I write this for the foot soldier.Constantly dusty shoes,perpetually knoted tie,sweaty-bag in hand,some times khaki envelope. You are the sales man. You bring business to work.You are the weather- beaten guy.You make it rain,you earn the commision.
I write this for the Librarian.You work in an institution,probably academic. Glad you escaped the life of sales where you constantly hussle. You make your peace with shelves and books and knowlege and deal with those who invade your privacy like you rule the intelligence world and you swear you will never sell anything till you die. You don't even have the talent,or skills, you claim.
I write this fo the accountant.Stripped short sleeved shirt.Rarely smiles.Constantly in tie. May be you are the bursar.Thick rimmed reading glasses. You collect and balance the money, and books but never quite ventured into 'sales'. It's not your job to know who 'causes' the money you count. You just do your job.
I write this for the entrepreneur.At some stages called the shop keeper or the bar owner sometimes, the barber.We always start with a tag like that. Entrepreneur by then is such a big word we don't fit its description.
As long as you live,you live a life of negotiation,may be in traffic may be in church for a seat may be at a job interview.You convince people to let you through. You sell yourself constantly. The good news is that when you learn the art,you live a joyful life. The constant is,that no mattter who you are,you never escape this reality.You must learn sales. The art of selling yourself to others. The even better news is that as a business owner.This skill is indispensable. You live to sell, and sales will sink you if they just are not enough. You must always constantly attract people who believe in you,your product,your service.Why do I allude to the almost always isolated librarian? because you may never know that your progress is entirely dependent on how many people or situations you handle with a smile and pleasantly.Knowing how to win people over your way gets you results,it earns you money; it lifts you high.No matter the position you occupy or the job you do,the highest posts are occupied by people with the art of selling.
A pleasing personality is priceless ,and so is planning and a knowledge of your and the client's business. In my life, learning from the street, I have picked up some street-wise ways.
People love smiling people. Be they strangers or friends or children. Sales people therefore need to smile more than anyone else.But don't over do it.People can detect a fake or forced smile. Make it genuine. Have you noticed how people smile back when someone smiles?They also open up.Don't worry about the uneven teeth,they won't notice.But they will notice the smile.
Always know that no matter the price you quote,it will always be negotiated. Present your best price.Act surprised when your prospect challenges your idea or price. Surprise makes people take a double take. They ask themselves whether they were right in the first place.
Know when to leave, or stop or take a break. Nothing irritates more than a sales person who wont take a hint.
Appear friendly and more of a customer with the client's interest in mind more than yours. Once I was a bottled water sales man,and I went to boost my sales at a Health Club.The client instead made a complaint about our service. I did not complain back or defend myself or our product. I listened. I also paid over the counter for a sauna session. Twenty minutes later,sweating from the sauna and mixing with the rest of the patrons, I asked him what he wanted me to do about his initial complaint. I did not seem to him like a salesman who takes money from him,I was a client who supports his business. He gave me the best terms possible,and my order was bigger by the time I left, despite the initial complaint. Ofcourse I had to fix the problem too.
If you forget every thing else,remember this,how well you sell yourself to other people will determine how fast you go through life and how high you climb. For the entrepreneur,excuses of shyness (or you know me Iam not good with people)are of no consequence here.This is one skill that will make or break you .Learn it and perfect it.