The Principles of Sales & Relationships
Feel misunderstood or seen as shady? If you’re a sales-person you’re not alone! Fueled by the perceptions we hold of car and double glazing sales people and the techniques they employ, sales people can undeservedly get a bad wrap.
Many sales people are simply order takers, whereas the most effective salespeople give significant value to their customers.
For our October Rural Roundtable, guest speaker Duncan Jones explored how to take your sales to the next level and so ensure the heart of your business pumps strong.
Duncan has a wealth of experience from a prosperous career of relationship building and leadership coaching. In this discussion, he shared the wisdom he’s gained across developing high performing teams, embedding cultural improvement and sales confidence.
If you missed it, catch up here:
The Principles of Sales and Relationships
The definition of ‘sell’ is “to give something to somebody in exchange for money” — but where do you start as a sales-person?
Sales can be seen as a structure relying on 3 pillars.
- Skills and Knowledge of your Product or Service
- Knowing your product or service inside out allows you to identify where there is a need for it. If there is a lack of awareness, it is your job to generate your concept in your customer’s mind.
- Sales Motivation
- The motivation of sales-people is always money, surely? While of course this comes into it, motivation is much more complex. Recognition and satisfaction can be much stronger and more effective motivators. They’re feelings that are often craved, and provide that ‘high’, alongside a self-esteem boost. These emotions can be impressed by both the customer, and fellow team members within the business. If you’re leading a sales team, it’s vital to consider what motivates your sales-people, and whether they are receiving this.
- Organisation and planning are key skills for any successful sales-person. Without them, panic can easily creep in. ‘Headless-chicken’ syndrome can appear when the chips are down. In prosperous times, process and system development can end up taking a back seat. Then when you have a quieter time, your team may fall victim to overwhelm and desperation. Organisation is the best way of mitigating these issues.
Openness. Honesty. Trust.
The foundations of all good relationships.
Why do these matter for people in sales? Surely if your product is strong, the process is about the product rather than the sales-people?
Switch up this thinking. The truth is, people buy all the time. They make choices and decisions constantly. How these choices are presented, and who by, are key factors in the decisions they make. Ultimately, if you respect the individual presenting an option to you, you’ll give it further consideration. You may trust their judgement, or trust their intentions. There’s more awareness and knowledge there.
So how do you forge a relationship of mutual respect?
Finding common ground is always a great first step. Then really listening. Not just hearing, but understanding their issues and showing empathy.
Over time, this compounds into a good reputation. People will talk, so it’s important to make sure you’re known as a trustworthy, helpful contact, rather than a ‘pushy sales-person’ who’s always trying to get a sale.
Duncan’s Top Sales Tips for Success:
- Underselling is just as dangerous as overselling. Consider where you sit on the spectrum.
- The only constant is change. Keep adapting and moving with the times of your customers.
- Evaluate your relationships with clients.
- Consider the value and quality of leads before investing in them
- When implementing quotas, keep quality over quantity front of mind.
- Actively seek training, particularly for sales managers. A good sales-person doesn’t automatically become a good manager
- Every sales-person needs leadership skills – take people with you rather than sell at them
- Enjoy yourself and ensure you’re working with people whose values align with yours!
If you’d like to discuss your sales process with Duncan directly, you can contact him here.
To speak to us about how we can help you grow your business, drop us a line!