As I write this post I am watching Arkansas and Tulsa play football. Both teams are not where they want to be, but one thing is for sure…they are giving great effort and they obviously have prepared carefully to play this game.
Sales teams must take the same approach. No matter how good you are you must always work and plan hard to be successful in the long run.
Two elements that comprise sales preparation are product knowledge and sales skills.
To be a prosperous sales person one must create and provide value to the people you seek to serve. Many of the products you sell can help bring value, but as a sales rep you must understand exactly how they do that.
You then need to be able to communicate that value to prospects. Study the product literature, use the product yourself, search out competitive products to see how they compare, and finally talk to factory reps or your product manger to learn all you can.
A thorough product understanding is necessary before you can help the prospect and eventually customer properly utilize the product to improve their situation.
It is also critical to sharpen your sales skills. You must learn how to get good at finding prospects, convincing them to meet with you, and then knowing exactly what to do when you meet. The great news is that there are lots of resources available to you to help you learn.
Paper books, digital books, audio books, podcasts, and You Tube videos are all good tools. I like to listen to podcasts while I drive. That way, I maximize use of my time to learn, rather than just listening to music or talk radio.
Some of my favorite podcasters for sales education are Jeffrey Gitomer and Jennifer Gluckow at “Sell or Die” and Anthony Iannarino at “In the Arena”.
I also listen to Brooke Castillo and Gary Vaynerchuck frequently, to help with mindset.
Sales is one of the best paying hard working careers you can have, and knowing products and developing sales skills are part of the required hard work.