A successful sales career is based on various techniques that can be studied and learned, but will never be able to really take off without three essential factors: believing in what you say to the customer, having an extremely thorough knowledge of the product you are offering, and starting your sales career by working alongside very experienced salespeople.
The first factor is crucial, and defines the difference between a mediocre seller and a true professional: unless you truly believe that the product or service you are offering is of good quality, and can effectively improve your customer’s life in some way, being able to sell it can become an uphill struggle. However much they have studied and refined their technique, every successful professional sales person knows that the secret lies in the product they have to offer, and that the first reason for accepting a sales job should be the high quality and the strong performance of the product. Convincing another person to buy a product you don't believe in is really difficult, while pushing a product or service that you feel sure will improve another person’s life is a pleasure. For example, the first field in which the author found himself selling, way back at the beginning of his career, was that of technical insulation for the home, and knowing that he was offering products that would not only enable customers to keep their homes warm and cosy during the winter, but also that would offer them significant savings on their heating costs, helped him to sell with much more enthusiasm. After all, there is a big difference between proposing a mediocre product whose benefits you have a hard time identifying, versus one that you can sell with the data at your fingertips to show how much money it will help your clients save.
The second factor is closely linked to the first: even when you believe that the product or service you are offering is of high quality, and can bring benefits to your customer, you will never be able to sell properly unless you have in-depth knowledge of it. By carrying out an in-depth study of the sales sector and your product, you can be sure of the appeal created by your offer, and are able to convey your confidence to your customers. With this in mind, we must remember that, when it comes to sales, hesitation is the number one enemy: insecurity is contagious, and you must avoid hesitating in front of the customer at all costs. Fortunately, confidence and enthusiasm are also contagious, and to win your customer over, you must be ready to respond calmly and confidently to all the questions they ask, without ever getting offended or undermining their concerns, and by responding promptly to any doubts they might have. You can have no doubt about the product or service you are offering, and the more you study, the more your enthusiasm will grow when you talk about it.
Finally, the third crucial factor in a successful sales career is learning as much as possible from the most experienced salespeople. First of all, when starting your career, shadowing professional salespeople offers the opportunity to study the most effective sales techniques and strategies used, because each top salesman will have their own. For example, the author has perfected his own set of short cycles for cheaper products, and long cycles for more expensive products, which can be studied and practised even by sales beginners. Furthermore, following the pros is a great idea even when you may already have some sales experience but are entering a less familiar product sector: the behaviours, habits and needs of your target customers can change considerably depending on the market, and studying top seller models can help save time.