the products could be attributed to his incorrect mindset, lack of product knowledge, or selling skills. He is struggling in sales instead of enjoying his career.

· The sales person is not motivated to achieve a breakthrough in his sales results, as he is comfortable with his current performance. He does not bother to make a conscious effort to upgrade his skills or increase his knowledge.

· The sales person is disorganized and does not plan his tasks. Without a proper, organized plan, he is not able to maximize his productivity.

· The sales person is not willing to learn. Upgrading is essential to enhance the skills and knowledge of the sales person. He is not motivated to upgrade himself and will eventually be forced to leave the market. He may be satisfied with his current skills and knowledge and has a poor attitude towards learning. Perhaps he chooses to remain in his comfort zone and hence, is not bothered about making progress. As a result, he does not have the appropriate skills and mindset to be competitive in the sales market. Such people are one of the first to be retrenched, especially during this economic downturn.

Doing sales is really tough in the long run, especially for those who are not well prepared for the challenges ahead. These include sales people who are not focused in their jobs due to having multiple unrelated sales jobs, those who are not motivated and wander aimlessly in their sales careers, as well as those who do not adopt the proper mindset and attitude in the competitive and challenging sales industry.

Rather than relying solely on one’s company, one should be prepared to sharpen his own sales skills, master the right techniques, as well as adopt the appropriate mindset in the sales market.

A good sales person knows how to propose the right products and services so as to meet the needs of his prospects. As such, he has to understand human buying behaviour. Hidden motives and intentions influence the prospects’ decision making, which ultimately affect their purchasing decisions. Therefore, the sales person has to be able to make a link between the benefits of his products and the needs of his prospects. This will increase the probability of his prospects purchasing his products. Human behaviour can be easily interpreted through observing their body languages. This will enable the sales person to anticipate the next move of his prospects and take action to help them make a decision. Thus, the selling process encompasses taking into consideration how to stimulate one’s prospects to purchase his products.

To sum it up, a sales person has to master the following aspects when proposing to his prospects:

· Hidden motives in decision making
· Common human buying behaviours
· Body languages and how you can interpret them to anticipate the next move
· Relevant and appropriate words to use in the selling process

A third aspect that a sales person has to learn is rejection handling, as well as the product knowledge. Very often, a rejection is due to the service of the sales person or the product itself, and as such, the sales person has to be good in his product knowledge. In other words, a sales person’s product knowledge can affect a prospect’s purchasing decision.

Overcoming a prospect’s rejection is adjacent to closing the deal. If the prospect is satisfied with the sales person’s recommendation, it is likely that he will make the purchase immediately. On the other hand, a sales person may also meet customers who do not even intend to purchase his products in the first place. Such customers may ask many questions to ‘entertain’ the sales person, and hence, the latter has to learn how to deal with such customers.

The fourth aspect that a sales person has to master is the closing stage. Without a strong understanding of the above three aspects – prospecting, proposing and rejection handling, the closing stage will be a tedious one. Many sales people are only too eager to master the closing stage that they overlook the other three aspects. This is an incorrect mindset in sales, as the other three stages are equally as important as the closing stage. The understanding of body languages and human behaviours will assist a sales person greatly in closing a deal.

Besides mastering the relevant sales skills and techniques, adopting the appropriate mindset is also extremely crucial to the success of a sales person.

Adopting the appropriate mindset involves having the right attitude and behaviour. This affects a sales person’s motivation and ability to achieve his targets. Everyone should aim for progress, be it a higher status or an increased standard of living. It is pointless to remain in the same position year after year. Therefore, adopting the right mindset will influence one’s behaviour and improve his sales performance in the long run. Regardless of the industry one is in, it is crucial that he adopts the right mindset and learning attitude. Even if one has been rejected by his prospect, he should take it as a learning experience and instead, motivate himself to improve his skills for future success.

In addition, a sales person should always bear in mind the common mistakes made by others. If one is not aware of his mistakes, there is a tendency to repeat them. This is definitely a waste of time and more importantly, extremely costly, especially in terms of the lost deals.

Personal grooming is an essential aspect in sales as well. First impressions are always important, and a good first impression would provide for a positive and comfortable atmosphere between the sales person and his prospect.

Winning over the prospect during the first moments is definitely one step towards winning the race.

Undoubtedly, sales can be a most fun, challenging and enjoyable career for many of us. The opportunities in a sales career are endless and the income can be quite unlimited, especially for jobs which are commission-based. As long as one masters the necessary skills, practises the right techniques, learns the required knowledge, and adopts the appropriate mindset, he will be able to achieve his goals. This is especially so for those who are more ambitious, as they will be the ones to benefit most!

- By Kelvin Chia

"Sales - A Winning Attitude Sells"

Consulting Sales Quote
"It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself."
Muhammad Ali

Sales Training: Suggested Reading

The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople
by Stephan Schiffman

The Little Red Book of Selling : 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
by Jeffrey Gitomer

Discover Your Sales Strengths: How the World's Greatest Salespeople Develop Winning Careers
by Benson Smith, Tony Rutigliano

Proactive Sales Management: How to Lead, Motivate, and Stay Ahead of the Game
by William Skip Miller

Major Account Sales Strategy
by Neil Rackham

22 Keys to Sales Success: How to Make It Big in Financial Services
by James M. Benson, Paul Karasik

The 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes: And How to Avoid Them
by Stephan Schiffman

Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value
by John DeVincentis

The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth
by George W. Dudley

Hope Is Not a Strategy: The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale
by Rick Page

Sales Closing for Dummies
by Tom Hopkins

Sales Management
by Robert J. Calvin

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