“Quality performance starts with a positive attitude.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
Experience has taught me that achieving success in life or in business is a function of strategy, tactics, models and actions. You must be intentional, if you truly want to achieve your goals.
Success in life or business is a deliberate design. Therefore, success in selling and salesmanship is about what I call the “Five Weapons of the Salesman”. I developed these weapons after 24 years in the sales and marketing space.
These weapons apply in any season and environment. It doesn’t matter whether we are in the pre- COVID era, the COVID era, the post-COVID era, or whether in the rainy or dry season. The weapons work all the time and in every environment. Any salesperson who explores the weapons will stand out in season and out of season.
I see Integrity as the mother of all the attributes of the salesman. The first law in my book, The 25 Unbreakable Laws of Sales, says, “The salesman and the conman are the same, except for integrity”. The character of integrity will distinguish the salesman in season and out of season. Integrity is the first product the salesman must sell to the target market.
People buy people. The more you show character of integrity, the more you attract people to your side. In the final analysis, people will buy from people they love and trust. You can take this to the bank!
- Positive attitude
In salesmanship, attitude is everything. Brian Tracy once said that “bad attitude is like a flat tyre, you can’t move anywhere until you change it.” I totally agree with this legend. Positive attitude is the way to go. Negative attitude must be discarded.
Note that you must sell yourself first before selling your products or services. You sell yourself that people see first, before selling the product they are yet to use. Once more, I say, people buy people. The more your prospects and customers buy your positive attitudes, the more they buy your products and services.
The salesman must believe in himself, in his company and in his products and services. The more the salesman does this, the more he or she sells productively. This is the smartest way to meet or exceed sales target. This is the way to defeat negative attitude that stops salespeople.
- Product knowledge
Have you seen where people give what they don’t have? If this happens, then know that something is wrong somewhere! Giving what you don’t have is like selling what you don’t know. You can’t sell what you don’t know!
The more you study your products and the benefits your products offer to your target market, the more you sell. You must know the features, advantages and benefits of your products and services.
Benefits, in this context, must mean value to the customer or prospect. What is benefit to customer A, may not be benefit to Customer B. You must personalise value and benefit. I have often said that I don’t believe in generic proposals. You must personalise your selling. You must individualise your offering. The way people differ is the way their needs differ. So the more you know your products and services, the more you will know how to present them to meet the needs of customers and prospects.
The salesman must discover and know about the target market before selling his products or services. You must show people why they should buy your products. This is done during product presentation. To be outstanding, you must seek to know more about your company, products, services and the marketplace
The Harvard Business School study says that 21st century selling will be relationship selling. As a practising sales training consultant, I agree with HBS. When we started our business ten years ago, we had two strengths that worked for us and still work for us today – competence and a robust relationship with our clients. These strengths covered other initial weaknesses experienced by every start-up.
The more the salesman builds mutually beneficial cordial relationship with the customers and prospects, the more he or she sells. Once more, I say, people buy people! The more the saleserson wins the heart of the customer, the more he or she expands his sales figures and the more he delights his target market.
The salesperson needs to know the personality type and behavioural pattern of his or her customer or prospect, in order to relate better with him or her. I call this sales intelligence. This is where you use data and information gathering to determine how to delight your target market.
Note that a good sales and marketing person is a good researcher. The more you know, the more you discover better ways to delight your audience and of course, the more you sell.
Don’t be in a hurry to sell; rather, be in a hurry to develop a robust relationship with your customers and prospects. This is an advanced selling skill. This is where the sales happen!
Productivity of the salesman is the lifeblood of the business. The number one reason businesses excel is high sales. The number one reason businesses fail is poor sales. Salesmen are expected to bring in good results. No excuses! Salesmen don’t tell stories, they show results.
A salesman who fails to perform isn’t a salesman! In all you do as a salesperson, your efforts must translate into selling, or in building friendly relationship with customers and prospects; every other thing is complementary!
The five weapons of the salesman constitute a model that helps the salesman in all seasons. Any salesperson who understands and applies the five weapons will always be at the top, no matter the season.
George O. Emetuche, CES, is a Brian Tracy endorsed bestselling author, accredited training consultant, life coach, sales and marketing expert.