Do you think you are good at making a sale?
Did you have a successful lemonade stand when you were a child? Were you an amazing negotiator at asking for the car keys when you were in high school?
Have those skills translated into a sales career?
No business can succeed without sales and talented people who make those sales. Have you truly, mastered, these critical skills?
Improving your skills in the world of sales requires mastery in three key areas.
You may be good in these areas, but to be a master you must step up your game.
Let’s look at the three areas I believe are important to mastering sales and will give you a competitive advantage in the pool and spa marketplace.
- Master YOU: Do you enjoy problem solving? Do you know how to successfully walk in your customers’ shoes? Do you know your behavioral style and how to recognize your customers’ behavioral style? The first two questions may be simple but the last one may be confusing. Knowing your behavioral style of “how” you act the way you do will give you information about yourself that will help you better communicate with others. Investigate a DISC assessment tool and study this information and apply it, and it will help you “master" you.
- Master EI: E.I. stands for Emotional Intelligence. This currently is an important buzzword in business and in the communication skills people bring to their jobs. Leaders must understand how to recognize their own emotional intelligence as well as those of their direct reports. Research is touting that EI is now more important than your IQ or even your technical skills. Originally called, soft skills, these skills are now called, necessary skills, in your sales position. The ability to understand your own emotional temperature and how to regulate it as well as showing empathy to your employees and customers and helping them manage theirs is another important step in mastering sales.
- Master listening: Active listening is imperative to a position in sales. Research shows that we spend almost 80% of our day listening. But is it active listening? The University of Colorado defines active listening as: “A way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding.” I believe that this one skill, active listening, is an art that requires the most work. In a world of digital communication and less and less face-to-face communication, active listening skills are critical when closing a sale in person. Focusing on eye contact, not interrupting and listening to what is “not” said are sales skills any salesperson needs to “master”.
So, you had the most successful lemonade stand in the neighborhood. You also probably knew exactly how to ask to borrow the car so that the answer was always a yes.
But you aren’t selling lemonade anymore or manipulating your parents to let you borrow the car.
Your sales position is to help your clients and customers realize the ability to enjoy the backyard lifestyle of their dreams.
Not pushy, not overbearing, but through a trusting relationship that will benefit you and your repeat and referral customers in the future.
Now let’s have a glass of lemonade.