If you have to thrive in Sales, you should read, read and read. There are various benefits of reading – improving concentration, reducing stress, enhanching knowledge, building skill in a particular area, improving memory, improving vocabulary etc. In general reading is good for everyone. But it is a must for Sales people. Let us take a look.
How will reading help in Sales?
You will become a thought leader in your specialization.
You will improve your selling skills.
You will improve skills in your area of work.
You will be able to articulate well during the Sales Process.
You will become a great StoryTeller.
Customers will consider talking to you first when they are looking for help.
You will be able to take the discussion from a transactional level to another level.
Your personal branding will soar to greater heights.
You will find newer ways to engage with your customers.
It will not be an exaggeration, if I then say, Only a voracious reader will win “The Best Sales Person of the Year” award.
What books did you read recently? Share it with us at: sales at zignalytics.com
It was my initial years in Sales. I was an aggressive sales person. [As aggressive as ever.] My colleagues then would vouch for my aggressiveness. I didn’t get bogged down with rejections after rejections. I knew I was getting closer to my prospects. It was an elimination process for me. I was eliminating customers who would not buy from me. It is like finding answers by elimination in an objective type question.
I regularly did prospecting, cold calling and what not. I did not have god fathers to help me. I qualified customers. But never moved anyone into archive. I did not underestimate any customer or his worth. I thought someday they will ripe and I will be able to harvest. I kept in touch with them occasionally and shared updates. I did not get carried away by large deals as well. And I did not walk out of any large deals because it might be a long drawn out process. Rather, I was ready for the long haul. I was built for a tough life. I learnt things in the hard way. Little by little. Didn’t lose any of those lessons.
But business needs to happen. Right? Nothing was going as per plan. I was making calls. But results were not forthcoming. Did soul searching. Where was I going wrong? I qualified customers. But that’s where the problem was. I didn’t ask the right qualifying questions. I slowly learnt and became assertive and did not shy away from asking the right questions. It is both my time and my customers’ time that were at stake. So, asking the right questions were important. I made many cold calls. And built my sales pipeline with one lead at a time.
I didn’t undercut. Nor did I throw freebies. My customers were happy to buy from me at a higher price. Really. Looking back at it, I can now confidently say it was grit and determination that kept winning deals for me. I thought I will win deals and I did. I thought I will win large deals and I did that as well. It has been a tough life but one that has taught me quite a few valuable lessons.
What lessons have you learnt out of your experiences?
StoryTelling is an Art. The good news is that you can learn and become a good storyteller.
You can inspire & motivate people with Stories.
With stories, you can engage people well and people will generally flock to you.
In Sales and in all other functions [more so in sales], it is very important to build your personal brand. And StoryTelling can help build your personal brand.
It can help in Sales by effectively helping the prospect visualize and connect.
It helps in communicating your point without explicitly talking about it.
Syncing of brains or mirroring of brains or in other words neural coupling happens in good storytelling. The listener is able to predict what you will say next. Perfect syncing.
You make yourself interesting. You are not making some boring presentations to make a sale. Never.
The idea is to engage the audience in rapt attention. Idea is not to sell. That happens eventually anyway. You sell without actually selling.
Some ideas for your Stories – your experience in community building from college / university, how a prospect faced problems and what you did to solve them, stories of gut and determination, stories of people who faced adverse conditions yet became hugely successful, how someone won in spite of huge opposition, how somebody helped another person while his/her own condition is helpless, how somebody turned around a loss making company etc.
Having read as well as written blogs & books [yes, I have one book to my credit, yay!], I can confidently list down some ideas for you to create high quality content that others find really interesting to read, in one breath:
Be Human. Your readers aren’t interested in reading some canned reports. They are interested in reading something that they can relate themselves to.
Write about your difficulties and how did you overcome them. That helps people a lot.
If you are an expert in something, you can help people with your ideas, thoughts & expertise. But don’t write at your expert level. Instead write for an elementary school student. Keep it simple and interesting.
You can write about your recent experience with one of your clients. How you delighted her / him will simply motivate people and help them take action.
Your failures. There is a lot to learn from failures. People are failing. They want to know what to learn from failures and how to get up and running once again in no time. Your thoughts on this will be of great help.
Success stories. Who doesn’t like to hear success stories. But Storytelling is an art. As long as you keep up the momentum and build up the scenes leading to the climax in a way that keeps the readers in the edge of their seat, it is fine. People learn and get inspired from success stories. It propels them into action as well. Isn’t that what you wished for?
Problem solving: Take up one problem at a time. Your ideas, thoughts to solve a problem will make a good content.
What books you read last month and what did you like in them and why.
What is your plan for improving customer relations in your Industry. By writing on this, you can become a thought leader in your Industry.
Tools you use to become more productive.
Latest in your Industry: Write about the latest happenings in your Industry.
Don’t ever write for Traffic or SEO or Conversions. It’s boring.
Happy Creating!! [I will follow these ideas as well :)]