Training for a sales position can be a stressful experience. Here are five tips that should help you more successfully train for a sales position.
Training for a sales position can be a stressful experience. Although there is a lot of science to sales, there’s also a lot of art. Sales training can teach you the science, but the art is something that you’ll largely have to learn on your own. Sales trainers and mentors can help you out a lot but, eventually, you’re the one who is going to have to bring it all together. Until you show that you’ve mastered both aspects, that coveted sales position can remain elusive. To get you started, here are five tips that should help you more successfully train for a sales position.
Your trainers and mentors are going to give you a lot of information to absorb. At times, it may seem like they’re giving you more information than any person could ever remember. Here’s the rub-they’re still just scratching the surface. You need to dig into the research on your own, and find all the little tidbits that they’ve overlooked. When you move in to your sales position, you need to be able to speak authoritatively about the products you’re selling. It wouldn’t hurt if you know some of the company history, or have some amusing anecdotes about the founders. Personal connections can really help turn prospects into customers.
A sales position isn’t easy. There’s the daily grind of trying to meet goals, constant competition for prospects and, of course, dealing with customers. It’s a very rewarding career-for those who can handle it. It’s a burnout waiting to happen for those who can’t. Part of your personal training should involve mentally preparing yourself for all the vagaries of the position. Prepare yourself to move on after the big one gets away. Prepare yourself to work amicably with someone who recently poached one of your sales. Prepare yourself to smile and be polite to a disgruntled customer. All of these things can and will happen in a sales position. Preparation could be the difference between sanity and burnout.
You already know that you need to practice the things you’ve learned about the products you’ll be selling. And you’ve probably guessed that you need to practice the research you do on your own. However, sales isn’t just about selling the facts and figures about your merchandise. You need to be able to sell yourself. Practice your smile; it should come naturally and easily, no matter the situation. Practice your handshake; the wrong length, tension, or grip has been proven to turn prospects off. Practice presenting yourself as somebody you would want to buy from, were the positions reversed.
At some point, every sale comes down to the pitch. Your sales pitch should come as naturally and easily as your smile. It should honestly address and concerns the prospect has, and answer all of their questions. A one-size-fits-all pitch won’t work for actual sales, but it will give you a foundation to build from. If you’ve memorized the material, you’ll be able to adapt your pitch to any sales situation. Trying to fly by the seat of your pants on every sale will leave you stammering and repeating yourself. Worse yet, it could leave you standing mute while the prospect waits for answers. That’s not a great way to boost their confidence.
Once you’ve got the entire routine down, don’t be afraid to try it out on a few people. Now is the time to put it all together, and get feedback on how well you perform. Run through your entire sales routine as often as you can, and with as many people as possible. Other salespeople, co-workers, friends, and family members can all give you useful feedback. Learn from the feedback, and incorporate it into your routine. Before you know it, you’ll feel like you’ve been ready for that sales position for your entire life.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.