Salespeople and sales organizations around the world face increasing pressure to achieve their company’s growth goals. Business leaders are asking their sales teams to sell larger, more profitable deals—and to sell them more productively. Experienced, successful salespeople in particular are expected to lead the way in growing sales results.
At the same time salespeople are facing customers, who are increasingly savvy in their buying decisions.
They seek higher, more reliable returns on their invested cash and energy while avoiding risks to their business. Markets are growing more volatile, complex, and uncertain. Competitors in every sector are constantly growing more numerous and more capable. All these factors create pressure on salespeople to differentiate themselves, add more value and reduce risks for customers, and sustain the pace of their selling cycles.
Selling is an important art which every MBA graduate should inculcate. If you research, the CEOs of most companies would have done business development at some point in their career. Business acquisition hits the top line of the organization which brings bread and butter for the employees. Organizations these days hire best of account manager/sales managers’ team to drive larger volumes.
People who thrive in business and organization are the ones who naturally market themselves to the right people in the right way. For some it doesn’t come naturally but they can develop skill and work on some areas to gain on it.
1. Articulate a story
People love stories, say story of rag to riches (Reliance) or how Tata has developed them as the most trusted brand in the world. So tell them a story. It also makes it easier for others to remember you later on. Our minds are essentially “associate machines,” which means we remember things better when there’s a story or association attached to the subject. In other words, if you want people to remember you, tell them a story and make sure it’s good. My advice to young entrepreneurs is not to accept defeat in the face of odds, and challenge negative forces with hope, self-confidence and conviction. If you’re trying to do multiple agendas, you’ll confuse yourself as a storyteller. If you have one purpose, everything else will fall into place.
2. Keep it simple
You need to put in all your effort to ensure you don’t behave like a fool. Perhaps this is an important life lesson. Most people think just to dissect words, by giving wrong reference, and to exchange peculiar examples, will help them crack a deal. You are absolutely clueless about how much the other person silently mock on your idiotism. The idea is to answer what is been asked, it’s good to back your statement with an example but the pattern should match. Say you are talking about after sales services and suddenly you jump to price this confuses the interviewer and put you at risk. You need to be able to explain what you do and who you are in a way that appeals to most people. This means avoiding acronyms or terminology that wouldn’t be understood by someone outside of your industry.
3. Keep an eye on time
Have your ever thought about elevator pitch i.e. say you meet an executive president in a lift and you have to explain what you do and who you are in a way that appeals to most people. This means avoiding acronyms or terminology that wouldn’t be understood by someone outside of your industry in 30 seconds. If you can’t, cut down the details and try again. Mostly all sales agents follow elevator pitch
whenever they meet a potential customer and successful one converts most of them. The secret to modern life is finding the measure in time management and is probably the biggest thing I’ve had to learn to deal with being on the corporate life
4. Bullet your thoughts
Keep out any irrelevant details that take away from your core message don’t be like a speeding bullet that never hit the target. Segregate your thoughts and speak from top to down approach i.e. most important points at the top followed by important and finally fill it with the background. Everyone find irritating to the core when you give a lengthy background and push your message across without knowing where to end. Bullets are often used in technical writing, reference checks, notes and presentation but if you are able to map it in your brain while you speak will help you greatly. Bullets points make life easier for you as a speaker and you don’t need to worry about how your sentences flow from one point to the next.
5. Self Confidence
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. Self-confidence is the biggest attribute and success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Prepare your mind to have positive attitude and trust yourself that you can do it. Know your strengths (may be good speaker, descent product knowledge etc.) but be willing to take risks and learn from your actions. Be realistic; see possibilities or opportunities rather than failure. Confidence comes from experience and experience comes from bad decisions.
Friends selling ourselves is the pretty much selling anything! Firstly, you need to believe in what you’re selling. That means believing in “you”. Successful people have a constructive and optimistic way of looking at themselves and their work. They have an attitude of calm, confident, positive self-expectation. They feel good about themselves and believe that everything they do will lead to their inevitable success.
If you’re in a sales job or may be in any job, you need to continually work on your attitude and talk positively. Don’t say – “Isn’t it a horrible day” or “Business is pretty tough at present” or anything else that pulls the conversation down. Say things like and speak only the truth – “I like the design of this office” or “I’ve heard some good reports about our new product.”
Contributed By : Vaibhav Chandra, Class of 2009, IBS Hyderabad