As a business development professional / sales representative before you can go out into the world and consistently hit million dollar quotas as well as bring home enough commission to be within the $200,000 compensation range, you must build a foundation comprised of the most basic sales skills. Becoming effective at sales, just like anything else, is like building a castle from a Lego set.
For instance, when starting to play with and analyze the toy pieces, you realize that you have no more than the base components. Then, upon configuring the foundation, you can create something truly great; artistic some may say. Many go the opposite route, don’t hone the necessary skills prior and almost never achieve true sales success.
Below, you find the main foundations that will lead any business development professional, if done correctly, to a long-lasting, solid amount of success in both the sales and sales management arena. These are the building blocks that make the castle.
1. Friendliness and Approachability
Before you begin to even attempt to sell a particular product or service, you must allow yourself to open up to people and open yourself to the point where you can almost embrace rejection.
To morph yourself into a revenue generating salesman or saleswoman, prior to getting in the game, it is quite necessary to learn how to enjoy people and to learn how to maintain an upbeat outlook on life. Once you do this, you will become more approachable and come across as more friendly and upbeat to your target audience.
Friendliness and affability are what draws people to others (both professionally and personally) and these traits are the foundation for leadership skills. Leadership ability, confidence in yourself and openness are the variables that will entice others buy from you. If the skills are not inherent, learn them before diving into the sales cycle and you are quickly building your “sales castle.”
2. Inquisitive Mind with An Ability to Leverage Potential Customer Answers
The basics of consultative selling will tell you that you must ask questions to determine the real needs of the customer.
However, questions are only questions if they are not leveraged properly and asked in a manner that shows the buyer that you want to learn about your potential client’s business and, when appropriate, daily operations. Don’t just ask the “fluffy” questions.
To truly lay the sales foundation, become accustomed to asking thought provoking inquires. The tone and level of intelligence that are expressed within your questions will prove to be a big differentiating factor between yourself and your competition.
Once this information is obtained, learn how to gain the ability to quickly problem solve and decipher as to how to leverage the information you’re receiving to draw / properly persuade the potential client to grasp your outlook on business.
3. Professional and Not Pushy Nor Desperate
As a business development / sales professional, upon preparing to begin a cold-calling campaign, you have to acquire a very professional demeanor when hitting the phones.
Additionally, if you can train yourself for the psychological taxing that will come with cold-calling and new business prospecting, you can learn how to remain calm and composed; this is instead of desperate and / or pushy.
When studying remember that many cold-callers come across as desperate and, thus give the sales approach a bad name. Since companies receive inbound sales inquiries quite frequently, before even making that first call, learn how to be professional, confident and effective.
This could mean practicing a script over and over again. Despite the fact that you won’t hit every account that you reach out to, your odds of success will increase in quite a dramatic fashion.
By Devin Mason