How to Be a Good Sales Rep

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Careers in the world of sales can be both rewarding and lucrative. Sales reps sometimes get a bad reputation as being pushy or overbearing. Good sales reps know that respecting a customer and meeting their needs is what sales is all about. The plaid-suit wearing, back-slapping used car salesman of yesteryear is gone and never coming back. Professional consultative selling is certainly here to stay.

  • Put the customer's needs first. Selling the most profitable product or pushing a customer into a more expensive product with more features he doesn't need is unethical. Ask your customers questions. Find solutions that fit their needs. If their needs call for an expensive or profitable product that's alright, but don't force customers to buy what you want them to buy.

  • Listen more than you talk. Sales people are notorious for droning on and on about bells and whistles and features and benefits. You should stop doing that. Just listen. Ask your prospects lots of questions. They'll tell you what their problems are. They'll tell you how much they want to spend to fix them. They'll even tell you when they're ready. Just listen.

  • Ask why. Ask it a lot! While you're busy listening, make sure to get lots of details. Make a habit of asking your prospect or customer why. The more you understand the motives behind her decisions, the better job you'll do at selling her the right solution.

  • Make 'contracts' with your customers and prospects. Never go into a sales situation blind. During your first few minutes with the prospect or client, make a contract with her. Ask her what she'd like to do in the meeting. Tell her what you'd like to do. Put the lists together. Make that the meeting agenda. This is a short and simple technique to ensure that the meeting is mutually beneficial.

  • Get feedback. Ask your co-workers, your boss and your clients how you're doing. Good sales reps know that good feedback is critical in developing the best customer service skills. When you get constructive criticism, don't be offended. Take it to heart!

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't be pushy!

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