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How To Achieve Excellence in Sales

Most people are striving to better themselves. It's only natural. People are seeking better lives for themselves and for their families. Most want to improve their standard of living, increase their income, and put aside some money for a rainy day. Check the sales figures on the number of self-improvement books sold each year. It is an indication of people's awareness that in order to better themselves, they must continue improving their abilities.

To excel in any selling situation, you must have confidence. Confidence comes first and foremost from knowledge. You have to understand yourself and your goals in order to develop an attitude of self-confidence. You must identify and accept your weaknesses as well as your special talents. This requires a personal honesty that not everyone is capable of exercising. In addition to knowing yourself, you must continue to learn about people. As you do to yourself, you must also do toward others. Be caring, forgiving, and laudatory with others.

In any sales effort, you must accept other people as they are, not as you would wish them to be. One of the most common faults among sales people is impatience. When the prospective customer is slow to understand or make a decision, too often a salesman becomes aggravated or overly aggressive. The successful salesperson handles these situations the same as he would if he were asking a girl for a date, or even applying for a new job. He takes his time. He listens closely to the other person. He directs the conversation toward positive aspects rather than negative ones. Knowing your product, making a clear sales presentation to qualified prospects, and closing more sales will take a lot less time once you know your own capabilities and failings, and come to understand and care about the prospects upon whom you are calling.

Because our society is built upon commerce, all of us are selling something all the time. Even if we are not promoting a specific product, we are least selling an image of ourselves to those around us. We are projecting personalities that we hope others will accept and to which they will respond favorably. We move up or stand still in direct relation to our sales efforts. Everyone is included, whether we're attempting to be a friend to a co-worker, a neighbor, or selling multi-million dollar real estate projects. Accepting these facts will enable you to understand that there is no such thing as a born salesman. Indeed, in selling, we all begin at the same starting line, and we all have the same finish line as the goal a successful sale.

Recognizing that we're all sales people in one way or another whether we're attempting to move up from forklift driver to warehouse manager, waitress to hostess, salesman to sales manager, or from mail order dealer to president of the largest sales organization in the world it's vitally important that we continue learning. Only by applying ourselves to the never-ending task of self-improvement will we ever be able to cross that line from mediocrity to success. Utilizing the proper tools, anyone can sell virtually anything to virtually anybody. While it is true that there are some items that are easier to sell than others, and while some people work harder at selling than others, regardless of what you're promoting or even how you're attempting to do it, the odds can be in your favor. If you make your presentation to enough people, you'll find a buyer. The problem with most people is in making contact and getting their sales presentation seen, read, or heard by enough prospects. But this really shouldn't be a problem. The principle error is one of impatience. With training this impatience can be harnessed to work in the salesperson's favor.

Getting up out of bed in the morning and doing what has to be done in order to sell more units of your product keeping records, updating your materials, planning the direction of further sales efforts, and all the while increasing your own knowledge requires a great deal of personal motivation, discipline, and energy. But the rewards can be beyond your wildest dreams. Make no mistake about it, the selling profession is the highest paid occupation in the world!

Selling is challenging. It demands the utmost of your creativity and innovative thinking. The greater your desire to succeed and the deeper your dedication toward the achievement of your goals, the more you'll sell. Thousands of people the world over become millionaires each year through selling. Many of them were flat broke and unable to find a regular job when they began their selling careers. Yet, they've created success. You can do it too!

[related book]

Selling is the best way to achieve wealth. You get paid according to your own efforts, skill, and knowledge of people. If you're ready to become rich, then seriously consider selling a product or service preferably something exclusively yours that you have created yourself. Choose something that you write, manufacture, or produce for the benefit of other people. Outside of this, the want ads are full of opportunities for ambitious sales people. You can start there, study, learn from experience, and watch for the chances that will allow you to move ahead by leaps and bounds.

Here are some basic guidelines that will allow you to increase your total sales and income. I like to call these tips the Commandments of Strategic Salesmanship. Look them over. Dedicate some thought to each suggestion. Adapt those that you can to your own selling efforts. You will likely be rewarded many times over for the brief investment of time you spend in studying these suggestions.

  • If the product you're selling is something your prospect can hold in his hands, get it into his hands as quickly as possible. Include the prospect in the presentation. Let him hold the product in his hand, feel it, weigh it, admire it.
  • Don't stand or sit alongside your prospect. Instead, face him while you're pointing out the important advantages of your product. This will enable you to watch his facial expressions and determine how and when you should begin to close the sale.
  • While handling sales literature, hold it by the top of the page, at the proper angle, so that your prospect can read it as you highlight the important points. You don't want to cover the text or any graphic elements in your sales literature that might help convince the client of the product's value. Also, don't release your hold on it. You want to be able to control the specific parts you want the prospect to read. In other words, you want the prospect to read or see only the sections of the sales material about which you're telling him at a given time.
  • When you encounter a prospect who won't talk with you or provide feedback to your sales presentation, you must dramatize your presentation to get him involved. Stop and ask questions such as, "Now, don't you agree that this product can help you or would be of benefit to you?" After you've asked a question such as this, stop talking and wait for the prospect to answer. In most cases, following such a question, the one who talks first will lose. Don't say anything until after the prospect has given you some kind of answer. Wait him out!
  • Prospects who are themselves sales people or who imagine they know a lot about selling sometimes present difficult selling obstacles, especially for the novice. However, these prospects can be the easiest of all to sell. Give your sales presentation. Instead of trying for a close, toss out a challenge such as, "I don't know, Mr. Prospect. After watching your reactions to what I've been showing and telling you about my product, I'm very doubtful if this product can truthfully be of benefit to you." Then spend a few seconds just looking at him and waiting for him to say something. Then, start packing up your sales materials as if you are about to leave. In almost every instance, your tough nut will quickly ask you, "Why?" These people are generally so filled with their own importance that they simply have to prove you wrong. When they start on this tangent, they will sell themselves. The more skeptical you are concerning their ability to make your product work to their benefit, the more they'll demand that you sell it to them. If you find that this prospect will not rise to your challenge, then go ahead with the packing of your sales materials and leave quickly. Some people are so self-centered that it is a poor use of your valuable time to attempt to convince them.
  • Remember that in selling, time is money! You must allocate only so much time to each prospect. The prospect who asks you to call back next week, or who wants to ramble on about similar products, prices, or previous experiences, is costing you money. Learn quickly to get the prospect interested in and wanting your product. Then systematically present your sales pitch through to the close when he signs on the dotted line and reaches for his checkbook. You must spend as much time as possible calling on new prospects. After the introductory call on your prospect, you should be selling products and collecting money. Any callbacks should be only for reorders, or to sell related products from your line. In other words, you can waste an introductory call on a prospect to qualify him, but you're going to be wasting money if you continue calling on him to sell him the first unit of your product. When faced with a reply such as, "Your product looks pretty good, but I'll have to give it some thought," you should quickly jump in with a response. Ask him what it is that he doesn't understand, or what specifically about your product does he feel he needs to give more thought. Let him explain, and then go back into your sales presentation and make everything crystal clear for him. If he still balks, then you can either tell him that you think he's procrastinating, or that on the whole you don't think the product will really benefit him or that it's purchase will be to his advantage.
  • Review your sales presentation, your sales materials, and your prospecting efforts. Make sure you have a "door-opener" introduction that arouses interest and compels a purchase the first time around. This can be as simple as giving the customer a free item as an interest stimulator to make him more inclined to view your entire line. Offer a special marked-down price on an item that everybody wants. The important thing is to get the prospect on your list of current buyers and off your list of potential clients. After you have captured the first sale, follow up via mail or telephone with the related but more profitable products you have to offer.

If you have worked hard at selling in the past, you will readily find the value in these suggestions. Study them. Apply them in your own work. When you realize your first success, you will truly agree that salesman are made not born.

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