How I Became a Sales Expert – (And You Can Too)
Want to know how to become a sales expert? In this post, you’ll learn the common traits of top performers and how to develop your own skills.
Sales skills take time and effort to develop. As someone who has spent more than 12 years in sales and training others in sales. I can tell you it’s not easy—but it’s worth doing.
The good news is that anybody can learn how to sell if they’re willing to put in the work.
If you want to get better at selling, there are some things you need to know about what makes a good salesperson great.
Whether you’ve been in sales for years or just starting out, there are always ways to become better at what you do.
The hardest part of becoming a top B2B sales professional is learning from your mistakes and not repeating them. As the saying goes, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again!
My sales skills started to build when I was a kid.
My first sale was a pencil, and then I sold sharpeners and rulers at school. I even used my own toys for collateral.
Selling these things helped me develop the ability to communicate effectively with people, which has been crucial in my success as a salesperson.
When I was 10 years old, my parents decided to buy a new house. Because they wanted more space for their family of three children (my brother and me).
They asked us what we thought about moving out of our old home into something bigger.
Although they didn’t actually need anyone’s approval before making this decision, they still wanted ours out of courtesy.
Because we were kids who loved our old house just fine but also really wanted more space around us. Not just within the walls but also outside them. We told them that it sounded like an awesome idea!
And so began my journey down the path toward becoming an expert in selling ideas.
It all started with convincing others that what would benefit me most would also benefit them…
In the early days, I learned to cold call by practicing with my friends and family.
One of the top sales skills to learn how to cold call is to practice on people you know. In my early days, I would go through my phonebook and call all of my friends and family members.
This approach may seem strange but it worked for me because I already had an idea of each person’s personality based on previous conversations with them.
This exercise helped me become more comfortable talking about products that were not directly related to me or my business. It also helped me realize which products were more difficult for me to sell than others (for example, financial services).
As you begin cold calling, remember: don’t be shy!
If someone hangs up on you or doesn’t want to talk with you, try again later or move on to another contact in your phonebook.
Don’t get discouraged by rejection; instead, focus on getting better so that eventually someone will listen long enough so that they feel compelled enough by what you have said and decide that they need whatever it is that brought them into contact with your company!
I learned that the best salespeople are likable and authentic.
I learned that the best salespeople are likable and authentic.
Likability is critical to success in sales because it helps you build better relationships with your clients. If they like you, they’re more likely to trust you and buy from you. You can also be more effective when dealing with problems because people are more willing to work with someone they like than someone they don’t know or don’t care about.
Authenticity is just as important as likability when it comes to being successful in sales.
Because it allows people to relate to you on a human level instead of seeing you as just an employee of their company who’s trying to make money off them by selling them something (which isn’t always true).
This makes for an easier rapport between buyer and seller—and ultimately leads toward successful transactions!
I learned how to listen and how to ask the right questions.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to listen and not just hear. When we are listening, we are showing that we care about the customer’s needs and wants. A great salesperson will ask questions that show they are interested in their customers’ needs. The right questions can help you understand your customers’ problems better and helps you find solutions for them.
You also need to ask how much someone wants or needs something before giving them a quote or price range on items that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Sometimes people want things more than they need them; other times it’s vice versa. You don’t want to sell something if someone doesn’t really need it. Because then they won’t be happy with their purchase!
If you don’t understand what a customer is saying, ask them if they could repeat what they said louder or slower.
So there are no misunderstandings between us when talking together face-to-face over Skype video calls where we’re both sitting at our desks wearing headsets while using computers too 🙂
Sales Skill – I learned how important it is to respond, not react.
- Respond, not react.
- Listen, then respond.
- Be a good listener!
I learned from success and from failure.
The most important things I have learned have come from my failures.
When you make a mistake or fail, ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Did I do everything that I could to succeed? If not, then what else can I do in this situation?
- Did my plan work as expected? Was it too ambitious or not ambitious enough? Did it work against me instead of for me? How can I adjust my plans so they will be more successful next time around?
- Who did well and why were their results better than mine? What can they teach me about how they were able to achieve success, despite having fewer resources than what I had available during my attempt at sales mastery?
There was a time when I would feel anxiety and dread during prospecting calls
There was a time when I would feel anxiety and dread during prospecting calls.
I knew that I needed to make these calls, but I didn’t know how to approach them.
I would get nervous about what they would think of me.
Or, they would reject me.
I didn’t want to waste their time or take up too much of it either. This made my heart beat faster as well!
I had to find ways to get comfortable with the fact that most of my prospecting calls would be met with rejection.
Now, I’m going, to be honest with you. Rejection is inevitable. It’s a part of the process, and it can be good for you. Don’t let rejections get you down!
They’re not personal, and they certainly don’t mean that your product or service isn’t worth anything in the marketplace—they just mean that someone else wasn’t interested at this time. That’s all!
If I encountered five people who said no on any given day, I made sure not to let it bother me. Rather than dwelling on their lack of interest in what I was selling them (or myself).
I tried instead just focusing on how many people said yes during those same interactions.
Once I started making more consistent sales, I knew that it was my turn to help.
When I started to see a consistent increase in sales, I knew that it was my turn to help others. The more you learn about sales, the better you will be at helping others.
As a result of all the time and energy I put into learning about sales, I now understand what it takes for someone to become successful in this industry.
With this new understanding of how things work, it was easy for me to start helping people on my team with their own struggles and challenges.
Which also led them to be more successful themselves!
The more educated you are about your product, the better you will be at selling it
- The more you know about your product, the easier it will be to sell it.
- The more you know about your product, the easier it will be to answer questions.
- The less likely you are to make mistakes when selling or otherwise promoting that product.
Research every potential client before you talk to them
One of the main reasons salespeople fail is that they don’t do their research. They don’t know who they’re talking to, and they don’t know how to help them.
If you were going to a doctor’s appointment and you didn’t know anything about medicine, would you go? Of course not!
You’d do what any sensible person does: research your symptoms, learn about the possible causes of those symptoms, and find out what doctors recommended for treatment.
So why would you go into a business meeting without doing that same kind of research? Don’t just talk about your product or service—talk about theirs as well.
If there’s anything in common between what they need and what you have to offer, bring it up first thing in the conversation so your prospect knows how much time and effort went into preparing for this meeting (and therefore how serious you are).
When it comes down to dollars and cents, or thalers and pennies, be prepared with knowledge so that when the price comes up (and it will).
There won’t be any surprises or awkward pauses while everyone waits on someone else to fill the silence
Most importantly, don’t sell to someone who doesn’t need what you’re trying to sell.
The most important rule in sales is that you shouldn’t sell to someone who doesn’t need what you’re trying to sell.
You shouldn’t try to sell a $1,000 product to someone whose maximum budget is $10. This can be hard for some people to accept.
Because they want the commission from a sale, but it’s better for them (and their bank account) if they pass on that particular customer and focus on others who have more money or will be able to afford your product or service at some point down the road.
It’s also important not to sell something that isn’t needed by your customers at all.
If a potential client doesn’t see any upside from making this purchase right now, then why would they?
If you want to become a top sales professional, you have to work hard, overcome rejection and learn from your mistakes
You will have to overcome rejection and learn from your mistakes. You also need persistence and the ability to sell yourself and your product.
It may seem like an impossible task for someone who has been turned down by so many people before. But if you keep trying, eventually you’ll find someone who says yes!
As my career progressed, I realized that most of the sales skills I’d developed could be replicated for other people.
As my sales career progressed, I realized that most of the sales skills I’d developed could be replicated for other people. Sales is often perceived as a skill that some people can learn and others can’t. However, the truth is far more complicated. It’s true that some people are inherently better at selling than others.
But anyone can be taught to sell effectively if they are willing to learn and practice the right techniques.
In fact, one of my favorite things about teaching sales skills is seeing how much they help people develop their own set of unique strengths and talents over time.
In many cases, these sales skills aren’t even related to selling—they’re just part of being human! For example:
- Everyone has potential as a negotiator or problem solver; it’s just a matter of finding ways to harness them effectively in order to achieve the goals you set for yourself (and others) in life.*
- Every person has leadership qualities; it’s just up to them whether or not those qualities manifest in business settings.
- Everyone has natural charisma, but there are techniques anyone can learn which will allow them to take advantage of their natural charm while still remaining genuine at heart.
- Just because someone isn’t naturally outgoing doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy networking events where they get opportunities to meet new friends and colleagues – there are plenty of activities available
My commitment to developing people’s sales skills sets me apart from others in my field.
When I am not teaching or mentoring others, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. In my spare time, I also enjoy playing tennis.
I have a passion for teaching and helping others develop their sales skills.
When I am able to help someone learn how to sell and make more money, it makes me feel good about myself.
In order to develop as a salesperson, you have to put your all into every sale you make, even if it doesn’t seem so important at the time.
The most important thing to understand about becoming a salesperson is that you need to be fully engaged in every sale you make. You can’t half-ass it and expect the results of your work to show up on their own.
Being fully present in every interaction means being fully present when you’re interacting with customers, colleagues, and even your own boss.
It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our own worlds and forget that other people exist around us—but we can’t afford this kind of negligence anymore!
If we want to improve as salespeople, we need to make sure that everyone has access not only to our products but also to ourselves as people who are willing ready, and able to help others achieve success by selling those products (and services) successfully!
My mom gave me an early lesson in leading by example.
- My mom gave me an early lesson in leading by example. She was a high school teacher, and when I was in elementary school, she noticed that her students were struggling to complete the cursive writing assignment.
- She decided to teach them how to do it herself. Her class watched as she wrote out each word on the board, then practiced it over and over again until they had mastered every stroke of their letters. When she finished, all of the students were eager to write their own practice sentences and complete their homework early so they could begin using what they had learned from observing her demonstration.
- This is just one example of how my mom influenced me as a leader; others include her willingness to help others learn new sales skills by demonstrating for them or by giving them advice about how best to accomplish something (and following up with those who don’t). As far back as I can remember, she was always encouraging me not only with regard to learning but also toward being assertive when necessary or standing up for myself and what’s right when someone else has crossed me or mistreated me unfairly—or anyone else who may have needed support at times during our lives together!
The most important thing is to keep your eyes on the prize. The end goal should be to sell yourself or your product, but remember that getting there takes time and practice. You can’t expect to master every sales technique right away. But with dedication, hard work, and patience, eventually, you’ll be able to develop a sales strategy that works for you!