If I was to give one piece of personal sales advice it would be this:
No one cares that your dog just died.
I know it might sound harsh but it is the reality. As long as your dog does not have a direct connection to the product you are selling it is not of interest to your customer. Building rapport with your customers is important, however, things that occur in your personal life are not an acceptable excuse for dropping the ball in fulfilling the sale.
This is the cold reality of sales – but most of all it is the beauty.
I was told this at the beginning of my career. I remember preparing for my very first sales meeting and being terrified. I remember calling my mentor at the time, telling him that I could not do this. I explained how I had read all the material and knew what I was talking about – but being this nervous I probably would make very little sense. Everyone would take me for a fraud and I would never sell a thing – so I was not the right woman for this job.
All credit to him, he was very understanding. He had many years of sales experience so he could have easily dismissed it all by sharing his success stories, but instead, he asked me what the root cause of my concern was.
So I ended up sharing my laundry list of personal things that were bothering me at the moment. When I was finally done talking, he said without any pity:
“But they don’t have to know that.” – And this my friends, has become my secret within sales.
Sales are one of the few careers where you can be whoever you want to be. You are there to sell a product to people who don’t really know you: Which gives you the chance to turn over a new leaf with each new customer.
It doesn’t matter if you had a bad day – all that is important is who you are when you go into a sales meeting, you go in confident and focus on your knowledge of the product and how it fulfills the customer’s needs.
Each Sales Meeting is a unique opportunity to grow and become a better Sales Person.
Remember everyone is uncomfortable selling a new product the first few times. Play a role and take the focus away from yourself and put it on the product. Because when you do that, you will realize how fun and liberating sales can be. A successful sales meeting will turn around your bad mood as you have shifted your focus.
Author: Bryan Payne is the Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs with over 25-years of experience in sales and leading high-performance sales teams. Bryan and his team specialize in recruiting top talent within the Greater Toronto Area to Kitchener Waterloo. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org