Carefully examine, and beware of anyone that acknowledges that he is in sales when asked what he does for a living! It is crucial to understand that there is a meaningful distinction between selling and merely being in sales. While many individuals are in positions of sales, they are not all actually selling in a licensed and impactful manner. If you are associated in any form of sales (and remember that nearly everything we do is selling, either a product, a service or ourselves), you should ask yourself some pressing questions:
- Are you ready?
- Are you closer?
- Is your technique professional?
One of the best salespersons I have ever met had a cartoon pasted on the back of his office door, that he introduced to constantly. It showed a man badly in need of a shave and looking disheveled, and the caption was, “Selling is like shaving. If you don’t do it every day, you’re a bum!”
- Professional sales mean committing to preparation, thus improving and potentiating one’s techniques and seamless efforts. When this is done, it often does not even appear to be selling, but becomes second nature, seems effortless, and is automatic. Mere selling means trying to make a sale, often appears desperate or pushy, and often looks merely robotic, somewhat forced, and generally artificial and scripted.
- Are you closer? This means do you consistently ask the other person for a commitment, some action, or commitment? Being a closer often means that you close your presentation merely by saying something like, “Doesn’t it make sense?” and waiting for an acknowledgment and “writing up an order.” Are you able to transform a high percentage of your presentations to sales (or commitments, etc.)? Is your closing percentage better than average, and are you able to close the deal while others often are unwilling to persevere?
- How is your sales technique? Is it technically sound? Do you seem convinced without appearing either superior or overly pushy? Do you look forward to handling and responding to objections and/ or concerns expressed by those you present to? Does your presentation move forward like a quality story does, with a beginning, middle, and end, that begins by making others interested, motivating them to listen and care more, and then transform that to taking the action you desire? In other words, is your presentation both impactful and significant enough that others “see the light”?
Don’t think that simply securing a position in sales means you are involved in selling! While being in sales merely describes your position, selling involves a proactive, strategically arrived at, position!