Professional development is important for any business person. But that’s especially true of sales people. I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on a very valuable presentation by Larry Cockerel. Here are some reflections of that seminar.
Larry, a veteran sales development and training specialist from the Milwaukee area, started off by reminding us that sales is all about attitude. “We have choices to make everyday,” Larry said. “We can choose to put on a positive attitude.”
Larry invited the audience to rate their levels of confidence, belief and courage. These were on a 1-5 scale. Larry pointed out the pitfalls of rating our confidence too high or too low. Too low and we don’t feel we’re able to accomplish anything. Too high, and you may fall into that trap of thinking you have it all.
“If you stop learning, you stop growing,” he said. Good advice. Larry gave himself a 3, stating that he’s always learning. Sound advice.
I’ve made a point to become more involved in professional development. I ramped up my reading efforts late last year, and will continue that pace. Our library has dozens of books geared toward personal and professional enhancement.
Larry reminded us of some key tenets of sales:
1. One way to separate yourself from the competition is to learn more. Become as knowledgeable about your products and services, as well as sales, customer service and related skills. As he noted above, learning is a lifelong process.
2. Objections lead you to answers – if you allow them to. You have to respond to objections with questions that ferret out the true stumbling block. Address that, and you’ll be able to make the sale.
During a Q & A session, Larry addressed the #1 objection, price. When told, “It costs too much,” Larry said you should answer with, “Compared to what?” Get the person to either spell out his objection or face the fact that you and your offer are not the same as what the customer is using as a benchmark.
The price objection is merely a stalling tactic. Successful sales people know how to respond.
Sales calls should entail some sort of demonstration. “A presentation without a demonstration is a conversation,” Larry likes to say. Do you include a demonstration in your sales presentations?
This seminar was a good way to start off the new year. We were reminded of some important principles of sales, and left feeling more confident of the coming year.
For additional advice to help you succeed, see “Business networking events vital to your success” and “Practice firm time management for a more productive day.”
What advice do you have for sales people? Feel free to comment below. If you liked this post, could you do me a favor and share it with others? You may use any of the buttons below. To contact me, send an email.