It was 3 short years ago that I was drowning in a quota I couldn’t obtain and business knowledge I needed but didn’t have. But don’t worry, I had great people skills!
This is a dilemma many young sales reps and even experienced sales reps face. Most reps are hired because they have good people and selling skills, because that’s what sellers are supposed to be good at right? The problem is, buyers don’t care if you’re a savvy communicator or if you can talk to anyone in the room, they care that sales people understand:
- Their business and or situation
- The challenges they face and how you have helped someone similar fix them
- Provide them a new way of thinking or educating them about something they didn’t know
- Product expertise/guru in your prospective field
The reality of the situation is to understand/achieve these, takes the two dreaded words VP’s of Sales hate the most… time and patience. Here are a few ways to help expedite the process:
- Follow- Spend as much time as you can on sales calls (virtually or in person) with the best reps in the organization. I like to use Evernote.com to record sales calls, write down best practices, etc. The application can become your one stop shop for personal best practices.
- Research- Read as much as you can about industry news, follow industry experts on twitter, LinkedIn, and Quora. Use technology providers such as insideview.com to gain insight into other industries, companies, etc.
- Brand- Begin building your personal brand yesterday. Try and share at least 1 insightful article or video a day to colleagues, prospective clients, twitter followers, LinkedIn connections etc. Start a blog, share a weekly market update (many financial advisers do this) to show some personal expertise and value.
- Stories- Have go to stories that show personal experience of how you have helped clients with similar issues. Early on you might need to use other sellers success stories but soon you will have your own. Make sure you capture these and rehearse them all the time. A great mentor tells me all the time…Stories sell.
Do you have any other suggestions?