Successful consultative sales professionals know that product knowledge is the underlying key to their success. It's often said "that he or she who has the most knowledge wins." Nothing could be more accurately stated as it pertains to sales. Taking the time to learn your own products, as well as those that you compete against is the number one factor in building self-confidence. Self-confidence translates into highly effective inter-personal communications skills. When you know your product you can have an intelligent conversation rather than just delivering a "canned" sales pitch with your prospective client or customer.
A true sales pro knows that psychology plays a major role in the sales process. Every prospective client or customer is a unique individual. Some are amiable; others are expressive; some are analytical; and others have a combination of all of these traits.Recognizing these traits in the prospect's that you are attempting to sell plays a major part in the sales process and is integral to being successful at sales. How you "read" your customer or client; learn how to approach and adjust your communications style with each of these personality types; is a major component of the sales process.
From our point of view as individuals that have had successful careers in management; sales; sales management; and business development for over 40 years, we believe and teach that an effective business and sales process is about sharing your company's, or your practice's, great talents and strengths, and connecting powerfully with those who are connected to your work in terms of value, approach, style and outcomes.
Being open, honest, knowledgeable and transparent about who you are and what you deliver, along with serving as an effective listener, educator, decision-maker and team-builder will help you or your company achieve the sales you need and want. It will also help you do something much bigger---help you find new ways to be of service to others and the world around you. Not just at work, but in your personal life as well, and contributing to the community where you live and ply your profession.
You may not realize it, but It's a well known fact that 15% of sales professionals in any organization do 85% of the business for the company that they represent. What separates the 15% from the other 85%? Only 15% of most salesmen in any industry sector ever develop "the heart of a teacher". When you understand that selling is totally about educating your prospect and answering their objections, you will become the successful sales professional you strive to be and find selling to be a rewarding career.
4. Work Ethic
Successful sales people wake up every morning with an attitude as if they are "unemployed" and that they are running their own business. They plan their work a year, month, week and day at a time. Successful and productive salesmen "plan their work and work their plan", realizing that they have to do the things that it takes every single day to be successful. They prospect; make phone calls; call on prospective customers or clients; set appointments; follow-up on previous meetings; and constantly strive to improve their product knowledge, while always working on improving their communications skills and selling techniques.
Being a good talker is one thing; being an effective communicator is altogether different. Talkers talk and end up wasting the prospects time and lose their attention and interest. Effective communicators determine who they are talking to and what the prospects needs are. They focus on the problem or the need and educate their client or customer by listening carefully to the prospects questions, concerns, and stated needs and objectives. They tactfully probe the prospect with well designed questions of their own, and respond by providing succinct and educated answers that demonstrate their interest, care and concern for the prospect. Good communicators also do a great job of demonstrating their own knowledge of the product or service they sell. Additionally, they recognize that effective communications isn't solely related to their verbal skills, but equally in their ability to communicate an effective message in writing as well.
The true sales professional doesn't concern him or herself with the commissions they will earn from the sale, but understand that success and repeat business comes from providing the client or customer with the right solution.