How to be a good sales associate in a competitive marketplace?
We live in a very competitive marketplace today with so many companies / businesses selling the very same / similar products to a saturated customer base. In such an environment have you ever wondered, “How to be a good sales associate who is loved by his / her customers and yet very successful as a sales person?”.
Traditionally, sales people have usually been considered as pushy and even dishonest at times to make their sales. So many potential customers distrust even the most genuine sales people due to this one reason. Also, so many people with a great sales potential in them avoid getting into the sales profession due to this very same reason.
What a pity, because “sales” they say, is one of the most highly paid professions in the world, and rightfully so. A good sales associate who thinks win-win, knows how to build healthy relationships with others, is honest and genuine, can literally sell him/herself to riches in the course of his / her lifetime and yet be completely satisfied and peaceful in his / her heart.
“I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation.” ~ Bo Bennett
However, in the last few years, there has been a shift in the way people perceive sales and marketing. Companies and businesses have started shifting out from the age old mindset of “pushing” your products and services onto people, to a mindset of “attracting” the right people to your products and services (who are in genuine need of what you have to offer).
I like to summarize this shift as follows:
“Problem solving and value addition are the new sales paradigms. Build your business around these fundamentals and you are bound to build a great business in the course of time.”
In-line with above understanding, here a few best practices for you to consider while selling your products and services to others:
- Understand that every business exists simply to help people solve some specific problem in their life, be it entertainment or food or health or computer services or anything else. This is the basic purpose of every business and no business can sustain itself if it does not help its intended target audience in some way or the other.
- Start viewing your product or service as a vehicle of service to others. The rule of thumb is that the more the number of people you serve, the more would be your earnings.
- Identify very clearly as to what is it that your business helps people with. Once this is clearly established, every time you sit across the table with a prospect, see if your product or service would genuinely fit the need of your prospect. If it does, then you have a sale. If it does not, then respect the time and needs of your prospect (and yours) and genuinely guide them to some other business who may be a better fit for them. Always remember that there is no shortage of buyers in the world; it is simply a matter of attracting the right customers to your business who are in need of what you have to offer.
- Always be on the lookout to enhance your basic products and service offerings with add-ons that would provide more value to your customers. For example, if your primary business is printing business cards for your customers, then you may consider providing the following services as add-on services: flyers, brochures, banners, posters, personalized mugs, personalized pens, personalized stationary, magnetic business cards and so on and so forth.
- Once you have made a sale, have processes in place that help you build longterm relationships with your customers through emails, feedback forms, postcards, follow-up customer service calls and other means you can think of. But again, do not try to be pushy or over-do it. Keep your focus on being of service to your customers and they will consistently come back to you and be your repeat, delighted customers.
Keep in mind the above best practices for selling and you could very well be a business your customers love to connect with, buy from and keep coming back to.
Happy problem solving and value addition, the sales will automatically follow!