With the retail and services sector taking over, the demands for sales professionals have gone up manifold. Earlier, sales jobs meant moving door to door, trying to make sales of various products. It has now been moulded into a newer variety of telemarketing where a list of potential customers shall be provided to you and you have to ring them and propose various products. Sales jobs have ceased to be purely incentive based but now come with a regular salary and incentive.
If you are looking for a career in sales, then there is plenty of scope for growth and developing skills. The job is not only challenging but offers to you scope to be innovative and creative in your pitch so that customers buy your product. Those embarking on a career in sales would do well if they bore the following pointers in mind.
- Be Patient
A job in sales requires immense patience. In most cases, you will come by customers who are not interested in your product. Out of the ten customers you approach, eight may be empty pitches. Even for those who give a lukewarm response, you need to pursue them actively to sell the product. Therefore, to close a deal, you must have immense patience and perseverance. There may be several customers who behave rudely or not listen to your pitch at all. You may be told off for calling at the wrong time or day. You must take all this in your stride. Keep in mind that a good sale will lead to a great incentive.
- Be Sure of the Product you are Selling
Before calling up your customers pitching them a product, ask yourself whether you would want to take it as a buyer yourself. Ponder over the product, its benefits and flaws, the customer base that would be interested in buying it and how you should pitch the product so that you get the most out of it. If you find yourself questioning the quality or benefits of the product, then rest assured your customers would see through the faults too. No matter how many phone calls you make to sell it, you would be at the receiving ends of rejections only. After all, customers would be putting in their hard earned money into the product and would only do so if they find it worth it.
If you feel a product is not up to the mark to sell, you can approach the management with suggestions of improving it. As long as you have an open minded team, you can be sure of being heard.
- Being Resourceful
Prior to making calls to customers for selling something, sketch a brief profile of him or her. Try to gather more information using which you can convenience the customer about the indispensability of the product. For instance, if you are visiting a home which has young kids, it would be easier for you to sell encyclopaedias and guidebooks rather than fashion magazines. Similarly, pitching expensive mobile phone carrier plans to businessmen than students or regular salaried employees shall yield more results. Therefore, before dialling the potential client’s phone number or approaching him personally, it would be better if you do a little digging into his/her tastes and preferences.
- Staying Optimistic
A slow economy would mean slow sales of products. Currently, the Indian economy is in a sluggish phase where most products don’t sell every day. Therefore, if you are having a slow day, don’t lose hope. Chances are that most people are having a slow day in the field.
- Knowing the Product Thoroughly
Unless you are well-equipped with knowledge regarding the product, selling it would be difficult. You may come by customers who have already heard of it but want first hand information before purchasing it. To convince these customers, you must have in-depth knowledge regarding a product as they would want something more from you. Also, sales professionals who sound erudite about the product make a firmer impression on potential clients, who are then inclined to buy the product.
- Being Articulate
Articulation is an important part of sales jobs as you have to communicate well about the product in order to sell it. Unless the customer understands what you have to say, s/he won’t be inclined to buy it. Therefore, you should work on modulating your tone and speech so that everything comes through clearly. Work on a strategy to compress your opinion in the fewest of words. Customers do not have all day to listen to you speak therefore you must be brief and impactful.
- Find a Mentor
Working by you in a vast field like sales may be limiting. Every salesman has a different way to pitch ideas and interacting with more of them would provide you with the most of insights. Towards the beginning, it is better to find a mentor who will teach you the tricks of trade and also point out your flaws. Most successful salesmen have flourished because they had good mentors to teach them what works and what do not. However, you must be careful about whom you choose as a mentor as a bad one can not only set you back but also kill your interest in the field.
- Brush up on your Presentation Skills
Always be careful how you present things to your prospective clients. You should definitely take personality coaching classes on the side or simply observe successful and confident colleagues. How you present things is what will determine your ultimate success.
- Build up your Confidence Levels
Always endeavour to build up your own confidence levels above all else. You should certainly try to inculcate the habit of learning, reading and observation. Try and observe what confident people around you do. This will help you stay calm and you will definitely grow in confidence on the job.
If you think you are sufficiently prepped to handle your first sales job, you can log into online classifieds to find them. You can add filters such as locations and numbers of years as experience to find the best one. Since the retail sector is booming in the country, you are more likely to find fulltime job as sales business development in malls, stores and outlets than other areas. If you are uncomfortable interacting with customers face to face, then you can choose to join as a telemarketer with BPOs. A variety of products, from mobile phone connections to life insurances are sold through telemarketing and you can choose the company that suits your line of interest. There is plenty scope for growth in the job, provided you pick up the tricks of the trade early on!