Posts Tagged ‘salesperson’

10 Tips For A Rookie Salesperson

A successful salesperson pays attention and learns.Every salesperson begins his or her career as a wide-eyed, rookie with daydreams of closing the biggest deal of the firm’s history, shaking hands with the eternally grateful client as his CEO pats him on the back.  Open expense accounts, membership to the local, prestigious country club and a corner office round out the often-dreamed fantasy.  Before you start buying your next suits at Brooks Brothers, however, make a note that there is a loooong way to go before you ever get to the best parking spot in the front.

Here are 10 tips to help you on your way.

1.  Pay attention.  I can’t stress this enough.  Pay attention to everything around you.  Who do your fellow salespeople turn to when there are issues to resolve?  Who is the leader on the floor?  What are the issues people are having?

2.  Watch your schedule.  You should always be the first one in and the last one to leave.  I don’t understand how this is one of the easiest rules to overlook but it is.  When you are new, there is always something to do…trust me.  Review some of the crm features you’re having trouble with.  Set up your calls for the next day.  Finish documenting your clients interactions.

3.  Get to know your clients.  If you are not in the same area and work primarily over the phone, then read their local newspapers online.  Find out what the weather there is like.  How have their teams done this year?  I used to call on south Texas.  I made sure to know what the local football scene was like…when hurricane season would hit the Gulf…what the local schools were receiving grants.  If you are local to your clients, go to chamber meetings and other networking events.  Even better; form a networking group.

4.  Create a schedule for tasks you need to complete every day.  Starting a new career is overwhelming and sometimes things you truly need to concentrate will be overlooked.  Stick to your schedule.  You’re in sales now so prospecting should be at the top of your list.  Do it every day.

5.  Here’s something that has worked well for everyone I know who has tried it.  Ask to speak with your boss every few weeks to ensure you are on the right path.  You don’t want to go too long in the wrong direction and it also lets your supervisor know you are taking your job seriously.

6.  Dress well.  Don’t over dress, but make sure you are respectable.  If the better dressed people on the floor are in shirts and khakis then you do the same.  Make sure your clothes are tucked in, clean, pressed and for pete’s sake…no white socks.

7.  Don’t be afraid to tell a client you don’t know the answer to a question.  Simply say you will find out the answer as soon as possible.  People will respect you for that.  No one likes a fake know-it-all.

8.  Don’t have more than two drinks at any company function.  As good as a salesperson may be, I have seen too many careers cut short because of a loose tongue or because they just looked sloppy and unprofessional in a social setting.  You will never be allowed to represent the company outside the office.

9.  Learn everything about the product you are selling.  You don’t have selling skills yet and you don’t have a client list so product knowledge is your only ace.  As you grow into your new role you won’t seem so one-dimensional but for now, learn it inside and out.

10. Finally, find a mentor.  Ask one of the veterans if it would be okay if you ask questions when you have them.  Most will be okay with it and it is also a good way for you to learn how sales techniques differ from person to person.  All successful salespeople differ from the others and you need to develop your own style.

If you have any other “Must Do” items for a new salesperson, feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to read them.


Don’t Take Rejection Personally But Don’t Stop Feeling It, Either.

It has often been said in order for a salesperson to be successful he or she must develop a thick skin.  Rejection is a daily occurrence in sales and it can’t be taken personally.  It is very easy to be bogged down by the sense of rejection and fall into a funk and despair that you will ever break free from it.  Even your best customers will occasionally turn to another vendor from time to time and you have to let it go.  You need to know why it happened, of course, but you need to let it go.  There is, however, an even more damaging and dangerous development…growing immune to the rejection.

I have seen salespeople become so good at brushing off the rejection and disappointment that they no longer feel it…unfortunately, they also stop learning at that very moment.

It is crucial to always understand why the deal was lost.  It is the only way to prevent it from happening again.  At the very least, examining how a different vendor was chosen will help you set a plan to minimize the possibility repeating your mistakes.

When a sales rep takes a lost deal too personally and doesn’t learn to how handle the emotion, it is up to the manager to help the rep develop a new approach.  There is still a sense of accountability and responsibility that can be tapped into to work on the issue.  Together, it will either be rectified or the sales numbers will diminish enough that the rep will either be fired or quit.

When a rep no longer feels the loss of a deal it creates a dangerous environment in the workplace.  A laissez a faire attitude is soon to develop and that will permeate throughout the sales team.  Others will feel it and in short order some may adopt the same approach.  Waiting for the sales numbers to drop enough to justify letting the employee go may take months and that is much too long to let a potential issue fester in the workplace.

Does it seem extreme?  I wish it were but I have seen it multiple times working for multiple companies.  A healthy sales environment has to be carefully nurtured and monitored but it is easily set back by just one bad rep…or the lack of management to deal with a potentially bad rep.  The message being sent is “if the bosses don’t care why should we?”.

When you see an employee becoming desensitized, address it immediately.  Usually, it is a rep that cared too much and hasn’t been taught how to balance the emotional aspect of sales.  With proper management, both the emotionally-heavy and the numb employee types can be avoided.

Summer Sales Slump? It Depends Upon The Salesperson

Summer sales slumps are a myth.  Companies don’t take a quarter off and not accomplish anything.  There isn’t a business in the world that willingly takes ninety consecutive days and is perfectly at ease letting productivity fall off a cliff.  Projects are not put on hold until kids go back to school once more.  If you are a sales person and you use the summer sales slump myth as your excuse as to why your numbers are lower than they are the rest of the year, then you simply haven’t prepared for the summer enough.  Proper preparation will provide you with more opportunities.

Summer sales are a reflection of your relationships with your clients.  It is the payoff for having gone the extra mile throughout the year, and having proven to your clients you are an expert and an advocate for their business.    What companies will do, that you must keep in mind, is address particular types of projects during certain types of the year.  You have to know everything your customer will need for the full year.

Schools, for instance, will buy end-user equipment during the first half of the school year and supplies during the second half of the year.  School networks will undergo major modifications during the summer months when the faculty and administration are not in the buildings.  If you are busy selling printers, cameras and projectors during the year and don’t know anything about their networking needs, you will experience a very slow summer.  You should have begun to ask about the summer in March.

You have to constantly adapt to an ever-changing sales environment.  You can accomplish this by adopting some or all of the following points;

1. Take a sales course.  You current method, whether it is successful or not, will inevitably grow stale over time and a refresher is always recommended.

2. Come up with new prospecting questions.  If your summer months are slow then you haven’t asked the right questions.  Let your client tell you about their business…don’t guess.

3. Remind your clients what you offer…don’t assume they already know.  Sometimes a simple flyer highlighting a product or service they have not purchased is enough to let them know you can provide them with more than what they have used you for.

4. Keep current on the industry as a whole.  What are the issues that will be dealt with in manufacturing?  Is there an alternative product on the horizon that will help your clients?  Are there new and more efficient methodologies available?  The more your clients see you as a resource, the better your relationships will be.

5. Keep a yearly calendar.  Mark off the seasonal dates and when to begin to prospect for them.  Usually, a three-month lead time is adequate and minimizes the chance of a deal getting away from you without your knowledge.  For instance, you should begin to prospect in Feb/March for June sales.

These are just a few suggestions for eliminating the mythical summer slump.  Ultimately, your activity level, properly applied, will minimize or even eliminate a slow season for you.

What do you do to counter slow seasons?  Please feel free to drop a comment below as I would love to know what solutions everyone else is using.