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Following my last adventures about sales (here), I’ve never grew up thinking “tomorrow, I’ll be a salesman”; not at all. Nor I’ve never lived in an environment with some (no parents on sales business, no brothers/sisters), some friends joined this career later, but no really influences had prepared me to be, in some ways, ‘in the track’ to. But I did. Several days after my previous education, it came, day after day, not that I had no guide – in fact I met some important and awesome people in these skills -, but as if I always prepared to, a kind of doom, no curse at all, just destiny.

In fact, sales jobs are specialist ones, against all beliefs effect on our lives. That’s probably one of the main reasons, anyone can’t be a salesman…Why?

First, when you have a family, you’re always out, travelling by train, car, plane, collecting nowhere destinations and empty hotels; lonely dinners, lonely nights, early wake up, in a certain way, similar to priest loneliness and hopes…You begin to pray for tomorrow’s sales, and have nightmares of white paper and failed sales

Second, and added to loneliness, nobody believes in your intelligence, in the fact that you’re programed to sell (anything you want!), and one suppose, you’re just good enough to, but not really more. A modern warrior, infantry, keeping the lines, always at war. You must find another reason to believe it’s a noble job (fortunately, real salesman knows with experience how to cope with it and find lots of pleasure and happiness in their daily life!). It’s sometimes hard to be loved to, by your invading mind, big mouth, and teeth too white (!).

Third, you have to be patient, while you’re obliged to listen all customers problems, hoping at the end of the tunnel, one of them will order you, for your talent and understandings. It’s not obvious everyone can spend times to try to understand, thoughts and miseries of people.  But closer climate becomes a trust situation, more sales you will be able to do. Look at what’s up on social networks -even if there’s nothing to buy/sell, what I often ask to me…-; no trust, no exchange, no chat, no answer. No contact, no friends. That is. A kind of confident, before being advisor, doctor…and sometimes best friend.

Look at the final cut: that famous art, selling. It’s a matter of trust. And  not anybody can say, he’s trusty for sure. Trust is a reward, you can’t buy it, I think. So, whatever your intentions, you have to work for it, to get the tools and be the special confident. Be the one who knows all about his customers, when they are, but before too; analyzing personality, to structure, adapt your talk, prepare to argue hard, but to put yourself at the customer’s place; we’re all users of anything, and as famous quote “don’t do others what you don’t want you others do”. It’s a deadly final art in fact, lots of people depends on your skills, in companies.

Now, I made my mind, managed sales teams, lead to business development – the other style of selling with BtoB relationship – but I know what “selling” means, and all the background behind. Believe me it’s a awesome job for who knows discovering tricks&tips and decide to invest for a while. But one thing I’m sure now, is that job is not for everybody. It’s part of the dream to become famous, rich and respected, but prepare you to the hardline before, with simplicity, care and wide opened mind. It’s core of the job, missing it can throw you away and leave you a bitter taste in your career…

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Salesman is a hard job you know. But customer is too. And just like husband and wife, it’s the couple of the year !

Be careful about your neighbourhood, friends, family…customers. There are not invicible, there’s a no way track, a dead end job where economics, troubles and unstability may drive them. Selling is an art, giving pleasure, uses and products where one can buy it. It’s unbelievable how it can be a burst way to explode ourselves, in achievement, goals and even philosophy. But one can take the trap, if you’re not advised, blinded by ambition and foolish games. Let me introduce you to another plan, in more clever path, with ABC of selling maze…

  • Let’s consider that, with “no target, no customers…”; what is it all about ? You can run, like a nut dog for quantity obsession, “raping” customers (who are not in fact, because they didn’t choose to be…), giving more than they need and want. Think about it: when you start to shoot, first you stare at the target. If you don’t, you fail. When you imagine to sell, it’s the same music…if you don’t target the audience, you won’t find the best customers, those who are going to buy more, and more longer with fidelity. But you will sell anything, to anyone, breaking the brand integrity, and making your action a short time effect. OK you decided to shoot in a more accurate way. you get the target ready…
  • Well, you’re tired because you targeted all that moved, and still have no sales…Why ? “no customers, no sales“, it’s obvious. When you targeted, selected some islands of potential buyers, you must now talk to them…ranking them by parts, marketing items : age, job, potential wages, household with or without children – don’t forget they are real agents of potential spendings -, activities, hobbies, where and how they live, and so long. You start the famous ranking and segmentation, that is going to be the next milestone of your selling plan. Not for pleasure, but just because you don’t talk to a 10 year’s old boy as you do with his parents or grandparents…And even if the product is the same – I suppose it’s not, but anyway! -, the way you’re going to sell it and to talk about its qualities, is obviously the same way…Several paths for several customers, but for the same product…You start as well to write some selling bullet points for salesforce: presentation, pros and cons, selling notes. You enforced the tools, ready for the next step…
  • No products, no sales…” ; that is…have you identified the right ones, is there enough quantity in stocks, what is the speed of turnover, and production cycle ; are you limited, have you to select how many to sell or can you sell to anybody ? yes, you know like me, that a good salesman can even sell a product that doesn’t exist…;-) ; but that’s not a responsable behavior: you will shoot once, then you’ll be out of order by your bad boy reputation…Don’t forget the triple AAA, in Coca Cola worldwide strategy: Anywhere, Aware, and Available.
  • Take it easy, still few steps to success. More difficult than ever…”no method, no sales“. You’re strong like a bull, enforced by tools, products, lots of targets and selling notes. Anyway, how are you’re going to cope with it, do you know all the story of customer’s needs ? It’s like you drive a car as you’re blind. Full crash for sure, end of the story. You have to spend time to understand the “needs” of your customers. They will thank you a thousand times, more than the product itself !
  • The method is simply, listen…Nowadays, we forget too much listening our environment: advises, tastes, behaviors -yes body’s langage too-, experiences. It’s not hazard case to be there in a collective thematical website, yes, but web2.0 settlements, not at all, it’s just to share, stare, listen…yes practice what we call “active listening” to note the tinest detail about what the story of the product might be for your customer. Not for another. For this one. Each customer has a story to tell, considering the product’s finally use. Before closing the deal, don’t forget to know the right story; if you don’t, you will be hated first, but the brand you work for, will get a serious kick in its reputation…

Ready ? ready for a long story, embracing the job, ready to spend time and time, hearing stories, troubles, but hopes and destinies of future good deals, good sales. Sales you won’t never forget, you’ll be proud of. Sales customers want and call back. Because, products are there to be used, but there to tell stories too…Be a part of these stories, be the main character, the prince which saves the bride.

Coming soon: why can’t anyone be a salesman ?

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