So often we only talk about the obvious tools and tactics we need to be a successful sales person, so much so, that we overlook some of the smaller details that could help us be successful, those that could give us an edge over our competition. They say that the devil is in the details and in sales like in every other career this is true.
Here then, are a few of those “details” that will help you be a better, more effective, and yes, more successful sales person:
- Look the part. It seems that the only people who look successful these days are the bad guys, the lawyers, the bankers, and the politicians. Be honest when you see a man in a gray pinstriped suit, highly polished black lace-up shoes, and carry a fancy leather briefcase, the first thing that goes through your mind is that he is one of those guys. But, remember when we all dressed that way? Remember when all the men wore suits and ties to work? And the women, the few there were back then, wore their conservatively-cut suits as well? Now, I’m not saying we go back to those days, not all the way at least, but, we should always try to be the best-dressed person in the room. In these days of company logo shirts make sure that yours is the best pressed shirt in the room. Make sure your slacks are pressed and your shoes are shined. The same with women, well in the case of the women they don’t need my advice, the ones I know all dress professionally and are always much better dressed than the guys. Anyway guys, this simple detail is to always be the best dressed person in the room. It is an easy way for you to always be outstanding.
- Be an actor. I know this one seems out of place in our profession, but it really isn’t, if you think about it, in sales we are always asked to perform, whether it be a sales presentation or a one on one meeting with a new buyer we are always in fact, performing. By performing, I mean putting our best foot forward, making our presentations interesting and yes sometimes dramatic. You are going to get much better results if you are interesting and if you present your sales pitch or presentation in a provocative and dramatic way. Some of the best sales people I know have taken drama classes; and if you think about it for even a minute, it makes sense. Taking a drama class will give you the right skills you need to be a great sales person.
- Neurolinguistics: “What the heck is that?” I hear you asking. I first heard about neurolinguistics in a Tony Robbins book I read a few years ago, it’s just the art of coordinating your conversation with the person you are conversing with. If the person is a laid back slow-talker, you take on that characteristic. If she talks fast and is kind of brusque then you do the same. It’s an amazing tactic and it works surprisingly well. It can also be used to set the pace of any conversation you are having. Because it can work in reverse and you can set the tone of the conversation as well. If for example, the person you are talking to is anxious and irritated you can calm her down by slowing the conversation down and bring some calmness to the discussion. There are entire books written on this subject, pick one up and read it, I promise it will help with your sales effort.
- Listening and hearing: Yes, just learn, to not only listen, but to hear, and understand as well. How many of us have had a discussion with someone that did not go well and then a few hours later when we take the time to reflect on that talk, we realize that what the person was trying to tell us was completely opposite of what we thought at the time. Suddenly a light goes on in our brains and we realize that we completely mishandled that conversation we wish we could back and do it again. This situation can be avoided be carefully listening. Not only listening to what a person is saying but hearing what he means as well. Always remember that old adage that “no one ever learned anything by talking.”
- Be helpful: People like people who help them, so go out of your way to be helpful. Know everything you can about your customers and figure out how you can be the most helpful to them. Look out for your customers and in the end, they will look out for you. Simple as that.
As I said earlier, the devil is in the details and as good sales people on our way to being great sales people we should always be looking for just the right details that will help us be the great sales people we strive to be. It’s only common sense