If you work in sales and would like to take your career to the next level, you might understandably assume that you have to fill up your weekends and vacation times attending workshops and seminars and taking online classes.
While there is nothing wrong with this approach, you can also take control over your career and become a better salesperson by trying any or all of the following three tips:
Ask for Feedback
One of the best ways to become a better salesperson is to ask for feedback from your customers. Reach out via email, over the phone or in person to see if there is anything you could have done to make their experience with you even better. While you might be tempted to only speak with your regular clientele, don’t leave it at that. Make sure to also ask potential customers who chose a competitor instead. While many people may be willing to give feedback, they might feel uncomfortable sharing negative feedback to your face. Include a way for them to share anonymously, such as through an online survey through Survey Monkey. Then, if you hear the same feedback over and over—for instance, that it took you a full day to return their call or that you didn’t seem as knowledgeable about your company’s new products as you should have been—you can work on improving these issues.
Practice, Practice and Practice Some More
For salespeople who are new at their jobs, you might feel overwhelmed watching the more seasoned pros in your office land deal after deal. If this is the case, please do not be discouraged; instead, find ways to practice your sales craft and learn additional skills. A great way to do this is to sell independently for companies that already exist and can provide you with support and training. For instance, you could become an Independent Business Owner with Amway and set up a home-based online business that you can work at in the evenings and on weekends. You will have the chance to learn effective communication and sales skills by telling your potential customers about the many products Amway sells while still keeping your current job. Due to its direct sales business model, some have asked if Amway is a pyramid scheme. Knowing how to knowledgeably answer this and other tough questions could also serve as a way to improve your sales skills.
Find a Mentor
Yes, you already have a manager who might have done your initial training and brings you in for performance evaluations from time to time. But even if your manager is encouraging and supportive, it’s not the same as having a true mentor who will coach and guide you. A true mentor will help you to take your sales career to the next level by taking a more holistic look at you and your skills, and identifying exactly where you should improve and how to do it. To find a great mentor, start by looking within your own company and identify the people who are really good at what they do, and whom you admire and trust. Once you name one or two co-workers who you consider to be role models in the sales arena, approach them with the idea of having a mentor/mentee relationship. If you prefer to work with a mentor who is not sharing your office, you can sign up for online thought groups through a site like LinkedIn; if you spot someone whose input you find to be enlightening, consider sending him or her a message to introduce yourself and ask about a mentor relationship. When meeting with your mentors, try to keep it to a half hour or less and come equipped with specific questions that they can answer about sales.
Watch Your Sales Career Take Off
You have the desire and drive to take your sales career to the next level; now you have three solid tips that will help you to get there. By asking for feedback from customers, practicing your skills, and finding a mentor to offer invaluable advice, you should definitely see a tangible improvement in your sales skills.