Sales is a tough profession. Sales people know that their performance can make or break the success of a company. Under the best of circumstances, being in sales can be one of the most pressure-filled jobs in any company. In addition to the normal pressure of sales, there are times when the pressure increases significantly for any number of reasons.
- The “sure thing” sale starts to fall through.
- You have not met your quota.
- The sales people at the competition are edging in on your territory.
These are just a few of the scenarios that can make the pressure of sales seem unbearable. The most important thing for sales people to remember during these times is to keep calm and cool. This is the time when you need to keep your head and not make some of these common mistakes.
- You lose your confidence and stop acting like a professional. Sales people are professionals. Like any other profession, they work to help people by offering good solutions to often complex and serious problems. When you lose your confidence, you will lose the trust of your client and then you lose control of the sale. Sales people need to remember their role and act accordingly. You are not begging a client to buy your product; you are providing a service or product to someone who will benefit from that service or product. When you start to feel your confidence is dropping, it is important to look back at past successes, get help from your manager if necessary, and remember that you are a professional sales person not an amateur.
- You stop listening and keep talking. This is probably the most common mistake that sales people make when they are under pressure. Sales is about 70 percent listening and 30 percent talking. When those numbers are reversed, you know you are in trouble. When you find yourself in this position, you need to stop and get back on track. The easiest way to do this is to go back a sentence or two and turn what you have said into a question. For example, if you have been talking too much about the benefits of your product or service, explain to the client that you realize you are offering too much information because you are very excited about how you can help them. Then ask, them to tell you exactly what issue or need they are trying to fill. This gives you the opportunity to start over and get back on track.
- You fail to follow your sales process. Professional sales people know that there is a process to any sale. Many times you may find yourself having to jump around in the process but, normally, it is fairly easy to get back in sync with the process. Sales people under pressure may find that they get off track in the course of the sale and then find it difficult to get back into the process. There are many reasons that this occurs. One reason that this can happen if you suddenly find yourself dealing with a new buyer at the company. No matter what the reason, the best way for a sales people to get back on track in the process is to go back at least one-step and start over. It may feel a little redundant, but it is unlikely that the buyer will notice and it will help you to get on course to complete the sale.
Everyone faces times of pressure in their work; this includes professional sales people. When you are feeling additional pressure, it is important for you to stick to your sales process, make sure that you understand the needs of the client by asking and listening more than talking, and always remember that you are a professional who can help people by solving problems and making their lives easier.