If a salesperson operates with truth and honesty, he / she will go very far. It does mean passing on a sale from time to time, taking the high road and even giving customers answers they don’t want to hear. Practice, as we say, makes perfect, and here are a few things you could practice if you want to go very very far in selling and make honest money.
Words and actions that demonstrate Honesty
Even if you have a mantle full of awards at home that say “The Most Honest Sales Person Ever,” you have to constantly prove your honesty and trustworthiness to people you meet. Sadly, it is a human characteristic that people tend to remember and talk more often about the negative experiences they’ve had than they do about the positive ones. Consider a bad experience you might have had in the past with a dishonest salesperson. Maybe it was the last time you bought a new car, TV, or even a pair of shoes. That experience, if left unchecked, could shape your perception of everyone who sells cars, TVs or shoes - no matter how unfair that kind of judgement is. As a sales-professional, the onus is on you to demonstrate through words and actions that you’re the real deal as far as honesty goes.
No rest from prospecting
After hitting your targets again and again, some find it tempting to start looking at prospecting as something they don’t need to do anymore. Prospecting is the lifeblood of sales. It’s how you constantly generate new opportunities and grow your client base. Without having this as a fundamental component of your regular business habits, you could be putting your career at serious risk. Everyone needs to prospect...no matter how successful you are.
The value of relationships
One of the worst lies that sales people can tell themselves is this: “People need what I’m selling and they have to buy it from me.” Truthfully, even if your product is something that people really need - for instance, cars, houses, clothing, insurance or oil - nobody really needs you. Prospects have been successful in the past without you and they will find someone else to do business with if you’re gone. Offer your prospects and clients a great relationship - one that can help make it easier for them to do business. That’s what will keep those clients coming back again and again.
It’s not just business, it’s really personal
Big mistake. Successful sales professionals will tell you that in business, everything is personal. People buy from people they like. It’s true. In essence, when a client chooses one salesperson over another, what they’re really saying is that - other things being equal - they like one better than the other. Great sales records are built on likeability. Likeability is personal. Establishing and maintaining great personal rapport is how you build trust between yourself and your clients.
Change the “under-promise/over-deliver” strategy
I am not a big fan of the supposedly tried-and-true customer relations strategy of managing expectations and then delivering results that exceed those expectations. It simply sends the wrong message to clients. Think about it. If you make a habit of under-promising and over-delivering, then you have to do this every time. Eventually your clients are going to expect it from you. If you are unable to exceed those expectations - even once - then your credibility could be damaged. When dealing with a client, it›s better to be specific about what you›re going to do and deliver on that promise. Remember that people buy from people they trust. Trust is built by demonstrating consistent behaviour over a period of time, and it›s that consistency that makes buyers believe in your honesty and integrity as a sales person.
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(Rosh’s extracts come from books, articles, personal research and experiences. Drop her a line – she looks forward to hearing from you. E. email@example.com)