March, 2019 will mark my 4th year of being employed in Sales, within my professional journey.
(When including Part-time Employment : make that 11 years.)
What I had come to note : is that there’s a misperception – directly chained to any and all association with the term “sales” and the act of “selling” within the public domain.
The Silly Stereotype of a common Door SalesMan is what pops into mind – a psychological hurdle automatically set in place, noted as such already from a young age.
An act of forcing what ever product or service currently on hand, on to the innocent consumer who dares to show some interest in what is being offered…Through manipulation, hidden truths and money eager players : who are willing enough to do anything, to get that paycheck at the end of the month. Today, any industry is flooded with similar charmers : doing their best to follow this approach to get out on top.
An act of being pressured to make a choice, when you aren’t sure where the relevance of this product or services fit into the criteria of what you are looking for. Money is not plenty to spend foolishly [anymore]. So to avoid making any irrational mistakes : the consumer would rather wander about lonesomly – figuring things out quietly for themselves; rather than being flustered with the pressence of above mentioned – like charmers, when attempting to communicate what they are looking for.
The problem I have with this is (1) a sales person, is supposed to guide the consumer: to help identify how the product or services would be suitable in addressing the need ( problem or desired outcome) of the consumers brief. (2) In turn, the consumer, should man – up and pick the Sales person’s brain : as they are literally a walking “Google”( being experts within their fields…) to have ‘silly’ questions answered on the spot.
But because of the silly stereotype : a lot of misperceptions during a Sales Interaction are ever present : should communication not be clear and transparent from the innitial Hello.
I’d love to reinterpret “a sale” or the act of “selling” as : communicating with another individual, with the purpose to convince them that what you have to offer has value : or will add value – to their current personal circumstance / capacity. And have them commit to your cause ( be it financially, public association, etc.) in return for the offering.
“Selling” is not particularly secluded for the retail / consumer goods environment : but is also ever present within each daily interaction of any individual, anywhere.
You, being a fellow dweller within your neighbourhood, do an act of selling daily through meaningful engagements with strangers a long your way.
[Lets side track real quick]
I have one week left of festive-vibes, before returning to the rat race for 2019. ( Yes, be Jelly!)
My mind already being split : already going nowhere rappidly fast : wrapping itself around the vaguely remembered lose strings from 2018 : in preparation to kickstart this year with a Bang! Monday next week.
Last year, Jan ’18, it was as easy as referring to my old journals, and a few rabbit holes down Youtube on the topics directly related to that of selling and the art thereof. Sufficient then, almost redundant now. For this year, I’d like to reconcile everything I’ve learnt, by reevaluating my notes – and develop new ways on how I’d like to change my approach for 2019.
As mentioned before, selling is not only restricted to one’s professional capacity between 9h – 5h : but seeps through into every aspect of communication between individuals, at any time.
To follow, is a bit of story telling. A Series to be presented in Staccato [ no patricular posting schedule]- attempting to change one’s perspective on the matter of selling within the professional realm; with its direct relations to our personal capacity of socialising with others. I’d like to share a few thoughts I had noted to be quite valuable informants, which through future referencing can become powerful tools within our own daily routines (professional and personal capacity a like,) during the act of selling.
Scan through the key points vs. working the words to take full advantage of what I’m sharing here. Your choice.
Confidence : the breaker of all ice
Believe in yourself . (Believing in yourself, could be the one key element – the reason – for your success / or that of your attempted failure.)
Any particular “sales” – research driven rabbit holes, will somehow lead you to the following statement ” believe in your product, and the battle is half won.“
What does it mean to believe in a product? Could it mean that the particular product adds value? How? and What value? To whom will it be valuable and why?
Benefits, Guarantees, Service plans, Coupons, Lay-Buys, Follow-up Services, Quality, Beauty, Pay-Backs – only to name a few.
Could it mean that it is useful? Being Practical of sorts? Perhaps being Hand-made? Unique? Or affordable yet mass-made? How do you build trust within a brand, to even consider believing in the particular product?
To believe in a product, does that mean you avoid being informed about what could go wrong? Or about the ‘bad’ side of the purchase? Do you think there’s a level of trust involved and achieved within each act of selling?
What determines your belief in one product above another? Perhaps with similar characteristics, or the total opposite. Is it ‘value for money’? Is it ‘green’?
Do you have services accompanied with the product offered for purchase? Or is your product : providing services? Perhaps a combination of both product and services?
We can continue like this for days – but will it be helpful?
Confidence comes from knowing. But I’m not suggesting over flooding yourself or anyone else with information.
Gradually work your way through information that will help you understand where you ( or your product) fit in in the grandieur scheme of things. Plan your ‘studies’ : set up the time : and seek the knowledge when necessary (or most convnient to you.) This allows for confidence boosting and interesting conversation openers when an interaction is inevitable.
Which leads us to one of the important considerations : You as a person. You, and your mind. Be it Best Friend or Worst Enemy. In order to be confident, you need to be honest with yourself with how much you know, and how much you don’t know. Be it about yourself, and/ or the ‘product’, and/ or ‘services’ you are representing.
The moment doubt kicks in… you are fighting a losing battle ( unless the brand you are representing is winning the battle for you.)
The act of selling – has many forms of complexities. And I’d like to do my part to help make conversation happen between strangers for the better good of all circumstances.
Each individual is previledged to have met you. Why is that? Do you mind describing a personalised summary, noting the value ( or even non value) you had previously represented within your relationships? Evaluate how you could do things differently vs. continuing what you’re doing now – for future references. Work, home, school, self time spent… Start by either the smallest thing, or with the one with the biggest psychological hold up on you. Progress will come after taking the necessary time to think this through.
By knowing yourself – the good, the bad and the wonderful –(as you would any product or service) : you’ll achieve a level of confidence not many can match.
Xtra Tip for a confidence booster
Dress well – to Feel good : for those days when your confidence had seemingly disappeared out the window. “Fake it till you make it” by wearing your favourite outfit. Do NOT let your emotions control the outcome of your decisions made. The moment you transform the way you think about yourself away from the negative into that of more positivity : notice how the outlook of your day start to change. Notice how your feelings and approach to things change.
From now on, every time you see yourself in the mirror, Smile. Then find a reason for that smile; avoiding any Negative attributes. Only good thoughts allowed when you find yourself glimpsing in any mirror.
The moment you start to feel better about yourself; you automatically attempt to look better as well. You carry yourself better. You have a sparkle in your eye, a jump in your step : In turn, happiness! Or at least that particular spark which can be contagious. A chain reaction, should you know how to influence it.
And to reign it back for a last round about product confidence in relation to the act of selling within the professional realm. Should you not know your product as well as you would love to : or get caught in mid conversation with another individual – unable to answer their queries… It’s OK to be resourceful, admit honestly to not knowing and make sure to return back at the earliest with some well informed news.
I am excited to share more with you.
For now, should anything have resonated with you – feel free to share your story down below.
Take deep breaths and be confident in 2019!