your competitive edge
True sales professionals never have to "sell" when they're doing their job properly.
A common misconception about a salesperson's job is that they should know "how to sell" in order to be a good sales professional.
If learning how to sell merely means learning "how to close," then, unfortunately, the potential of that particular sales force will be severely limited.
Getting repeat business and increased profits in the subsequent years after the point of sale will suffer.
Study after study has been conducted on effective sales approaches to sell higher- end products and bigger-ticket items to the affluent and the results all come back with similar results.
Old sales techniques and tactics don't work like they used to, and they rarely ever work on items or services that require a larger investment from a more sophisticated buyer.
Instead, focusing all your efforts on meeting the needs of your customers is the most effective sales approach a true sales professional can implement.
Unfortunately, these research findings aren't received too fondly by large corporations. After all, companies have been investing millions of dollars in training their sales forces in learning all the closing techniques and traditional, tired tactics that used to work -- 50 years ago.
It is no small feat for a corporation with more than 50 employees to adopt a new approach to implementing divergent sales strategies.
It means that management would need to acknowledge the need for retraining existing staff, not to mention acknowledging their own need for new training.
But that doesn't mean the sales professional within the corporation shouldn't do everything possible to independently learn from the latest research in order to gain the edge over their competition.
If you're working for a sales manager who isn't teaching you sales strategies that work for the new millennium, don't wait for your company to train you. Go out and seek the best training, books and coaches to give you the inside scoop on what's working and what's not.
Top sales professionals and sales managers know that anything they do to increase their knowledge and skills in the sales arena will give them the competitive advantage that puts them over the top in sales commissions.
According to a report conducted by Ron Volper Group Inc., one of the common habits of top sales professionals is to listen to motivational tapes in their cars and read inspirational books at home.
Don't wait to be downsized to learn more effective approaches to do your job effectively. That will be too late.
Do it today, and stand head and shoulders above your competitors.
When you act as a leader, and get results far above others in your company, who are simply going to "mandatory" training, that's when you'll prove yourself worthy of a promotion or raise.
Deborah Cole Micek
See the Columnists section for some past articles.
John-Paul Micek is the lead business coach at RPM Success Group Inc. Reach him at JPM@RPMsuccess.com
or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.
Deborah Cole Micek, chief executive officer of RPM Success Group, is a business success coach and life strategist. Reach her at DCM@RPMsuccess.com
or toll-free at (888) 334-8151.