So you think you could sell ice to the Eskimos? Sand to the Arabs? Perhaps you’ve just been told you have ‘the gift of the gab’ and think you could use that talent to sell products- an ability that is increasingly in demand in the world of field sales.
But you’ll need more than that to really succeed in this very competitive field. so what is expected of the average person in sales?
An Ability to Sell, Even When you Wouldn’t Buy
Unfortunately, especially as a trainee, you probably won’t be selling the best products or services. So an unshakable belief (or at least an appearance of one!) in the product is essential. If you cannot appear enthusiastic about a product than the customer won’t be- and people don’t buy products they aren’t sure about. So an ability to slap on a smile and show some charisma is the best tool you have in selling.
Impeccable Communication and Presentation Skills
If you are the kind of person that always seems to say the wrong thing and sometimes makes bad first impressions then you will need to sharpen up your act if you want to get into sales. First impressions count, especially when trying to catch people’s attention at product demonstrations or during a cold-call sale. Saying the wrong word, using the wrong hand gesture or even the wrong tone of voice can completely put a customer off – which is not good for your commission bonus either.
Determination and an Ability to ‘Bounce Back’
Sales can involve a lot of people saying ‘no’ to you, and a lot of them won’t be that polite. If rejection bothers you, don’t get into sales. If you can see a customer’s disinterest as a challenge and can not take rejection of a product personally then you will do well.
A Competitive Streak
Seeing sales as a game that you can win can be really helpful- but only if you care whether you win or lose. Some people just aren’t that competetive and the target and commission-led nature of sales determines that people like this won’t perform just out of the urge to ‘be the best’- making them poor salespeople in the eyes of employers.
Of course, some these skills can be learnt and will develop with experience. But without the ability to thrive under pressure and against competition the work will not be enjoyable.
Then again, if you are a competitive person you are probably reading this and thinking to yourself “i can do that! i can do that better than anyone!” In which case start you career in sales now, work hard and put those talents to the test.