By Kathleen Laney - June 2019
When it comes to sales professionals, there are the good ones, the bad ones, and then there are the ones who bring in the bulk of their company’s revenue.
The bad ones can be hard to miss. They are the ones we can blame for giving the profession a bad name. They are that stereotypical sales person who is focused on pushing what they are selling as quickly as possible and with little thought given to the actual needs of their customer or their purchasing timeline.
Good sales professionals are a bit different in that they don’t treat their prospects in a way that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. These salespeople are pleasant to work with and will do what is asked of them. But that is about all they will do. Good salespeople fail to be proactive or optimize the value they provide to their prospects and customers.
That’s where the best sales professionals set themselves apart. Great salespeople don’t just focus on closing a sale. For them, selling is not just about the current or pending deal. Instead, great salespeople concentrate on building long-term relationships by becoming a trusted resource for their customers and helping to solve their ongoing problems.
How to move from Good to Great
There isn’t a single factor or skill that makes a salesperson great. However, here are five tips that will improve every parking sales professional’s game.
1- Be resourceful. Great salespeople will find a way to achieve their goals. They don’t let one, two or even 1,000 obstacles stand in their way. When one solution doesn’t work out, they simply look to another. Resourcefulness is not just a skill, however, it’s a mindset. To be resourceful, you must abandon limiting thinking patterns and start believing that regardless of how difficult the challenge is you face, it can be solved. Resourceful sales professionals will use technology and their network to help them work smarter and be more efficient and effective.
2- Become an expert. This may seem obvious, but knowing the services, products and industry is a distinguishing factor between good salespeople and great salespeople. The better you know what you are selling and why someone should buy it, the more confidence you will have. If you can demonstrate to your customers that you know what you are talking about, you will be more likely to gain their trust. To be an expert in what you are selling, you must not only know the product or service you are selling inside and out, but you must also have a strong grasp of your prospect’s concerns and how your product or service will directly address those concerns.
3- Listen carefully. Listening to your customers is key. Many salespeople are natural talkers. Unfortunately, great speaking will only get you so far without some time spent listening. It’s important to know when to shut up and how to listen. Don’t get in the habit of thinking you know your prospect’s situation and the solution that will best meet their needs. Instead, focus conversations with prospects and customers on finding out what issues and challenges they have. Having a clear understanding of your customer’s challenges and concerns will enable you to better position your product or service in a way that addresses their issues.
4- Value your time. A sales person’s time is their most valuable asset. After all, your time is all you have to sell. How you use your time will directly affect your standard of living. But don’t make the mistake that being busy means being productive. Great sales professionals understand the importance of using every available minute to its full advantage and know how to focus on the most important priorities. They will target those companies and prospects that have the highest likelihood of bringing in business.
5- Always be learning. When you work in sales, there is always more to learn. Sales superstars distinguish themselves from others in that they willingly invest in the continuous advancement of their skills and knowledge base. It’s important for sales professionals to commit to learning whether it’s through reading blogs and articles, listening to podcasts, or attending conferences and training sessions. As you continue to learn, you very likely will become one of the most valuable salespeople in your company.
So, there you have it – five tips that will help sales professionals move from good to great.
Adopting one or all of these practices will not automatically turn you into a sales superstar, but perhaps they can motivate and inspire you to do something new that works for you.
This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of Parking Today.