How many years of sales experience does one person have? The answer is…their whole life.
A lot of people think sales is a hard thing, but believe it or not, we’ve all done it since we were kids. Do you ever remember trying to convince your parents to buy that toy you desperately wanted or needed? “Mom, but it has all these new features!” Do you ever remember trying to convince your brother or sister what to do with their Christmas money? “Timmy, you could get this game and we both can play it!” I’m sure you can recall your own memories. No matter what anybody tells you, you can do sales.
Why Do Sales People Have Such a Bad Rap?
This brings us to the question of why. Why does sales get such a bad rap? Why is it labeled as hard? Is it because typical sales jobs have a base salary and you only get a commission for what you achieve? Is it because no one likes to be told no?
It’s human nature to want a yes, especially when it’s tied to a positive outcome, your commission. But, put commissions aside, is sales actually hard? Is it really tough to strike up a conversation with a local business owner or call someone at a corporate office? Is it difficult to write a document summing up your client’s needs? Are you intimidated with estimating cost for a project? Do you find convincing people to need your product a difficult task?
Love People, Know Your Product, & Solve Problems
Sales is three things: loving people, know your product, and solve problems. I’ve used these principles to help me with my sales and I think they will help you too.
Your focus shouldn’t just be the numbers, it should be building quality relationships. The more people you know, and the more people you develop a great relationship with, the more likely you and your product will be considered.
Be nice to people and be yourself. You do not have to change who you are to do sales. People appreciate an honest and straight forward person. When you show others you care about their problem, it goes a long long way.
It’s ok to say no to a client and decline their project if it’s not a good fit. Being honest with them. Saying no to them goes a long way too. By building trust and selling yourself first, you are planting a seed that eventually will grow into an opportunity.
Know Your Product
People don’t want to speak to someone who is reading from a script. Have you ever had to work with a sales rep who needed to check with someone like ten different times? I bet you said in your mind, “Can I just speak to that person they keep talking to, this would be a heck of a lot easier.”
Knowing your product is a game changer. If you are a freelancer, the product is you and who knows yourself better than you?
You must provide customers with ideas before you engage them on a project. Agencies that give this blanket statement, “We can’t provide any solutions before we have a contract and a deposit in place”, is nonsense.
“Trust is vital with your prospective client.”
How can you close a sale if you can’t provide them with something to consider? Giving a customer more information within the sales process is really crucial. Trust is vital with your prospective client. The only way to do that is to show the customer that you know what you are talking about. Being able to provide ideas and solutions on the fly is very important, along with building trust and excitement with your future client. Doing this before they sign a proposal really can speak volumes about you and your product.
It’s ok to get a no here and there. You may get ten or twenty no’s before you get a yes. If you ask enough people someone is bound to say yes and that yes could lead to years of revenue. Don’t be afraid of “No”.
If you get a no, just be honest with the customer. Tell them that you would love their business and if you could help in the future you’d love for them to call you. If you are kind and genuine, it will stand out to them. If your competitor fails with their project, you will be the first person they want to call. It’s happened many times and being kind to people really goes a long way.
Don’t just sit back and wait for relationships to fall in your lap, go out and build them. Love people, know your product and be ready to solve problems for your future clients.