There are numerous career opportunities available for an individual to opt for. However, the evergreen profession which is always challenging but rewarding is sales. When I speak about rewarding…. Warren Buffet sold cold soda in hot Omaha summers at the age of eight. By the time he was 12 he had a 1500 delivery route for daily papers, he was also the best paperboy and eventually managed all the paperboys. He was so good at selling that he amassed $100K by the time he was 19 (Quora).
Many people choose sales as a last resort or upon failing to get the job they dreamt of, during their academic life. Once out of college, the reality would make them understand that they had only dreamt but not pursued what exactly they wanted to be in life. The reality and hardships of life and challenges of just finding a job would push these people to join sales as a stop-gap arrangement in their career.
Nevertheless, once into sales, it all depends on how strong an individual is to absorb the pressure and deliver as per the company’s expectations. A sales professional needs to understand that ultimately, it’s a mind game – you are either in or out, there are no ifs and buts. The ones who are clear about this perspective emerge to be strong and take this as an opportunity for growth and career advancement, others just fall off like dead leaves of a tree.
This is where I say, people, who took sales as an opportunity, have said proudly “it’s a rewarding profession or career” and stayed, enjoyed for many years, and have grown in their career being healthy monetarily/financially sound.
I had been lucky for being closely associated with some of the amazing sales professionals who have enthused me and made me look at life positively (I know, I have been little philosophical, but yes, I mean it. I probably would write about it in my next blog.)
Such associations made me observe the prerequisites of being a go-getter. There are more than 40 qualities, however, in this blog, I would like to quote the first and most important – 8 qualities.
Focused – The very first quality that I have seen either with a fresher or a senior person in sales is their ability to stay focused on their job every day from dawn to dusk. Watch is just an accessory – the time of the day never bothers them; what matters is achieving their daily goals. They have a well-defined road map.
Disciplined – The successful sales personnel always know what they are doing, what they must do and what they get for it. They plan their tasks in such a way that they even manage to take quality time for their personal front, along with meeting their targets – deadlines at the professional front. The key here is being disciplined.
Self-confidence – They brim with so much confidence all through the day, week, month and year; they never doubt themselves. It’s this quality which makes them get the “Midas touch” wherever they go and get business (they know rejection is a part of sales and they accept it gracefully) or the sales they wanted.
Trustworthiness – Being trustworthy is another essential quality. The way they look and speak make the customer believe in them. They have a good time understanding their customers’ needs so well that the customer confides in them and is left with no other option than to say “YES”. Their inner self- belief helps the customer trust them.
Rapport building – This is the key ingredient in the sales field and successful salespersons have mastered the art of using this. A successful salesperson knows and speaks the customer’s language. He/she knows how to catch hold of the customers’ nerves and establish rapport thereby enabling them to be at ease and take the conversation towards the product or service befitting their requirements. Rapport building may include talking about politics, sports, theatre, etc.
Product Knowledge – Everything else remains constant if the salesperson masters his product knowledge, surely, he/she would leave the customer spellbound, which is enough for the salesperson to capitalize upon. He would pre-empt questions and proactively answering them even before the customer thinks about asking the same.
Solution provider – These successful salespeople always know and do not restrict themselves by offering a product. In fact, he fits the product as per the needs of the customer, which makes the customer feel as if it is tailor-made for him. This gives the customer a sense of satisfaction and feels he/she is not forced to buy, rather his/her conscious forces him/her to buy.
Resourceful – The successful salespersons always do not close the call, but ends up with building relationship with customers. They always see the customers as life-time value rather than short term goals. These people think out of the traditional ways of selling. They are in lookout for different ways so that a product can be sold by being innovative in their selling.
Mentioned above are the eight prerequisites of successful sales professionals, to begin with. Additionally, they require a lot of qualities inbuilt or acquired with to succeed and enjoy every minute of the day, else it’s just a profession with pain and agony as each day pass and be in the field just to say, “I am in sales”.
About the Author
Anand Mahishi H is an Assistant Professor at Manipal Academy of BFSI. He has been a successful entrepreneur for 18 years and then turned insurance trainer. He has developed communication skills when working in managerial positions at large insurance companies and nurtured successful working relationships.
He has over 12 years of experience in the insurance industry and associating with Manipal for the last four years.