Sales as both a career choice and a personal skill-set requires the development of specific techniques, ongoing personal development, the expansion of our comfort zone, confidence, persistence, patience, gut-level instincts and unlike most other professions, a thick skin! On the surface, it looks like selling is a breeze; but any experienced professional will tell you otherwise. However, mastery of the previously mentioned traits will afford you a profitable, fulfilling and rewarding career in any economy, if you are willing to do the work.
Learning how to sell your ideas to others, to persuade others to your way of thinking, may be the most important interpersonal skill that one can develop. Most of our successes in life hinge upon our interactions with others. Those interactions depend upon the relationships we develop. Those relationships are built by trust and integrity expressed through effective communication between the parties involved.
Effective communication hinges upon our ability to sell our ideas to others, to effectively convey our ideas in such a manner that gains acceptance from others and influences their thinking and decision-making process. Are you effectively communicating to your market the benefits of you?
The volatility of the present economic climate has left many people, including salespeople, in a state of fear and uncertainty. We now have the highest number job losses in five years as businesses are trimming both people and operations. How do you sell in this environment? You must learn to expertly and quickly qualify new prospects and seek to offer the highest possible value both there and to your existing customers.
Selling is indeed a unique profession, combining personal chemistry with precise direction. Today's business climate demands greater focus and clarity from salespeople. We cannot afford to be congenial generalists as that mindset will not allow us access to key decision-makers. We must become the expert in our field, being perceived as a valuable resource, their go-to person. Salespeople must comb through their offering of products and services, specializing with laser-like focus in one particular solution that will be of greatest interest and service to their marketplace.
Despite tighter credit, job losses, shrinking production and other economic headaches, many businesses will remain a going-concern, requiring key products and services to operate effectively. Your focus must be at this level.
In the short term, selling almost anything will indeed be tougher. Prospects and customers will be busier, perhaps doing the jobs of several people in prior times. It will become more difficult to reach decision-makers, as their availability declines. The "sales-men will be separated from the boys" as they say. Some salespeople may not weather the storm, yet opportunity remains for those willing to adjust their strategy and tactics in this ever-evolving situation.
Be encouraged. Dig-in your heels and aggressively ride out this storm. Those that do will emerge in a superb position to prosper when the economy cycles back to growth mode. Will you be one of those salespeople?