The purpose of this post is to try to discuss in detail what the term hard work means to you or me in the different job descriptions that we all fulfill everyday.When I was a young man my father who was born and raised in the era of hard work, taught my two brothers and myself the nuts and bolts of HARD WORK We all were expected and taught the value of hard work and now at the age of 40 I find myself more grateful than ever for those life lessons.I will attempt to break down in the most basic ways here what HARD WORK looks like in the role that I play each and every day,SALES!!!
Salesmen are all to often viewed as just a necessary evil that must be dealt with in order to achieve the completion of a project or purchase of an item or property.This view I am sad to say is all to often justified by sales people with no moral code or any ethical values who leave their customers with a bad taste in their mouth.How many of you can relate to this scenario? Too many salespeople the pressure of a failing economy tempts them to start thinking down a dangerous path of possibly cutting corners or using some sales tactics that before they would not have even entertained.Let me give you same examples:
When using the “company” vehicle or “company” cell phone etc.etc. they start to “moonlight” some business “on the side” which before they never thought about doing but now that the economy has changed they feel justified to STEAL from their employer to make ends meet.This is an example of a lazy salesperson who has forgotten the rewards of HARD WORK.This also opens the door for them to take advantage of some long-term relationships with customers who have built up sometimes years of trust in their sales rep by over charging them in certain situations.Below is my list of some things that I feel like are the hard work of being a truly professional salesperson or just an average sales person.I will assume for the sake of this article that you may be on the road sales as well as counter sales or “inside sales” remember I am trying to discuss the extra stuff that it takes to be a truly professional sales person.
1.RETURN YOUR CALLS!!! This is something that to this day still amazes me how some sales people will receive a message and never return it.Often this is because they do not want to do the hard work it takes to possibly close another sale.I do not remember how much business I have written up over the years by doing this very thing.Your customer will understand that you are busy helping other customers,however every message should be replied to within 24 hours or sooner.If you do not practice this you only become an order taker and are not selling yourself or your product line.
2.SET UP YOUR VOICEMAIL. I cannot believe how many folks in this day and age do not have a personal voicemail set up.This is just unacceptable especially on your cell phones.By not taking the time to do this you show your self as being lazy,if you don’t know how to set this up then ask for help or call your cell phones carrier and get it done NOW!!
3.RESEARCH… Here is some extra hard work which in this day and age with the ever-present google search bar should not even make this list,however many sales people enter into a presentation with very little or no research done on their product or client.This is something that is a must-do in today’s market.NO EXCEPTIONS PERIOD!!!
4.MARGIN-This is not about profit margins but about time. ALWAYS get to your appointment 15-20 minutes early.This gives you plenty of time to find a place to park and review your notes and check all props and materials you will need for your presentation.This is also just a great habit to get your personal life into and one that always requires a little extra work but brings up the level of excellence of the whole team when you build in that extra margin of time.If you are arriving for a meeting where you may be going up against some direct competition you will look more professional by arriving 15 minutes early then the guy who arrives just in time.(God help you if you are late to one of these.)
5.LISTEN. This requires probably the most self-discipline and hard work of any of the other disciplines stated here. The ironic thing about training yourself to listen is that most natural sales people find it easy to talk especially if it is on a subject that they feel like they are more knowledgable on then most folks.However with some hard work here is where you can reap the rewards. I challenge you to give this a try over the next 2-3 weeks as you interact with customers just keep yourself under control and as you start to have conversation and just let the client lead.Remember they also have a google search bar and if they are like most people in today’s market,before they part with their hard-earned cash they want all of their questions FULLY answered.The skill of listening will also open many more sales opportunities and ways to add-on options or other services that your company may sell.
The profession of sales is something that we are all a part of even if we don’t carry the title of salesman.So let’s all put in the extra effort and apply these 5 skills and reap the benefits of HARD WORK!!! If you enjoyed this blog please give me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org,you can also follow me on twitter @irishfan2thend.Now GO SELL SOMETHING!!
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