Monthly Archives: May 2014

Are you a good listener? Then you’re perfect for sales.

woman-listeningHas anyone ever told you that you’re a good listener? If so, you should consider a career in entry-level sales. Many people think a good salesperson is someone who likes to talk…a lot. The truth is: the most successful salespeople are those who know how to engage in active listening.

Being an active listener is not as simple as just hearing someone when they speak—hearing happens without any thought. Active listening, however, is the process of consciously deciding to understand what someone is really saying. While this can be helpful in daily interactions with friends, family, and coworkers, it’s a critical skill for anyone considering an entry-level sales career.

Are you fully engaged?

Active listening requires your full engagement. It takes the right mix of verbal and nonverbal cues to demonstrate your interest and trustworthiness, which is imperative for a positive interaction with your potential customer.

Verbal cues

While he or she is speaking, the occasional, affirming “Mm-hmm,” “Right” or “I see” are great ways to keep the prospect talking. While this is happening, make a few mental notes (or physical ones, if needed), so you can ask relevant questions during your conversation. Doing so can help clarify what’s been said and assert your attentiveness. And when appropriate, summarize and then verbally paraphrase their main points to ensure you and the prospect are on the same page.

 

Nonverbal cues

One of the simplest ways to show active listening nonverbally is by maintaining eye contact. If you’re gazing out the window or at your phone, the person speaking will think you’re disinterested. Also, maintain good posture and use appropriate gestures, such as occasionally nodding, to show you’re still engaged.

 

Why it’s important

Above all else, customers want to feel important. They’re not going to listen to your sales pitch if they think you don’t care about what matters most to them. And, there’s no better way to do that than through active listening.

For some, active listening is natural. For others, it’s a skill that needs to be honed. So, whether you need to practice or you’re just one of those fortunate few who’s always been a good listener, implementing this technique could help you grow from good to great.

What You Already Know That Can Lead To Success In Sales

When considering an entry-level sales job, it’s natural to wonder if you have the skills necessary to “make it.” The truth is, you’ve already learned from your parents and teachers some of the skills common among the greatest of salespeople.

You Know How to SmileSmile!

Moms tell kids to “smile,” especially when meeting new people – and they’re actually right about this one. Now that you’re all grown up, the same thing goes. As a salesperson, greeting new prospects with a friendly but relaxed smile will set the tone for the entire interaction.

That’s a good question

Your former teachers will affirm: it’s good to ask questions. When dealing with customers, questions are critical – specifically open-ended questions to get the customer talking.

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You’re Not Afraid of Sales – You Just Think You Are

Afraid Of Sales?A career in sales can be very lucrative. So, why shy away from the prospect of selling? It’s not likely that you’re actually afraid of selling, but perhaps you’re afraid of rejection or being perceived as pushy or unethical.

The term “salesperson” has gotten a somewhat undeserved reputation. Some people assume that anyone who earns their living this way may lack high standards or cares only about making the sale. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding because an entry-level sales job could turn into a great career.

Of course, there are some questionable salespeople out there. However, the same can be said for almost any profession. Truthfully, the most successful salespeople are those who take the time to care about what’s important to their customers. They also understand that rejection is part of the process as it gives them an opportunity to learn.

Don’t give in to your “fears”

There’s no need to give in to your fears. Why miss out on an exciting and rewarding career opportunity? In fact, it’s the very challenge you’re concerned about facing that’ll help make you a success.

Gain the customer’s trust

To avoid coming across as pushy, it’s important to gain a customer’s trust. The best way to do this is to let the customer do most of the talking. By asking a few key questions and really listening to their answers, you’ll get a sense of how your product may be able to help them. In addition, you’ll get a better idea of how they interact with people. Both of these things will help you better frame your sales pitch to address their needs in a style with which they’re comfortable.

Ask the right questions

Asking questions of yourself and your prospect are key to beating the fear of rejection. Sometimes “no” means, “I need more information or the timing isn’t right.” The right questions can uncover this “rejection.” Otherwise, you can turn the rejection into an opportunity to refine your prospecting and pitch. After some practice, you’ll no longer fear the situation, and instead leverage it for success greater than you had imagined!

 

Tips for Nailing the Entry Level Sales Job Interview

job-interview-16549255_sYou’re feeling pretty good after sending out so many resumes and finally landing that interview. And, now that you’ve bought those awesome new shoes, you’re all set for your big day.

But, not so fast — scoring an entry-level sales job will likely take a bit more effort than that. Though there isn’t need to worry. Just think of it as your first sales pitch for the new company.

Do your homework

You may think you know what’s on your resume — after all, you wrote it. But you’d be surprised how quickly things you know like the back of your hand can escape your mind when you’re under pressure. The trick is to study beforehand and come to the interview prepared.

Be the solution to their problems

You want this job, and the company wants to hire someone — now you need to convince them you’re the person they want. However, a hard sell approach is likely not a good idea. Your best bet is to take a consultative selling approach making the interview process more about addressing their needs (hiring the right candidate) and helping them find a solution (hiring you).

This isn’t as difficult as it seems. Just do a bit of research on the company, and be sure you have a good understanding of their products and services as well as their overall value proposition. At the interview, ask questions that allow them to express their pain points. After listening to their concerns, assure them that you’re the right candidate by detailing how your experience and approach will address their needs.

Stay positive

Customers sometimes say “No” to a sales pitch. Good salespeople will do their best to change their minds. But what happens when an interviewer doesn’t seem convinced you’re right for the job? Try asking questions to understand their objections. Maybe they’re concerned you don’t have enough experience. If so, explain how your positive attitude and eagerness to learn from their company will more than compensate for your inexperience.

Now back to those shoes

Your new shoes are definitely awesome, but if the rest of your ensemble is not, you can forget that entry-level sales job. Wearing a nice suit to any type of corporate job interview is important, but in sales, first impressions are everything.

The style of your suite should be current, fits well, but not too trendy. It should also be properly tailored and, of course, cleaned and pressed. Now that you look good, show them your confidence. When you first arrive, smile and look the interviewer in the eye as you firmly shake their hand. These simple steps will help you nail the interview, and you’ll have them thinking “Hey, this is who we want to represent our product.”