November 21, 2014
Sales: Underrated and Misunderstood
By: Tyler Turk
A man stands in front of you wearing a checkered kelly green blazer. His eyes lock onto you as the pencil thin mustache elevates to reveal a diabolical smile, which somehow prevents you from escaping. There is nowhere to run. There is nowhere to hide. For alas, you have come along the path of the almighty, mythical monster, The Salesman.
Unfortunately, most of us typically picture salespeople this way. Some of us say they may be selfish and uncaring, while others suggest they are only focused on quotas or commission. Luckily for the Entrepreneurship Mentor Program, Zari Karimi blessed us with the truth about sales and how hard salespeople really work.
But what makes a good salesperson and how do we stay away from becoming the man in the checkered blazer? In her presentation, Zari brought up three things every entrepreneur must know before being a great salesperson.
1. A Salesperson is a PROBLEM SOLVER
Often we envision salespeople negatively because we perceive they only want what is best for them. Zari mentioned we have these connotations about salespeople because we often visualize a standoff where each party is trying to walk away with what they want. In Zari’s words, there is no “common ground”. In all actuality, Zari stated, “to be a great salesperson, you must be a problem solver!” You must be able to realize what the pain is for the other person and then explain how your product/service will help provide a remedy. This attitude does an amazing thing: it creates common ground! Once there is common ground, you both are out for the same reason, to solve the pain.
2. A Salesperson Must Have Great COMMUNICATION SKILLS
In order to truly become a good problem solver, you must develop your communication skills. When given the chance to ask Zari questions, I was able to watch her demeanor while she listened. She had unbelievable poise, eye contact, and empathy. Not only was she intently listening, but she was also building a sense of trust, simply by portraying an invested responsibility with each question. It is what makes a great salesperson. To be able to solve the pain, you really must understand where the customer is coming from and requires great listening skills. Another thing Zari mentioned was the fact that one of the most important parts of selling is “always be prepared”. Doing your research on whomever you are selling to creates a much more efficient way to communicate and reveals to the other person you are invested in them.
3. REPUTATION Will Make or Break a Salesperson
A simple, and yet inspiring quote from Zari was, “Repetition creates reputation; reputation creates sales”. She mentioned customers buy from people they know, like, and trust. It is the ability to create trust, which separates the good from the bad salespeople. Zari stated, “You may be asking yourself, ‘how do I create trust’? Simple, do what you say you are going to do!” All it takes is one mistake to lose the trust of your customer and trust is something much harder to gain back once it is lost.