Having a sales related position requires a certain type of person as we all know. You have to have a go-get-em personality, and be a people person. Then, there is the difference between an honest sales person, and one who is not so honest. An honest sales person will have faith and belief in the products they are in charge of promoting, and they will tend to honestly conduct their business with you. One who is not so honest may not necessarily believe in the product, but are simply “doing their job” – and at times may even bend the truth or outright lie about the product.
For both types of people, the bottom line tends to be about the sale and commission and doing the job. The way that is approached is of course different between the two – and only one of the ways leads to a long-term successful career in sales. Sales are about moving product to people who you have convinced to buy the product. If that convincing is done honestly, then a good reputation can be had, leading to further business through word-of-mouth. If on the other hand, you move product through dishonest means, that too can spread, and word-of-mouth will harm you and/or the company
So, as you approach a position in the sales field, ask yourself which type of person you are? Are you looking for long-term success, or quick prosperity?
Another trait to have, is the ability to know when a customer is truly “shopping” or just buying. While those might sound similar, let me elaborate some. A customer who is buying is the type that tends to come to the store knowing what they want and ready to buy. They may not know the exact specific item they want, but they know what they generally are there to purchase. Trying to push and push to upsell other items to this type of customer, will only be successful in irritating them; turning a potentially good sale into a bad one quickly.
If someone come in asking for a specific type of item, and you go on and on about other items, and their benefits, and are constantly pushing things on them, it can cause you to lose the initial sale and future sales. If, however, you supply them with what they need, and then after only a minor amount of attempting to upsell to them you can read the signs that it is best to drop it, you will most likely keep a satisfied customer.
Now, when I refer to someone who is just shopping, this can be taken one of two ways. First, they may simply be looking around and comparing items; in this case, you need to answer questions and give them room, not forcing your opinions or a multitude of products on them. The other way someone may be shopping, is when they know a general item they want – like an appliance – and they are ready to buy, but they do not really know what they need in the item, and so they therefore need assistance in comparison of items. This type of person is more likely to need help deciding, and therefore upselling to them is almost more of a need at the time.
For instance, someone comes to a store for a new appliance, and you sell them what they need. However, you fail to bring up the fact that the appliance does not come with certain necessary cables or connectors that they need to complete the task. This adds to the frustration of the person as they have to go back out and buy that part. A good salesman knows the products, and what extras may be needed, and discusses that with the customer. That kind of upselling is not only approved, but is pretty much a necessity. However, taking that same person and then pushing and pushing them to buy other related gadgets also, can become irritating in another way.
A good sales person will acknowledge the customer quickly upon their entrance, and will seek to assist them without hovering or pushing them. Let the customer ask the questions, and answer them honestly and to the best of your ability. If you are unsure of an answer, it is better to seek a correct answer from others than to simply guess, no matter how educated of a guess sit may be.
A successful long-term career in sales is best accomplished through honestly and truth and a firm belief in the products being sold. Anything less can lead to potentially harmful circumstances. So, as you seek a new position in sales, it is worth asking yourself which type of salesperson you seek to be.
"Image from dreamstime.com"