Aside from providing training in sales and marketing I am a business owner. I am more than aware of the importance of practising what I preach in terms of how I generate sales or market my own business.
So when chance came knocking on my door, I knew I had to grab the opportunity and go with it.
For me this happened mid-January when South East Radio, based in Gorey, Wexford called, asking me to take part in a radio programme called Innovate, the IT and Telecoms Specialists with Alan Corcoran on Wednesday 20 January, talking about the “Art of Selling”.
The radio programme runs in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Office by helping to motivate local businesses to get out there and create new business initiatives. Each week, contributors are invited to talk about various business topics.
As a business owner, I know how disheartening it can sometimes feel, not knowing who or where to turn to for advice. So, I was very impressed by the idea and was thrilled to be asked to participate; especially as I will be running training and mentoring workshops with Wexford LEO later in March and early April.
Needless to say, I was quite nervous. However, Alan made me feel very comfortable and assured me everything would be great. His approach to the interview was quite interesting, as he encouraged me to give the listeners some insight into my own background, before we proceeded to talk about the "Art of Selling".
Alan was very clever with his questions and asked if I thought salespeople are born or is it something we can learn. This is a valid point for anyone considering setting up a business, as I firmly believe that it is something any of us can learn. Like it or not, if we are going to run a business irrespective if we are a solicitor, plumber, printer or bee-keeper, every one of us is in the business of sales.
As the interview went on, Alan asked if I believed that there are different types of selling. This was an interesting point, as I believe the fundamentals are the same just like the bones of a skeleton. However, the approach changes each time depending on the circumstances, the product or service we are selling and the customer standing in front of us too.
We talked about the importance of being a good listener, about the dark days of sales (like everyone else, I have had many) and finally how we should deal with rejection. For what’s it worth, my advice included:
- Never beat yourself up – remember you can’t win every sale
- Look at the situation rationally – and ask yourself what was the customer looking for? Where were they coming from? Could there have been a misunderstanding?
- Always ask what you can learn from the situation and what could you do better next time
- Don’t get stuck on that one customer – get back out there and move on
When finishing up, I was asked to summarise what I believe makes a good salesperson. In my opinion, there are many factors, some of which include the following:
- Be a good listener and actively show you are listening
- Don’t take things personally, it’s about numbers
- Be tenacious and keep going
- Never be afraid to pick up the phone
- Always follow up and keep in touch
- Be persistent but don’t be a pest
For the full interview, click here.