IPitomy Sales Tip #2: Attitude Matters

Attitude MattersIn today’s economy many small businesses are doing more with less. It is not uncommon to have an employee filling two roles, that of a technician and a sales adviser for example. Coming from personal experience, it is very hard for most technicians to see themselves as “sales” advisers  It is true that there are many people in certain industries in the field of sales which have given the name “sales” a bad image. We all have experienced that used car salesman who is more concerned with moving a pile of junk off his lot, than he is concerned for the needs of his customer. We should not however let this stereotypical image ruin the image of what real salesmanship is and should be. Whether or not you are exclusively in sales or you wear two hats, attitude is of the utmost importance.



I have spoken before of the importance of building relationships with customers and filling their actual needs and wants. In other words, we need to listen, and then fill a need that we are capable of filling with our service or product. As important as this is to being a successful sales adviser  nothing can make up for a bad attitude. No one likes a sour personality, no matter how great their product or service may be. There has been much said about positive thinking, and much of it is useful. If we have a tendency to be negative, much of our outcomes in life will be negative. Negative people are generally not as successful as positive thinking people.
Part of being in sales is the reality of dealing with rejection. Surveys regularly confirm that there are two top fears that all people have. The top fear is death, and the second is fear of rejection. They say that 75% of sales people fold in the first 90 days because they simply cannot deal with rejection. If they do make it through the first 90 days many develop a negative attitude towards selling, and their sales numbers are poor. Rejection often paralyzes them from making sales calls.
While it is true that not everyone has the calling to be involved in sales, most of us, if we have the right attitude and drive, can be fairly successful at it. If we have the right outlook on ourselves, our product, and on those we will be engaging with, “sales” becomes an art in finding solutions for people, rather than being a numbers game. When we are genuinely concerned with the needs of others, and we have a positive attitude to drive ourselves towards meeting their needs, the negative aspect of rejection disappears.
Here are a few pointers that will help you to realize the importance of a positive attitude.

1. Act: If you have a product that you really think will benefit your customers, then what are you waiting for? They are not coming to you, you have to go to them. Call on companies by phone or in person and introduce yourself. You are never going to sell anyone anything if they do not know anything about you. Procrastinating is the worst thing you can do in sales. If you do not act each day to make contact with as many people as you can, then chances are you are missing a lot of opportunities, and others will cash in on your lack of action. Procrastination and lack of action result from dwelling on negative thoughts. True action follows from positive thoughts.

2. Introduce Yourself: It is important to make a good first impression. Most people do not like overly aggressive sales people. The key point to understand is that you want to introduce yourself, your company, and your product briefly, for an opportunity that may arise in the future where you can help them find a solution to a challenge or need. Never aggressively imply that you are assuming that they want or need your product when you first meet someone. Always bring down the barrier by letting them know that you are not assuming they are looking for a new product or another company to do business with, but that if in the future, should the need arise, here is what you have to offer. This takes the pressure off you and the customer, but leaves the door wide open for a future relationship. Most sales do not happen the first time you meet someone. Rest assured, if they are in need of your product at the present time they will let you know once you briefly introduce it.

3. Believe: It is important to believe that you will succeed in winning over your potential customers. A lack of confidence is easily spotted by most people. Confidence, not arrogance, puts people at ease. It conveys the idea that they are going to do business with a well-established person and company. If you don’t believe in your product or, neither will they.

4. Smile: No one likes an angry looking sales advisor. A smile is worth a thousand words and can open up doors very easily. Nothing can turn away a potential customer faster than an unenthusiastic stick in the mud. Present yourself positively and with genuine enthusiasm.
5. Follow Through: Once you make initial contact with a possible customer, do not wait for them to call you back unless they explicitly tell you not to follow up. Always let them know that you will check back with them in a defined period of time. This allows you to further develop your relationship and to see if they have any questions or feedback for you. If you say you are going to call them back in two weeks, be sure to follow through on that promise. If they are not available be sure to leave a message to let them know that you were following up as promised.

6. Keep the Doors Open: Always do everything you can to keep relationships alive even if there is no immediate probability they will do business with you. A ‘no’ today can often be a ‘yes’ several months or even years later. There is nothing wrong with a periodic check in to see if anything has changed for them.

7. Know When To Drop It: Sometimes there will be instances where you cannot meet the needs of the customer. Although these instances should be rare, when this happens it is crucial to let your customer know that your product or company is not a good fit for them. They will appreciate the honesty in not trying to sell them something that is not going to work for them. There are many times where they will even refer a friend of theirs to you, who you may be able to help.