I am a salesman and this is what I think.
I work for a big and reputed company. But my work is not easy. It is not limited to standing in AC showrooms and performing an act of show and tell.
Sometimes, I get the privilege of an air conditioned atmosphere, but at other times, I’m asked to roam around, door to door, showing and telling about my products, and how people could benefit from them.
At other times, I am also asked to call people up and advertise, just somehow convince them to take up my policy, or my mobile plan, or even my lottery ticket!
I have a scheduled target to fulfill. Sometimes, it takes hours and hours of persuasion, sometimes it all happens in less than one minute.
I don’t always get to interact with sweet people. I’m not always faced with bad people. It’s like a mixed bag- while some people listen to you patiently, others just snap at you while some others ignore you altogether.
I’ve had a hard life, but this hard life has given me two traits- Patience and Perseverance.
I’ve a hard life, yes, but I’m not writing this to complain. In fact, I’m writing this as a motivation, as a teaching to my fellow salespersons, on how to enhance your skill/expertise in the field.
Through an experience gained over the years, I now present to you a list of some traits for you to adapt, for the benefit of your own self, and that of your customers:
• Good Listening Skills:
With the kind of modern technology we have, there has also developed within our customers a desire for something different, and something personalized. Wide choices have been made available to people, and they now have increasing demands.
As a salesman, I have now realized that it is the most important to be a good and patient listener. You HAVE to have the ability to listen to what exactly it is that your customer demands out of your products, and more importantly, the kind of things he/she DOES NOT want. Trust me; some attention towards these two things will make your work a whole lot easier. I know this can be a very hard thing to do because, as dictated by the human nature, customers are never too sure of what they want, and their demands fluctuate with the kinds of things they see around, but since customer satisfaction remains our primary aim, it is important to have an open mind, and open ears to their demands!
Your job does not end when you show a customer something and he/she likes it. There still remains a HUGE TIME FRAME between when a customer likes something and when he/she agrees to buy that product. You will face endless questions, my friend. But remember, all of this comes imbibed in your job profile. The one who is spending the money has all the right to clear his/her queries, doubts and issues, and you, as the salesperson, have the duty to listen to and attend to all the questions of your customer.
Taxing, yes. Avoidable, no.
“Bhaiya yeh dikhana” and “Bhaiya woh dikhana” never truly ends, and us salespersons cannot agree more. I know how it feels to take out just that last item when you’ve already shown them 50 items before that. Yes, I feel you, mate. But that is what actually tests your skills as a salesperson. Your patience.
Along with being a good listener, it is also important to be a patient person. Our job description implicitly states that no matter how tired we are or how frustrated we get, we still have to put on a smile on our face and convince our customer to buy that last product.
Customers have a very indecisive mind, and they will take the entire world’s suggestions before settling on one thing. This is where we need to display our patience the most.
As a salesman who has been assigned the department of technologies, his woes are, indeed, endless. He requires an extra presence of patience because as a part of his job he will have to give endless demos, explaining the whole functioning mechanism and process again and again, repeatedly. But you can’t do this with a tired countenance or an angry voice. Remember, you’ve been chosen for this because you have patience. Don’t lose that trait.
A lot of people outside the sales department think that these two qualities mark the end of the traits we need to possess. But this is not it!
While these two qualities are probably the most important qualities, there are still other traits that one working in the sales department has to adapt to.
Read on, you fellow sales persons!
• Good Communication Skills:
Selling of a product works entirely on how well are you able to convince the customer. You HAVE to communicate with your customer effectively, in a way that he, too, looks at the product the way you do- something advantageous, something you want to sell and something he wants to buy.
As part of a good communication skill, you have to explicitly firm and clear about the uses of the product, the special features it flaunts, and most importantly, your presentation of the product should make the product seem tempting to the onlooker.
When I had my first job as a salesperson, I wasn’t a very effective communicator. However, with more practice and experience, this skill, too, enhanced. It shall happen for all of you too!
• Positive Attitude:
Just because someone did not like the first thing you showed them does not imply that he/she won’t like the second or the third or the fourth or even the last thing you show them. As a salesperson, it is very important for you to maintain a positive attitude throughout the show and tell process. This positive attitude also requires you to be perseverant towards the entire selling process.
Giving up is not a choice for you!
• Ego Drive:
Seems like a new and different term, isn’t it?
Ego drive is the measurement of how far you can recover after being put down or rejected. How high do you think should your ego drive, as a salesperson, be? Pretty high, I’m assuming? If you plan on staying in the profession and excelling in it, you must not, and I really mean you CAN NOT let one rejection or one disappointed customer disappoint and demotivate you.
There will be hundreds of chances and hundreds of customers.
Cheer up, my friend!
• Honest and Sincere Approach:
This is also probably one of the most important characteristics I will bring to light. Our profession gives us a certain power- of selling whatever we want to the customer. We have a target to fulfil, and hence we have a big incentive. That incentive might sometimes make us dishonest and sell people wrong or defected things. However, as ethics in our field have always suggested, and still do suggest, we should not hide any detrimental truth about the product, or should not exaggerate any imaginary quality about it. Being a sincere salesman will help you establish a good relationship with the customer- something that is good for you as well as for your company.
This is very self- explanatory, I believe. To be effective and convincing enough, you must have complete knowledge of whatever product it is that you are aiming to sell.
• Decent Personality:
To give out a positive vibe and to leave behind a good impression, you should always be decently and properly dressed, and should make yourself seem approachable to your customers so that they can be open with you about their demands.
• Energetic Attitude:
As salesmen, we are never allowed to be sullen or lazy. We’ve to always be at our toes, and seem just as enthusiastic as we were when our day started. It is easier to gain people’s attention when you have an entertaining and enthusiastic attitude.
Note: All the tricks mentioned above are, indeed, tried and tested, and are certified to succeed. You can thank me later.
A fellow salesman.