Why ‘Sales’ will be the Most Valuable Job you ever had
Whether it’s a lifelong career in sales and business development, or a short term stint working retail whilst at university, many of us at some point in our lives find ourselves taking on a role that requires us to sell something.
It could be products in store, memberships over the phone or an experience online. Tangible or non-tangible – any business with a product or service to share, needs people to influence and inform others of the benefits they can gain.
In fact, there are few who truly love the art of selling – they are the hunters who thrive on the adrenalin of winning. They have the natural instincts, adaptability and willingness to go to great lengths to secure the sale. They are personable, knowledgeable and charismatic – they are born to sell.
But even those of you to which selling makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, I guarantee you, working in sales at least one time in your life will benefit your entire life and career in ways you never imagined.
Sales usually requires the seller (you) to approach the client and take the lead. It’s the salesperson who navigates the journey and this requires the confidence to start the process and follow it through.
Self-confidence is an essential ingredient in your career and will help you when you need to make a presentation at work, or wish to speak up in a meeting.
The very first step of sales, before you even start discussing what it is you’re wanting to sell, is building a relationship. Starting a conversation, finding common ground, making a joke – building rapport is the foundation to a successful sale. You’re gaining trust and building an alliance.
This valuable skill translates to so many real life experiences from attending a job interview to meeting new work colleagues, being able to quickly and sincerely build relationships with people will be a lifelong asset.
Perfect the Art of Listening
A true salesperson will always take time to listen to the client first. If we don’t know what their needs are, it makes it harder to sell our product. Asking open ended questions and really listening to what they want will make it easier to match them with the right product or services.
Listening is an often forgotten skill when it comes to all interactions in the workplace and beyond. When people feel heard they are happier, more productive and more willing to listen in return.
Identifying needs and how you can meet them
The next step from listening is to figure out and understand what the client needs and how you can fill the gap. If your client wants a green tractor, don’t try and sell them a red sports car.
In business and life, the same principles stand. Are you a Manager? Find out what your team need from you, don’t assume. Is your neighbor angry? There’s no point trimming back your garden if the real issue is the loud music coming from your house. Identifying people’s needs leads to quicker, more effective solutions.
Let’s face it, the key to sales really comes down to being able to convince someone that they need what you are offering.
Learning the art of persuasion through language, non-verbal cues, eye contact and body language will leave you with the ability to influence and persuade others in all aspects of life, and all with a smile on your face!
A great salesperson must feel comfortable asking for the sale, coming right out and saying ‘so how would you like to pay for that?’
The confidence to say exactly what you want and how you want it (and perhaps more importantly, knowing when to say it) will see you moving forward in life. Deserve that promotion? You’ll know exactly how to ask for it!
Your career in Sales, no matter how short or lengthy, may not be your favourite job but when you look back at all you have learnt and the impression it has had on your career, I’m sure you’ll agree on its lasting impact and value.