Q: I am considering moving into a sales role. I am an outgoing person who likes dealing with people. I think I would thrive in a commercial environment. I have not got much experience and due to the current situation, I would like some advice on how to make the move and succeed in the role? What are the main skills I need? (BC, email ).
A: Moving sectors is rarely easy, and our COVID-19 world is not making it any simpler. But one thing is certain: we have not stopped buying stuff, and we still need people to sell to us, writes Ines Gonzalez, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.
I believe that the fundamentals of selling haven’t changed in COVID-19. Of course, you may miss some real interaction with the customer and will have to adapt to a more remote way of selling, but the basics remain the same.
To get an overview of skills and qualities a successful sales person should possess, I have enlisted the help of award-winning account manager E. Guio. Here is her key shortlist:
Research your potential client
Who exactly do you wish to persuade to make a purchase? Who fits in with your product or service? Getting this right will make your clients feel unique and understood in their specific needs and present you as a professional in your field.
Listen, listen and listen
Listening is your most important skill. We have two ears and a mouth for a good reason.
The most important information is what comes out of the mouth of the potential buyer. That will give you the insight you need to sell that product or service based on what that person or company needs.
Keep your word
Stay clear from the snake oil salesperson stereotype.
Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. If you agree to a set of terms and a level of quality, deliver. No excuses, no delays. Follow up to make sure the customer is happy with the result. Be professional and show it in every action you take.
Keep in touch
The best client is the one who comes back to buy more from you.
Be active on your network, especially when it is non-sales related. Don’t always be on the hustle.
Just a quick check on how things are going or a Happy Christmas might be enough – any chance to let them know that you are still here and available.
Let’s accept it – salespeople get a bad rap at times.
Don’t come across as that fabled salesperson who would sell their granny for a fiver – which, of course, is not true of any real salesperson who wants to build a long-lasting career.
If you are not sure about something, be honest and tell your client you will come back with a clear answer (a great excuse to keep in touch ). Do not make up some story on the spot - you will lose credibility and most certainly the sale.
As you can see, not much has changed because of the current situation. More than ever we need to look after people in an honest way.
Remotely or not, if you truly feel this is your right path, go for it and make your mark.
Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Galway and Dundalk and a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, public speaking and presentation skills, and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/galway-office