It doesn't matter if you think building face-to-face relationships with your clients is old-fashioned or not, the truth is people still buy from people they like, and they still find reasons avoid buying from people they don't like.
If you're looking to improve your sales skills, start by improving your relationship building skills.
If you stick with sales for long enough, you're sure to experience a slump—a period of time when nothing seems to go your way.
But before you throw in the towel and give up on a career in sales, learn some helpful tips about getting out of a sales slump first.
One way so many sales reps destroy their careers is by over-promising. When you over-promise, chances are very high that you will under-deliver.
Think about the last time you bought something and were disappointed. Think about that feeling a bit: If others feel that way, will it help your career?
Sales are admittedly a tough way to earn a living. Those that are tough enough to push through the times when nothing seems to be going right are the ones who have learned to overcome the daily grind of getting out there and selling. And by daily grind, we are not talking about your morning cups of coffee here.
We're talking about how to mentally prepare yourself to deal with all the little things that a sales professional has to deal with in a typical work day.
While dealing with a little stress won't do you much harm, dealing with the same stressors day after day can wear anyone down.
Don't be a statistic. Learn how to beat the grind!
Unless you are an order taker (meaning you don't sell things, you just take orders for things), you are going to need to close deals. After all, you have a job because your employer wants, needs, and expects you to close sales.
But closing sales is tough work sometimes. Knowing a few tried and true techniques will serve you well. Remember your ABCs: Always Be Closing.
Just remember that very few customers actually like being sold; instead, they like buying. That's a HUGE difference.
If you are not good at getting your message across to potential buyers, you will find yourself lacking enough impact to close on deals. While not every sales rep needs to deliver visual or oral presentations, those that do had better be darn good at delivering effective and persuasive ones.
Sure, the internet continues to change the way we deliver and display information, but that does not mean you should ignore being good at delivering presentations to prospects.
An earlier article referenced building relationships and this one is all about building rapport. Rapport and solid relationships go hand in hand, but they differ in a few ways.
Building rapport means establishing some common ground between you and your customer while building a relationship speaks to a more long-term agreement.
If you can build rapport, get your customers to respect and to like you, building a relationship afterward becomes a whole lot easier.
If you're struggling in your sales career, take a look at how you are when you're the customer.
Are you defensive when approached by a sales rep? If so, you may be expecting your customers to be defensive when you approach them. Not exactly the best frame of mind when starting out a sales cycle.
Do you feel that sales people are dishonest and only looking out for their interests? If you do, then you don't belong in sales. You have a deep-seated mistrust for those in sales, and that distrust will severely hurt your effectiveness in sales.
Listen, if you're a bad customer and are struggling in your sales career, start improving by becoming a better customer. You'll be amazed at the results.
Eight Steps to Improving Sales
So, you want to improve your sales abilities, huh? Great. Being focused and dedicated to getting better at selling will serve you well no matter which industry you're in. And by "no matter which," I mean sales or non-sales related positions.
Being able to confidently express your beliefs, to deliver powerful presentations, and to be persuasive in getting your message across are critical skills needed in every industry.
Here is a list of articles focused on helping you improve your sales skills.