Sales: Why Is It More Important to Ask Than to Tell

Since I started my career in sales, I have learned a lot of strategies and techniques about selling from various sources. I have learned from books, audio recordings, videos, and live training events of local and international trainers. I could enumerate a hundred techniques that I have learned and applied throughout my sales career. There are too many of them but they cannot be applied in all selling situations. However, there is one basic technique that I believe to be very applicable at all times. The most basic yet the most effective one is asking questions

After hundreds of client encounters, I have proven that asking the clients questions rather than just giving them the information about the product or service we offer has the following benefits:

  1. Clients feel that they are valued. It is usual for people to feel cared for when they are asked what they feel or what they think rather than being told what they should feel or think. This is the same in any selling situation. When the salesperson goes on talking about the product or service they offer without really knowing if the prospective clients want it, the latter tends to feel that the salesperson’s main concern is just to sell. On the other hand, when a salesperson asks prospective clients questions regarding their needs and wants concerning the solutions to their problems, the clients will more likely appreciate them. They would feel that the main concern of the salesperson is meeting their needs. When clients feel that they are valued and that the salesperson they are dealing with is not just after the sales, wouldn’t they consider availing the product or service even more? It could even lead to a more meaningful and lasting client relationship.
  2. Salespeople are able to identify the objections of the client. Many buyers base their decisions on information they get about the product or service. When they hear one thing that does not fit their standard, they might reject the product or service altogether even if the benefits outweigh the negative factor. Therefore, it is important to ask questions that would allow you to know what tips them off about the offer. Once you know what it is, you will be able to handle the objection and have the chance to close the sale. 
  3. Salespeople are able to lead the clients to what they need. Assuming to know what clients need is the biggest mistake a salesperson can make. There are times when clients do not know what they are looking for but the only way to help them know what they need is to ask them questions. Proper assessment is the key. Once you are able to assess them, you will be able to provide the best offer. Clients want to work with somebody who knows how to lead them. 
  4. Transactions become more efficient. When a salesperson just drops all the information about the product or service they offer, they are wasting more time than necessary. What if you offer 10 different kinds of products? Would you discuss the specific details of each product to the prospective buyer without even knowing the specifics of what they are looking for? Most clients do not care about all the information there is about what you offer. They just want to know if such a product or service has the features they need or want. Therefore, asking what they need or want is the best way to get the job done efficiently.  

With all the sales strategies and techniques, I learned and mastered, asking the right questions surely became the most basic skill that helped me help clients get what they need or want. It is a basic skill that I always incorporate in all the strategies I used and now teach other salespeople during my training sessions. Do you find these helpful? 

 

 

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How Love is Displayed in the World of Sales

It is not once that I heard comments that refer to salespeople as self-serving. People think that the reason for the existence of the job is to promote or sell products or services to people. It is now common for people to feel that compliments given and niceties shown by salespeople to them are just a front to lure them in. This judgment is not only the cause of people’s prejudice but also the result of many salespeople’s wrong approach in selling. 

However, the reason we venture into business or enter the world of sales is not mainly to generate sales but also to solve people’s problems.

Do you wonder how you can earn the trust of the people you want to serve despite the general reputation of salespeople? You have to make sure that your priority is to serve other people right, not the price that the service entails. Once you know that your heart is in the right place, you will be capable of making them feel that you love to help them. Here are three ways to display that love:

  1. Lead people to avail the right product or service regardless of the corresponding benefit on your part as the salesperson. Even if you or the company can benefit more if your buyer would purchase a more expensive product, you should not lead him to own that product if you know that it is not what he needs or wants. 
  2. Make people feel that their concerns about the product or service are valid. It would be best not to be defensive when the buyer raises questions or concerns about the product or service he intends to avail. It is your responsibility to address those concerns and make him feel comfortable with his choice. 
  3. Walk with them from the start until whenever. Even after the purchase, you should still make yourself available to your buyer. Your service should not stop after the sale is made. Be creative in making sure you still connect with them whether they have questions or not.

These are very simple acts that you can do as a salesperson, but they can help break the stigma attached to salespeople. On a more personal level, these good practices can help you in gaining more clients. How? Through the excellent service you provided and continually provided your valued clients, you made them feel safe with you; therefore, they will refer their family and friends who need the same product or service to you in the future. 

How else can a salesperson make a client safe and loved? 

 

 

 

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Top 3 Horror Stories I Experienced as a Salesperson and as a Buyer

The word “sales” always manages to stir different emotions in me every time I hear or utter it. It has become a vital part of my life since I chose to pursue a career in this field, from being a salesperson to being a sales trainer. Therefore, the topic of sales makes me happy and excited. Yet, at the same time, it brings out unpleasant memories as well. 

Having been a salesperson, and a consumer at the same time,  for many years allowed me to gain many bad experiences related to it. Here are a few of them:

  1. A prospective client ghosted me. This ordeal did not only happen once but many times. Several times in my life as a salesperson, I experienced being left hanging without knowing the reason. Being in this career entails a lot of disappointment, such as being ghosted. One has to endure the pain of broken promises. Yes, buyers can also break a salesperson’s heart by suddenly changing their minds or by deciding to disappear. We should not let this dampen our spirits and become hopeless. We should use this kind of story to motivate ourselves to become better salespeople that prospective clients want to have lasting relationships with.  
  2. A mall salesperson kept following me around like a stalker. I believe I am not the only one who experienced this kind of treatment by salespeople. As a salesperson myself, I could understand their desire to make a sale. However, as a customer, being followed around makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel pressured to purchase something that I might necessarily not need or want to own. This kind of selling behavior is pushy and will more likely lead a salesperson to lose customers than gain sales. 
  3. My prospective client suddenly zoned out as if gone out to another world. In the past, I often got worried about my future clients while I talked to them because they seemed to be somewhere else while being physically there with me. What would you feel when in the middle of your discussion, the other person no longer responds? I would usually think that the customer has not heard anything I had talked about and that the long time I spent talking was useless. It took me a long time to realize that it was my fault for not involving my prospect in the conversation. Instead of asking them questions to know what they need or want, I unconsciously made them uncertain about the service I offered them. 

You see, many horror stories happen in the world of sales between a salesperson and a customer. With these stories that I shared, the horror occurred because of the salesperson’s failure – failure to prove credibility, failure to make the customers feel safe, and failure to identify what the customers need or want.

While experiencing undesirable situations is inevitable, it does not mean that we can do nothing to prevent it from happening again. To become a better salesperson, you should know how to serve your customers better and equip yourself with knowledge and skills to help you do so. 

How about you? What horror stories have you experienced throughout your time as a salesperson?

 

 

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5 Ways to Handle Rejections in Sales

In training sales professionals, I teach them how to close sales by handling the objections of their prospective clients. There can be many different types of objections, and I teach them the many different ways to address those objections. However, those techniques do not necessarily ensure closed deals all the time. It is a fact that salespeople must also learn to accept. Now, we know that getting rejected makes us feel inadequate, and most of the time, it makes us feel uncomfortable to move forward. It inevitably triggers us to have a fear of rejection. And the sad truth is many salespeople are still living with it.

When rejections hit us, it is always important to know how to cope with them. Here are some ways that I have practiced doing to make myself feel fine every time I get rejections:

  1. Maintain professionalism towards the person who rejected the product or service. Instead of giving up on the customer that refused your product, make an effort to make them feel that you are still there for them whenever they need you and that you are happy to serve them regardless of the rejection. Keep your composure and your good treatment. You never know when the time comes that they will require the product or service you offer. Once that time comes, and they still feel your presence and connection, they will surely remember and consider you because you treated them well unconditionally.
  2. Shift the focus to valued clients who need your help and believe in the product or service you offer. They say there’s no use crying over spilled milk because you can no longer undo the occurrence. Time will only be wasted when you keep on thinking about a rejection from our customers. Instead of languishing and wasting precious time, it is beneficial for you to focus on taking care of your current clients or customers. Always remember, you already have clients who look up to you, trust you, and expect you to deliver what you promised to them. When you give your energy and focus to them, you will feel fulfilled and more motivated to fulfill your role as a salesperson.
  3. Identify what worked, what did not work, and how you can improve next time (e.g., the way you present the product or service). Turning a pretty undesirable situation into restorative material to improve yourself as a salesperson is one way to handle rejections. When rejected, assess your performance and determine what did not work that led to the rejection. Take notes so that when the time comes that a similar selling situation occurs, you will not make the same mistake and apply the appropriate strategy or technique instead.
  4. Equip yourself with the proper knowledge, skills, and art in selling. Consider it as a tool for your growth. After assessing what did not work in your previous selling transaction, invest your time to strategize how to solve people’s problems and apply proper and effective ways to handle the objections you initially failed to address. It will make you even more excited to face future transactions with confidence and conviction.
  5. Accept the fact that not everyone has a need or want for your product or service. You have to do your best not to get carried away by the momentary feeling of sadness after receiving the rejection. You also have to make sure not to take it against yourself nor the person who rejected the service or product you offer. Learn to condition yourself that in sales, being rejected does not mean that you as a person are the one being rejected. It only means that the product or service is not favorable or valuable for the customer, so the latter chose not to avail it. Having this mindset also helps you to keep a good relationship with them even after the rejection.

So, when faced with rejections, never allow yourself to stay in a slump. That is not the way to deal with it. Focus on the beneficial ways which can make you an even better salesperson. Like how there are constant challenges in your personal life that help shape you as a person, there should also be challenges in your sales career that hone you to become a champion. Always remember that rejection is part of our career in sales, but it’s not the end. You feel it, you learn from it, and you move forward.

How about you? How do you deal with the rejections of your customers or buyers? 

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5 Types of Prospects and How to Handle Them

When you are in the field of sales, you have a lot to learn—being out there as a salesperson does not simply mean offering a product or service then getting compensation. In the number of years that I’ve been in the sales industry, I have not only learned a lot of knowledge and skills about selling, but I also met different types of prospects or the people I serve. Knowing the types of buyers is very helpful and essential when you want to have a successful career in this field. As for me, I find this knowledge very useful in dealing with people, objections, and other obstacles in selling. Therefore, I am sharing these details – the five types of prospective buyers.

  1. The low-price-seeker type. This type of buyer is the most logical one. This person’s decision is typically based on the price of the product or service; therefore, that is the first thing he or she will ask from you. And we all know if the price is known to them without understanding the benefits and other advantages of your product or service, they usually conclude, “it’s too much.” As a salesperson, it is always good to acknowledge the “price question” by saying and asking like this, “I understand that you want to know the investment involved. Is it fine if I share with you the details of that towards the end of our conversation? Because I believe there are other details aside from the investment that you would also want to know for your total peace of mind, like the benefits of the product, the terms and conditions, and the delivery time, correct?”
  2. The always-busy type. This is the type of buyer who usually says, “Sorry, I am busy. Just send me details, please.” You’ll most likely take a long time to complete a transaction because setting an appointment is quite tricky. We should be flexible when handling this type of prospect. You can try this approach. “I understand that you are currently busy. That’s why you want me to send you the details via email. The truth is there are so many details that can’t be relayed via email. Relaying the information in person or via call is a must. I want you to know that I am so excited to share the details with you via phone call for your total peace of mind. When are you available to talk to me, is it after your work or during the weekend?”
  3. The I-know-it-all type. As the name suggests, this type of prospect knows or claims to know everything there is to know about the product or service you are offering. When you present your product or service, it will seem like you are the one who does not know much about what you offer. How do you address this type of prospect? It is best to let the person share what they know and acknowledge their thoughts or sharings. You can say like this, “Thank you for sharing. I admire people like you who make and do more research about the product or service they are interested in, and it means to me that you are serious about owning such. With that, how can I help you to get started?”
  4. The value-seeker type. This type of buyer does not typically mind the amount of money he or she needs to shell out as long as he or she gets the value he or she wants. What matters most to this type of prospect is the long-term gain he or she will enjoy after saying yes to owning your product or service. You, as a salesperson, should know what to highlight in presenting your product or service to this type of buyer so you can give him/her total peace of mind. For example, you can say, “I understand that you’re looking for a product that offers the best possible value. Our other valued clients and I can relate to you. We all want long-term gain. I am excited for you to experience what we have for you. Would you settle this via credit card or cash?”
  5. The innocent type. This prospective client is the type who does not really know what he or she wants from the product or service. It is possible that they are interested in getting the product or service out of necessity or influence of other buyers, but not really knowing what to look for. With this type of buyer, it is essential to ask a question like, “What made you decide to visit our office? How can I help you?” From there, you would know what he or she really wants. Then provide the best possible product or service.

This information can help you to position yourself appropriately when faced with prospective clients to serve. Through this, you will not only be able to prepare the approaches you can use when dealing with them, but you will also be able to determine the best ways to serve your clients.

Do you agree that having the above knowledge can significantly help a salesperson?

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Top 5 Benefits When You Do Good in Sales

Being in the sales industry does not yield the same results for everyone. Some reap a bountiful harvest from the effort they exert, the investment they put in, and the time they invest in working in it. However, a lot more salespeople struggle in earning decently in this field. 

It is not just about the financial aspect that makes a salesperson’s life rewarding, though. When you really know what it means to be a salesperson and your roles and responsibilities, you will enjoy the benefits that come with it. Here are the top five benefits you would enjoy when you do what is proper for a salesperson.

  1. Your relationships with your valued clients turn into friendships. Meeting new people, of course, is one thing that is inevitable for a salesperson. But the best part of it is when those new people become your valued clients, and the professional relationship is cultivated to become a closer one – friendship. In essence, you will also get the chance to learn from your valued clients.
  2. Your sales and communication skills improve. Being able to communicate with people with different personalities and characteristics all the time can make a salesperson very skilled in speaking, listening and asking. In addition, after dealing with different kinds of prospective clients and their objections, you become more and more knowledgeable and experienced in turning those objections around. 
  3. Your networks and referrals grow. When you as a salesperson do what is right in this industry, you will not need to look for new clients. The valued clients you serve well and maintain a great relationship with will help you find new clients. In essence, your clients are helping you share your mission with the people they know or love. That’s a great way to grow your network.
  4. Your personality develops positively. Working as a salesperson properly will help you develop self-discipline, total commitment, positive attitude, and unstoppable passion that you can apply in your life. Cultivating these qualities can make you have an excellent reputation not only as a salesperson but also as a human being. With that, you will be the preferred choice in your industry.
  5. Your income increases without pressure. If you focus on your mission of helping people achieve what they want or solve other people’s problems, you will surely succeed in sales. In other words, an increase in income will follow naturally. But suppose you focus on making money and not on the roles and responsibilities of a salesperson. In that case, the tendency is you will find it even more difficult to obtain financial stability in the field. 

It isn’t sincere to say that we should not use money to be in the sales industry because, after all, humans work to earn a living. However, money should not only be the focus of everything. We are not only here to survive and serve our own needs. We are given individual abilities that allow us to be in specific fields to fulfill roles that will also benefit other people. Therefore if you have the skills fit to be a salesperson, your purpose is to serve others while also fulfilling your own needs as a person. 

Do you agree with this? Feel free to put your comments below.

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The Basics of Growing Your Sales Career

“You are the best person who can help yourself best.” This is one of the statements I keep repeating to myself since I was a teenage boy laden with difficult life situations until now that I am working on my life mission.

Whether you are struggling with an inner battle with yourself or experiencing difficulties caused by outside forces, the decision to allow such challenges to bring you down is with you. This mindset helped me in all aspects of life, most significantly in my career as a salesperson.

When I struggled to obtain the required sales results in the past, I helped myself move forward and be better by first deciding to do whatever it takes to improve my character and skills. I learned and kept learning throughout the years because I chose to and accepted the different lessons that can help me. Here are the most significant pieces of knowledge that I decided to follow and, in turn, helped me be better in my chosen career:

  1. Find your one thing and put your 100% energy into it. So many of us have tried saying yes to a lot of things and opportunities. We believe that if we have more things to do, the better. That is why we keep on adding tasks as we go along. We should learn to subtract something from our plates and focus on one thing at a time. Going small in what we do and putting our energy into it will help us achieve what we want. If we direct our energy and time to many things simultaneously, we only get minimal results. Learn to say no to be busy and say yes to be productive.
  2. Focus on your mission, not on the commission. It is sad to say that many salespeople enter the world of sales solely for the commission. Their actions make people feel that they intend to gain money and not fulfill their supposed purpose as company representatives. This type of salesperson usually can’t connect with the buyers because the heart is not in the right place. Inadvertently, buyers are left to feel that the transaction is favorable to the salesperson but not to them. As I always say, selling is a transfer of feelings or beliefs. Focus on your mission, and commission will follow naturally.
  3. Have strong self-discipline every single day. A lot of salespeople don’t achieve what they want. Not because they are not able, but because they don’t have self-discipline. For example, we should not only be working hard when the deadline is close or when somebody is watching us. Instead, we should be working regularly and productively to achieve our goals consistently – every single day. It does not mean that you cannot relax. It only means that you should use your time wisely, set a daily goal, and do whatever it takes to accomplish it. Remember, your self-discipline plays a significant role in your success.
  4. Build harmonious relationships with your valued clients. We should not only be friendly when we are still convincing them to buy or avail of our product or service then become cold when they finally do. Our clients buy because they trust that we will help them when they encounter difficulties with the product or service. Leaving clients to figure out things about the product or service on their own or waiting for them to contact us for whatever they need will make us unreliable, untrustworthy, and not an expert. Communicate with them regularly.
  5. Keep learning new things and improving yourself. Whatever information we know now may still be true but no longer applicable tomorrow. The skills that we use now may no longer be practical the next day. If you are still having a hard time selling your product or service using your old strategies, try to learn something new and make it work for you. We need to keep updating ourselves with further information and skills and engage ourselves in training to upscale our knowledge and skills. Learning and improving ourselves must never stop.

You may accept all these pieces of advice or not. The decision is yours. No matter how much knowledge and skills we learn from other people, it will be up to us to accept those or not at the end of the day. But, I got life-changing results when I applied the above learning in my life. I hope that it will help you, too. Will you allow me to help you through these recommendations?

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5 Steps to Improve Your Selling Skills

         Many people, especially those who are my clients, usually ask me how to improve in the field of sales continuously. I have five significant pieces of advice, which worked for me since I was still starting in the sales industry until now, for those who ask me such a question. 

         The first is to attend training on sales. Different skills need to be learned and developed when you are a salesperson. So even if you are already an expert on your product, it would not be enough. Do not rely on the free training that your own company conducts regularly. Instead, take every opportunity to learn and relearn. However, do not limit yourself to learning from your usual source. You also need to learn from different mentors, especially if your current learning or strategy is no longer effective. Always remember that everything is changing, so is information. 

         The second is to implement the lessons learned from training right away. If you keep on attending different sales training sessions or programs but do not apply the learning right away, what is the use? You are just wasting your time and resources, not to mention the opportunities lost. When you expect great results from investing time and resources for sales training, remember that you are accountable for making those learning work. Your learning is like bullets – it cannot cause harm if it’s just lying around idly, yet deadly when used with a gun. 

         The third is to practice every single day. Since, as they say, we are creatures of habit, we must practice any new skills we learn regularly. More importantly, practice will make you get used to using a new skill and help you master it. One of the best ways to make sure you get to practice daily and master it is to do role-play with your colleagues, friends, or family members. Make sure also to use as many lessons learned from training in your day-to-day client interaction.  

         The fourth one is to build your self-discipline. If not all, most salespeople find it difficult to stick to a productive routine because they find it difficult or challenging. This challenge then leads to them neglecting whatever new knowledge or skills they got and fall back to doing what they are comfortable with, even if it is not working anymore. Being consistent in producing excellent results in sales entails commitment – commitment to keep moving and improving. Teach yourself never to give up when faced with challenges and never get distracted by other fleeting things. 

         The last one is to work with your mentor. I will never get tired of repeating this advice to whoever needs it. We all need people who understand how the sales industry works to guide us. We need experts to teach us how to become effective salesperson, and how to serve clients better. We don’t have all the information that answers all the questions about such. But, there are people who have the expertise in each of these aspects. We need them to help us. We need them to teach us. We need them to guide us. We need to work with them. We need to be pushed by them and be able to witness our true potential in the field of adding value, solving people’s problems, and helping them get what they want.

         If all these pieces of advice are followed consistently and religiously, I can guarantee that you will be a great salesperson and a champion in your industry. If you want to see an improvement in yourself as a salesperson, are you ready to take on this challenge? 

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3 Pillars of a Successful Salesperson

Selling, just like most skills, is learnable. There are books, seminars, and training that one can engage in to acquire knowledge and hone it. However, these materials or means do not suffice for someone to be successful in sales. One must first possess some things before getting into it, and even develop to stay there.  

In my years of sales experience, I have truly learned a lot about the art and skills of selling from colleagues, leaders, mentors, and even renowned international trainers. While continuing the journey to growth in this field, however, I needed (and still need) the following for me to have a direction, stay on track, and fulfill my vision:

  1. Unstoppable Passion. Passion fuels us to be persistent amidst all the challenges we encounter in our work line. Without passion, we will more likely give up easily. It gives us energy. Passion typically serves as the compass of some to go in a specific direction. Some discover it early, but a lot of people find it a bit later.  
  2. Firm Self-discipline. Human as we are, we are prone to distractions. This fact is the reason that we need to develop firm self-discipline. We can overcome distractions when we know how to control ourselves from getting lost in those. With self-discipline, we can go back on track when we become unbalanced for a moment. Successful people, who consistently achieve success in what they do, definitely did not just happen on their accomplishments. They paved their way towards each success by painstakingly following what needs they need to do.  
  3. Positive Attitude. In school, we learned that before our body can carry out any action, we think of them first. That is why when you think you can’t do something, it becomes a reality. In short, you sabotage yourself every time you think negatively. In selling, there are no amount of training and sales techniques that can help us sell if in our mind we are already doubtful. We always have to maintain a positive attitude. 

Being successful in sales requires all these and continuous learning because we can only become the best in what we do when we are at our best self – heart, mind, and soul. When we think about it, this also applies to any field of specialization. Whatever career path or whatever our calling is, we need to help ourselves grow in it, continuously burn with passion, maintain self-discipline, and muster positive attitudes. When we have all these, we find fulfillment in what we do because we know we are doing the best we can. Not even money can give us such. Don’t you agree?

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Top 2 Common Mistakes of Salespeople

A new year has finally taken over. Most of us, salespeople, have been preparing to have a better start and a smooth journey throughout the year. Although there are still restrictions due to the community quarantine, everyone is already gearing up to perform exceptionally. As helping salespeople elevate their results is one of my missions, I ensure to make them aware of everything that may affect their sales. Some of the things that salespeople need to be mindful of are the mistakes they are unintentionally committing and how they handle their sales transactions and results.

Here are the top two common mistakes that a salesperson usually commits without realizing the consequences each have:

  1. Lack of belief in one’s own product or service. The most common mistake of a salesperson is the lack of confidence in what they are selling. Some salespeople believe that the products or services they offer are expensive or too much. In this case, right after the salesperson asks for the client’s answer or commitment, the latter would typically say, “The price is too much.” Why is that? It’s simple! I learned over the years that selling is a transfer of feelings or emotions. In other words, if the salesperson believes that the product or service is expensive, the client would feel the same way. In the same premise, if the salesperson fully believes that the product or service is very attainable, that they would buy their product, they will easily convey that belief or feeling to the clients. There are also instances where a salesperson says what he or she needs to tell about the product. Yet, there is no sign of conviction of the product’s benefits in presenting the product to the prospective customers. As a result, the salesperson killed the sale.
  2. Not owning the same product. Another common mistake of a salesperson is selling but not owning or experiencing the product. In other words, for a salesperson to convince or persuade a buyer to own the product he or she is offering, he or she should know what it feels like to own it. How would you describe the feeling of driving a car to someone when you don’t even drive or own one? Or how would you convince someone how important securing the lives of people is if you are not insured yourself? Again, selling is a transfer of feelings. To be an effective seller, a salesperson must share his or her personal experience and the concept of what he or she offers, not the product or service itself. Indeed, you cannot give what you do not have.

Some salespeople think that these are trivial reasons for dropping sales, but on the contrary, these have a significant impact on one’s sales results. Regardless of the quality of the products or service offered, the selling techniques used, and the person’s tenure in the sales industry. If a salesperson does not believe and see the value of his product or does not even know the feeling of owning the product, it would be a struggle to sell it to customers.

Do you agree with these? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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How to Deal with the Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking, which is defined as the act of speaking or delivering a speech in front of a crowd, is said to be the highest-ranking among all types of fears. Statistics say that 3 out of 4 people have this. Can you imagine a lot of people are more afraid of speaking in front of a crowd than dying? It’s quite absurd, to think that it is not even hazardous, harmful, or life-threatening, but this is actually something very serious for those who have it.

So, given the high percentage of people who have this phobia, is it right to assume that all those speakers, teachers, politicians, and other individuals we see on stage were/are not suffering from it? The answer is no. There are people who just decided to overcome their fear in order to achieve their goals or to fulfill their mission. These are the kind of people who do not let their weaknesses stop them from pursuing their passion.

To be honest, I was one of the people who fear public speaking but I persevered to overcome it as it is very important in the field of sales. There are a lot of factors that develop this fear in a person. I will discuss some of those here.

  1. Fear of criticism. Most of us are usually concerned about what others think and say about us, and are not keen on receiving criticizing comments.
  2. Lack of confidence. Sometimes, we are not confident to speak not because we are typically shy, but because we lack preparation or knowledge about the topic we are supposed to speak about. Also, when we are not prepared, we tend to fail in managing the time and organize our thoughts accurately.
  3. Lack of self-esteem. This is a deeper and more difficult factor to deal with because this means that we do not appreciate, trust, or value ourselves. When this is the case, we usually think that we are not capable of speaking in front of many people, we are not worthy to be listened to or paid attention to, or that we do not have the knowledge and skills.

These are only some challenges that affect a person’s view on public speaking, but these are also the most common. I could say that once we learn how to deal with or address each of these, we will be able to overcome the fear of public speaking. How do we overcome these challenges then?

Firstly, we need acceptance. We have to accept the fact that no matter how perfect or flawless we think we are or our performance is, there are people who think otherwise. We cannot please everyone, as they say, so we just have to accept the criticisms and be thankful instead because those criticisms can help us improve. Secondly, we have to equip ourselves not only with knowledge but also with skills. Even those who are naturally eloquent and love crowds need to prepare themselves before getting on a platform or a stage. So we must make it a habit to study, and practice all the time. Lastly, we have to believe in ourselves that we can. We also have to accept that perfection is subjective, so we should not compare ourselves, our knowledge, and our abilities with others. Since this is normally something difficult to overcome on our own, we have to seek advice from experts, and from mentors on how we can develop self-esteem, and how we can stop sabotaging ourselves.

Public speaking is a necessity in many industries. It is absolutely necessary in the world of sales, business, and many more. If you are afraid of public speaking yet you wish to be a champion in sales, do not let it stop you from your goal. Work on what’s keeping you from it as what champions do.

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Is Rejection a Stop Sign?

Three years ago, when I was still starting my own sales training and consulting company, I personally went to many companies in Cebu City to offer my program and service. Most of them asked me to submit a proposal and were looking for my portfolio or background as a sales trainer. Since I just started at that time and had no portfolio to present, I got rejected 50 times. Most of them did not respond to my email nor contact me by phone, while some declined right away. When I followed up, they told me to just come back once I have the portfolio or training record. It felt just like getting your job application rejected because they are looking for applicants with experience but you’re still a fresh graduate. Then, you’d be left asking yourself how you can get the experience if no one would be willing to give you a chance.

After experiencing those rejections, one would think I would give up because it seemed impossible to get clients to invest in my training programs. Yet, I chose not to give up because I knew everything starts that way. There are many possible reasons why we encounter rejections but there are also reasons why we should not let such rejections stop us from trying again and again.

Here are the reasons why we should not always consider rejections as a sign not to pursue our goals:

  1. Rejections are redirections. I believe that sometimes the paths we are trying to tread may not be the best path. Which is why things do not work the way we want them to. For instance, you got rejected from a job that you wanted so you decided to apply somewhere else because you did not have much of a choice. You got accepted and ended up gaining more opportunities than you can imagine. I actually had a rejection experience in the past that have entirely redirected my career path. It was when I was still working in a hotel. I applied to work in Canada but got rejected. If I got accepted instead, I would have been working abroad up to this moment and have not gone to Cebu City, be a salesperson, and eventually a sales trainer. What a redirection indeed!
  2. Rejections are protections. I still remember, when I was still a kid, the many times my parents would say no to a lot of my requests. I also remember them telling me why each request was not granted, and usually, the reason was it would not do me any good. In other words, those kinds of rejections were meant to protect me from anything bad or harmful. Even now that I am older, I realized that some rejections I experienced protected me more than caused me losses. There were those which prevented me from working with people, who later on proved to have completely different principles from me and my company. Needless to say, those rejections were blessings in disguise.
  3. Rejections are opportunities for growth. Imagine if you have been accepted to every job opportunity you applied for, or got a yes from every person you proposed to (personal or business)… would you have learned how to be resilient, resourceful, open-minded, creative, analytical, or strong? With everything easy to get or acquire, I believe not. Yes, we all work the way we do because we aim for approval, for success, or for everything to work the way we want it to. However, these would not teach us the values that rejections do. If I always hit the sales target when I was still starting my career as a salesperson, I wouldn’t have invested in learning. If I wasn’t rejected by the previous companies I offered my sales training service to, I wouldn’t have known what I should improve on to promote my service the right way. Well, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

It is said that everything happens for a reason. This is true and definitely applies to rejections. The reality is that rejections are part of life. There is no such thing as a success if one did not overcome challenges, including rejections, in his or her journey towards his or her goal. It is time for us to embrace this fact. It is okay to feel sad about it, but learn to always see the good side of it, find out why it happened, then try again or redirect. But, never stop because, as what Tony Robbins said, “life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.”

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The Ultimate Non-Negotiable in Sales

In any company, salespeople are given sales goals or quotas to reach every month. More often than not, the management no longer checks how these salespeople achieve their target as long as they deliver. Although there are company mission, vision, and core values in place, these are sometimes neglected because of the pressure that comes with the numbers to be reached. As a salesperson for a long time now, I know that a salesperson must have personal ethics and use it at all times in dealing with prospective buyers and existing clients. This must be non-negotiable for any person, even those who are outside sales, because he/she can only adhere to the business ethics in place when he/she has a strong resolve on what’s wrong and what’s right. Here are some values that come when someone has personal ethics and why each is important for a salesperson to have:

  • Integrity. Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one’s watching. A salesperson who has integrity will always make sure that he/she will do the right thing, and will not over-promise or take advantage of a prospective buyer’s obliviousness about the product or service for the sake of closing sales even without supervision. This value is vital for a salesperson to have because, without it, one will just do anything and everything, no matter how wrong, to make a sale. Without it, the purpose of a salesperson, which is to serve others and help them address their needs, is defeated.
  • Empathy. Empathy means understanding what and how others feel. A salesperson who is empathetic will surely put the need of the buyers first before his/her own. Having empathy will cause him/her to serve the buyers with truthfulness and genuineness, making sure that the latter will be able to make the most out of the product or service they availed, and not leaving them to figure it all out on their own.
  • Honesty. Honesty means truthfulness in words and actions. A salesperson who is honest will more likely gain the trust of the people he/she offers products or services to because he/she does not withhold any information from or try to mislead the latter to entice them to buy. A salesperson who is honest will always make sure that there are no details about the products or services that are concealed from the prospective buyers and existing clients. Concealing a fact just to make the product and service more attractive to the buyers will eventually backfire to the salesperson himself or to the company he/she is representing.
  • Respect. Respect means giving high regard to a person, may it be oneself or another, and acknowledging the dignity of each one. When a salesperson has self-respect and respect for others, he/she will act according to what is morally right because he/she cannot live with the fact that he obtained or gained something through deceit or other wrongful acts. This is because he/she believes that everyone needs to serve and be served in a manner that promotes their dignity as a person.
  • Loyalty. Loyalty means being faithful and committed to one’s goals — mission, vision, and core values. A salesperson who is loyal is faithful to his/her pledge to uphold the mission, vision, and core values of the company he/she represents. This salesperson is also committed to delivering the company’s promise to the people they serve with the highest level of quality possible.

Without these values, which are part of personal ethics, a salesperson is only a liability and not an asset. Why? Because his/her actions that do not adhere to these values will later, if not sooner, cause a big problem to the entire company. A salesperson is a representative, therefore, people will see their actions as authorized or permitted by the company he/she represents. If you own a business or you lead a team of sales professionals, always watch out for this when hiring and developing your people. And if you are a salesperson or an aspiring one, always be reminded of why this profession exists — to serve others first before the self. Always remember that personal ethics is non-negotiable in sales and in life in general for, without it, we are nothing.

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3 Practices That Turn Clients Off

Being engaged in the business of serving people for many years, I have observed what practices make clients disappointed with service providers. Here are three of those practices:

  1. Not honoring the appointed time. Whether you are late for the meeting, or you do not end it at the agreed time, you definitely are making your client disappointed. Why will this turn your client off? Time is too precious, therefore when you do not honor the time they spared to meet you, you are disrespecting them. Who would want to work with a person who does not respect you? This is the reason that I always do whatever it takes to start my training on time and be ready before the time. However, I am still working on the part of ending my training on time because I have the tendency to extend due to my desire to give my clients more value. Although this is unintentional on my part, I am well aware that this should be addressed.
  2. Not honoring promises. How would you feel if someone promised to call you during your lunch break, so you skipped lunch to wait for the call, yet failed to do so? I am pretty sure you would be far from feeling fine because you sacrificed something to wait for the promise made. This is what your clients feel when you fail to do something you said you would do, even if that something is not very important. When you say that you will give an update, call, or email, you have to take note of those little commitments because those are vital in maintaining the trust you have established with your client. If you cannot assure your client, do not make promises. Set the context.
  3. Not following through. One of the reasons that some salespeople are held in ill-repute is their failure to check on their clients after the latter avail the service or purchased the product they offer. This practice tells clients that salespeople are only after the money, and not on helping them. This practice is also one of the reasons that a salesperson does not get referrals.

Product knowledge and selling skills are essential, however, there are also more important values that clients look for when choosing the best person to serve them. Let us be always mindful. Let us respect our clients’ time. Let us not break promises. Let us make sure that they are satisfied with our service. The essence of being a salesperson is serving people. Let us uphold the reputation of our profession.

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Entered the Sales Industry

Years ago, when I volunteered to be part of the sales team of the previous company I worked for, what I had with me was intense determination. I have no regrets but there are things that I really wish I knew before I came to that decision because it might have made my journey smoother and less painful.

Here are five things I wish I knew then before I applied as a salesperson:

  1. I wish I knew that once you sell something, the people whom you think would support and buy from you would less likely do so. In my experience, I never had a client who is a family member or a friend. It’s not because there was no one who needed the service because I knew some who availed the same service from different providers. After a few years, I realized that family and friends do not want to be sold to because what they’re thinking is that we are making money at their expense. This is the sad reality that I wish I knew then to avoid the feeling of rejection this caused.
  2. I need to be a firm believer in what I am selling or offering. When I started selling the programs that the previous company I was working for was offering, I honestly had hesitations that people will avail of the services because of the amount of money they need to shell out. This hesitation resulted in a lot of dropped sales because I ended up accepting the reasons that the prospects told me for not pursuing the programs. In other words, I had a subconscious belief that what we were offering was not worth the money that the customers need to spend. After totally seeing the benefits of the service, I immediately became confident in selling it.
  3. Competition is everywhere. I know this shouldn’t have come as a surprise but before, I thought that the service we were offering was unique. I realized later on that no matter how uncommon your niche is, you will always have a competitor. Competition even starts in your own company. If I had known this earlier, I would have been able to prepare myself and learn how to handle myself well when facing competition.
  4. How to handle all types of objections is definitely on top of the things I wish I knew for obvious reasons. If I knew how to handle all types of objections then, I wouldn’t have dropped a lot of sales. It would have been easier for me to build confidence knowing that I have one of the most important tools in selling.
  5. I need a mentor. When I entered sales, I only relied on the training given to me by my seniors about the service we are offering. I realized later on that aside from mastering our service, I must also learn selling techniques that are universal. It would have been an easier start if I already equipped myself with learning from different sales trainers before I totally immersed myself in the field.

Despite these all, I do not regret being in the sales industry and experiencing all those hardships because all those helped me become resilient and resourceful. If I haven’t gone through all these actual experiences, I wouldn’t have reached the results I wanted and become the person I am right now. I believe that I was destined to undergo all those for me to develop a desire to help others who are struggling in sales and help them become champions early in their sales career by inspiring them with my story.

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