10 Ways to Train Yourself to Be a Great Salesperson
A post from our Sales blog
Written by John Boddington
Unlike what some people say, great salespeople don't appear out of nothing. You're
not born with the tools
required to make a sale, far from it. You can train yourself to become a very effective salesperson, even if you see yourself as a little shy and introverted. The following techniques can be used to successfully turn you from a middle of the road salesperson to someone that excels, from posting decent numbers to hitting it out of the park on a consistent basis.
1. Keep working hard
Remember that success doesn't come easy, no matter the type of job that you do. It requires hard work and dedication, always being ready to invest in yourself and improve performances on a day-to-day basis.
You should aim to work harder than anyone else around you, pushing your boundaries and taking on challenges with fervour and determination. You don't have to grind yourself to the ground, but don't be afraid to burn the midnight oil on occasion.
2. Know your buyer
Salespeople often make the mistake of tackling their job in an insular manner. In other words, they worry about their own performances and attributes, completely ignoring the very person they're depending on for the sale. Should you take on this attitude, you'll never get anywhere and your conversion rates will remain mysteriously low.
Before you make your pitch, get to know your buyer
. Understand what makes them tick and how you can help fix their specific problems. Do your research before you make that call or send out your mailshot. Cite examples of how your product or service has been used in the industry and how it's led to success and increased revenue figures.
3. Attend seminars
If you want to be successful, you're going to need to do a little bit of work out of hours. Attending sales seminars is incredibly valuable and even if you have to pay for them out of your own pocket, they're well worth it. If you can, get your employer to help you out with costs.
Not only will you get golden nuggets of information that you can implement straight away, but you'll also meet other like-minded individuals who can help you drive your career forward. Try and go to as many of these as time and money allows, as they're integral to your career development.
4. Application is just as important
Learning for the sake of it isn't going to get you anywhere. Don't fall victim to information overload that's never implemented. You should try and apply what you've read or been taught as soon as you can. Set yourself the task of doing it within 48 hours, if at all possible.
This will turn book learning into actual applicable skills that will help you grow and become a better salesperson. What you've read and heard will become second nature, helping you evolve on a consistent basis.
5. Share your skills
There's a great misconception amongst salespeople that can make them quite selfish and unwilling to share. They're afraid that if they let go of their ‘secrets' others will overtake them. That's the kind of attitude that will keep you at the bottom of the barrel.
Sharing your skills isn't just good for your own feeling of self worth, but it will actually help you in your career as well. You'll get the gratitude of others, creating allies and even friends. You'll also find that those that you've helped along the way will one day come back to help you in return.
6. Mastermind groups
Successful individuals never do things on their own. They always surround themselves with others that are working towards the same goals. You don't even need to be working in the same industry, as long as you are all fired up to work hard and get results. It's often said that you're the average of those closest to you – make sure you surround yourself with people that have a go-getter and positive mind-set.
You should try and meet regularly and keep each other accountable. You don't even need to be in the same town – many successful mastermind groups
operate solely on Skype, chat, and email. Just make sure you meet up regularly to encourage one another and share tips and tricks.
7. Invest in education
Learning doesn't stop just because you've left college. You should always keep investing in yourself, particularly when it comes to sales. Dedicate at least an hour per day on reading books, listening to podcasts, or just watching videos on sales. Just make sure you stick to some sort of structure, as a haphazard approach won't give you much benefit.
You should always be working on improving your sales technique
. Consider your job as a platform for continual education, always striving towards perfection. Ask your manager whether they will pay for your course costs – even partial payments help. It'll also show your superiors that you're taking your job seriously and that you're keen to improve.
8. Work on your confidence
Successful and shy don't often go together when it comes to sales. In order to become a great salesperson, you need to work on your confidence. It will help you from top to bottom, giving you improved body language, a clear voice, and the ability to convince your lead to sign on the dotted line.
Some people say that introverts don't make great salespeople, but that's not necessarily true. You don't need to be the loudest in the room to be confident of what you're selling, nor do you need to have that constant air of arrogance we often attach to salespeople. All it takes is being confident in the knowledge of your product or service, being firm when necessary, and having the conviction to close the sale. Be confident when it counts, that's the key.
9. Learn from the best
You won't get anywhere if you don't learn from others, especially if you're just starting off on your sales journey. The trick is to identify those that have both the experience and the results. Watch how they approach their craft, how they talk to customers, and how they ultimately turn their hard work into results.
You don't need to be blatant in your admiration either. Just have a keen eye and take notes in your mind where necessary. Take the good points and try and take them into your own approach.
10. Set goals
Successful salespeople don't just put in the hours and elbow grease, but they always ensure they're working towards attaining a goal. Getting through the grind isn't enough – you should always be working towards improvement and goal setting is the best way to measure your progress.
Goals should be set for both the short and long term. Keep track through a diary or online tool. Set a time of the week or month where you go over everything you've achieved and why you've come up short – tweak your approach where necessary to optimise your results.
Remember, even if you take these tips on board and start implementing them straight away, it's going to take hard work and patience to start making things happen. But once it all comes together and things start to click, you'll soon be flying.