Our brokers act as trusted advisors to our clients on a daily basis. While brokerage is rooted in sales, we also provide a wide-range of client services across the board. This post is one JLL colleague’s perspective on the business of sales and what makes a good sales person. We invite you to share your thoughts.
15 TIPS ON HOW TO BE A GOOD SALESPERSON
How you prepare:
- Be proactive. Don’t put off the soul-crushing cold call or I’m-not-in-the-mood networking
event and chance to reconnect with a previous acquaintance (or to make a new one). Make the call – now!
- Read the news. Read industry and annual reports. And read your prospect’s body language. Look into the whites of their eyes. Figure out if they want you there and, if not, why not. And, if they do, what for? Learn and make an informed decision with regard to your next step with them, or others like them.
- Treat the initial call (or meeting) like an interview. Or a first date. All of these experiences are equivalent when it comes to the Big 3 questions which you need to be prepared to answer directly, and indirectly in a non-salesy way:
- Why you?
- What can you do for me/us that others can’t?
- What am I going to like/dislike about you?
“Are sales easy? No. Few things are in life. And, short of being part of the 0.001% (or whatever it is) trust-fund baby society, you generally don’t get paid to do things that are easy.”
What you say and how you say it:
- Frame your statement or question in an open-ended manner that encourages people to react and say what THEY are thinking or feeling.
- When you’re in sales mode, don’t forget to BREATHE. Most people prefer to talk versus listen – give your audience a chance to do the same. Quite simply, listen more, talk less. And having a deck with 50 slides? Don’t even get me started on that soapbox!
- When engaged in conversation, think of it like you’re sitting at a traffic light. Sometimes, the light is red for you. Sometimes it’s green. And proceed with caution when you see that amber light pop up. Count how many people are in the conversation and do some quick math – you should only be talking for your respective proportion ie, if there are 4 people, you should only be talking ~25% of the time.
- Don’t think of what you’re selling in terms of features and functions or price. I know, I know, we’ve all heard this – think about the value of it, craft a value proposition, yada yada – but what does that really mean? If you can’t complete this sentence, you should rethink your role as a salesperson: “When you buy XYZ from us versus our competition, _________ is the good stuff slash business outcome that you or your team or your company will get.” Know your competition – and know why you’re different and/or better.
- Get to the net-net (says she in a long-winded blog). Put it up front. Let people know what’s coming right away so that they can decide if they want more. Nobody has time. We’re all busy. And we’re rapidly losing our ability to focus and have attention spans teetering dangerously close to zero.
- Be honest. Not in a self-deprecating kind of way, but in a way that you’d want to see and hear if you were the one making the buying decision. What would you want to know?
How you think and what you do:
- Win-win. Silly. It’s not about winning. Or losing. It’s about figuring out which problem needs to be solved and providing a solution valuable enough so that someone or some company offers you something in exchange that you value enough to want to do it again. And again. And doing something that lets you sleep peacefully at night knowing that you did the right thing and offered help in the capacity that you can. Timing can be tricky, of course, you have to be there when there is a need. You can’t be MIA then just show up expecting to make a sale.
- Learn to say no. It’s okay to walk away from pursuits. Some just don’t make sense for you, or for your prospect. Get focused and invested in the prospects, people and conversations that recognize the value of what you’re selling – and have a need for it.
- No games. No nonsense. I personally feel that this is the adage for the contemporized version of “under promise, over deliver.”
- Use the phone. I know, everyone screens their calls, nobody answers their phone anymore. Nobody reads their emails either. Can you send them an Instagram? Or a Tweet? Maybe. But probably not. You have to find a human way to connect with your prospect because, they’re human too. Companies don’t make buying decisions – people do. Talk to them in a normal way, the same way you talk to family and friends. Surely you don’t “speak in tongues” dropping taglines, canned messages and spewing factoids?
- Stay engaged after the sale. You spent all that time nurturing the relationship to earn the sale: don’t hand it over and stay away until it’s time again for a renewal. That doesn’t work.
- Fight low self-esteem that comes from rejection and the fear thereof. There are going to be bad days. But there are also going to be good days. Don’t give up and enjoy the journey!No salesperson is perfect. Neither is any sales approach or solution sold. Ultimately, you have to do it your way and find that happy balance where you and your customer are both satisfied. Do the right thing. Have fun. OWN IT! Make your mama proud.