After the “Dot com” bust in 2001, I found myself interviewing for a new sales position. I accepted a position with a company that told me I’d never make more than “$XX,XXX in this sales position”. I simply asked if they were going to cap me to ensure I would not exceed that number, and they responded, “No.” I accepted the position.
Over the next five years, I was able to become a top sales performer within the organization. The reality was, I was not only exceeding the number they told me I would never reach, but I was also making more than the president of the organization. When I left, they offered me a salary well into the six-figure range along with a promotion from Director of Sales to VP in order to stay and run the sales team.
We can all excel in our careers by following a few steps to dig deep, increase sales and make more money:
1) Deeper Understanding: Many sales people are knowledgeable about their products. But do you understand your client’s job? Do you understand how your products can help them save time, reduce costs or increase quality? Do you have an expert’s knowledge of the industry? Take 30 minutes each day to read up on the industry and the prospects you are approaching to increase your understanding in these areas.
2) Deeper Questions: Don’t ask simple questions that can be answered without any thought. Ask questions that make your prospect stop and think. Instead of asking, “Do you train your sales team?” Say, “What are you currently doing to ensure your sales team meets their quota?” Asking these deeper questions can increase the interest your prospects have in your solutions or products.
3) Deeper Relationships: Think about how many of your top customers have become good friends. If you have not created lasting relationships with your customers, it is easy for a competitor to steal them away with a lower price or a good sales pitch. At the end of the day, people like to do business with people they like. The top sales representatives build relationships with their customers, and often get all of their business.
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Download a copy of Dale Carnegie’s Sales Effectiveness Guidebook.