- Sales start everything. Henry Ford famously said, “Nothing happens until someone sells something,” because at the heart of every enterprise is the revenue-generating engine of sales. Appliances would not be manufactured if buyers did not need them; new homes would not be built if there weren’t families who wanted to occupy them; data mining tools would never be developed if there weren’t companies in need of comprehensive data analysis. Each sale warrants or ignites a series of steps from development through quality assurance which require human resources beyond a sales capacity.
- Today’s sales professionals are actually professional. Sales roles often have a bad reputation because of outdated stereotypes. Some people still connote sales roles with tacky proverbial used car salesmen, peddlers and pushy people, however the business development role has evolved well beyond being persistent and forceful. Which brings us to…
- Many sales roles require expertise. Often times, people are promoted to sales after they have attained a specific skill set or knowledge level. Engineers, for example, are often astute at design and construction before they are considered for positions to sell specific parts, equipment, software, etc. Pharmaceutical sales rep’s often must have degrees in biology to be considered for sales roles.
- The sales of some products help, even save, lives. A friend of mine sells medical devices that aid doctors during surgery. Using the devices helps to ensure patient safety and survival. She frequently consults with surgeons during the first few applications of the medical devices to make sure they are used properly. The same rationale can be applied to the sales of countless products, from infant car seats to security alarms.
- Sales professionals are sleuths. Competition is fierce, so sales professionals have to develop new strategies to uncover and close business. To determine if there is a need for the product or service, they must ask the right questions, listen intently for the answers and paint a compelling picture to prove that the prospect absolutely needs the product. If you ask anyone if they need a product, they will probably say no. If you ask questions that reveal a gap between the buyer’s ideal state vs. current state, you have a detected an opportunity on which to capitalize.
- It’s all about helping people. By addressing prospects’ needs, sales professionals help them achieve their goals. Financial planners are selling investments, yet help people plan for a joyful retirement. OEM sales representatives sell parts that are used to manufacture vehicles people need to travel safely. Interior designers sell services that enable families to make lifetime memories in beautiful rooms.
If you are considering a sales role, but are a little scared, consider enrolling in a Dale Carnegie course where you will learn how to overcome worry, communicate confidently and win people to your way of thinking.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training Northwest, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in the Northwest. We’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.