It is not necessarily the knowledge of the product that provides the route to success. It is however compulsory to know as much as one can about the product or service. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence eliminates fear. Knowing the product or service gives the sales person a position of strength and control since he fears no question or situation. Having the knowledge also gives a greater opportunity to aid the prospect in his search for successful solutions. Knowledge building helps the whole process of selling and is essential if we are to do thorough preparation.
The common belief therefore is that to have full knowledge of either a product or service will go a long way towards creating a successful route to a successful sales call. It is quite ironic however that it is often only a small part of the knowledge, that expertly presented, appears to solve a difficult problem of the buyer or demonstrates a substantial benefit for him. It is truly the deep understanding of the product or service, and the full understanding of how it can be applied to the buyer’s needs, that realistically clinches the sale, not the product knowledge itself. Many sales people forget this and often attempt to bedazzle the prospect with their learning, often bordering on a presentation basis and very commonly to the point of overkill of a sale. KISS. Keep it simple stupid. Tell the client only what is needed and keep the remaining 99% of the knowledge to yourself.
Walking through a hospital ward where my father lay ill with cancer, I realised two things. One is that without clothes everyone looked the same and wealth, lifestyle and image were of no consequence. Everyone was reduced to the same level. It confirmed my lifelong belief that respect should be given to all human beings, regardless of position, on an equal basis. The individual down on his luck to the mighty and powerful, there need be no fear or inferiority, no arrogance or superiority in communication with any individual. Excellence lies within a person’s inner self. Character is made up of believing in what you do, respect for your own values and standards, treating others in the way you wish to be treated, and your own benchmark of feeling good about your life. All these elements bring about an image that subconsciously transfers itself to all the individuals with whom you communicate.
Dress is another excellent example and guide to our attitude to life. Slovenly dress indicates slovenly manners, whilst smart dressers will often be found to be focussed, clear and confident. An over general statement perhaps and there are degrees within the two extremes, but I have often found that people dress as themselves and this can be most informative.
The second realisation as I passed down the hospital ward was the futility of worry and fear. Did it matter that a prospect rejected my sales pitch today, did it matter that my sales are down on target. Life is for living a challenge. Life is not for allowing matters to depress us or spending valuable time worrying or even feeling envious or bitter. If we cannot do anything about the cause of our worry, why worry? If we are envious or bitter, it will ruin our future chances of success. If on the other hand we can pick ourselves up, give ourselves a shake and carry on with what we want to do then surely that is our objective. Continually having a smile on the face, sunshine in the heart, and a positive attitude to life, grateful for being given another day of life, will always produce its own rewards as you communicate with others. Not only is it more healthy but you will be surprised what that type of personality can produce in the sales environment. Character building is not always easy when things are not going well, but remember there are many others who would jump at the chance to change places, or even live their lives again with a better attitude.
Sales isn’t an easy profession. You need to have courage and determination to go out there and keep trying. Good character is important. It is like the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” and having a positive character and happy personality will always help you through.