Selling When You're Not in Sales
If you think you're not in sales, think again. Whether you sell a product or service or yourself or your ideas, you’re in sales. If a customer calls you with a billing question, you’re in sales because your work will influence whether a customer chooses to buy again. If you have a manager and are planning to ask for a raise, you really are in sales.
Here are a few pointers from sales and business consultant Maura Schreier-Fleming (www.BestatSelling.com) to increase your selling success. She offers some pointers from her column Selling Strategies.
Understand What Selling Really Is
Selling is helping a customer to make a buying decision. It's not pushing unwanted products on people. An attitude of helping find the best solution for your customer is the right selling attitude. This is the attitude everyone should have when they're talking with a customer. To be a great salesperson, remember that when you work with a customer you are there to help and do what's in your customer's best interest. If it's good for your customer, it will be good for your business.
Be a Great Listener
The biggest myth in sales is that the best salespeople are the best talkers. It's of course only a myth. The best salespeople are the best listeners. When you work with your customers try to capture their feelings. Feelings are facts to your customers and by capturing those feelings, you are perceived more positively. Acknowledge if you think your customer is frustrated or disappointed. Your customer will respond positively to you. That's one way of making your job a little easier.
Read, Read, Read
Contrary to the saying, it is what you know. Information is the currency of today's business environment. You need to be knowledgeable about your business and creating business relationships. How can you contribute if you're unaware of what's going on around you? Read newspapers and read books on business and selling. Your value to your customers and company depends on what you know.
Image Does Count
Whether you like it or not, you always will be judged by what others see. They will also judge you by the way you sound. Speak clearly and confidently. Don't mumble. Eliminate the "ums" and "uhs." If you aren't sure of an answer, state that and offer to find the answer. Dress for the job you want, not the one you're in.
Best wishes for your successful selling!
Maura Schreier-Fleming works with sales and business professionals on their people skills so they can sell more and be more productive on teams. She can be reached at 972.380.0200 or Maura@BestatSelling.com.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.