What One Thing Do You Wish That You'd Known When You Started Out In Sales?

I recently sent out my Success newsletter and asked people, “What one thing do you wish you’d known when you started in sales?” Here are some of your answers. I think that they’re really good! You can join in by adding your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Make sure that you check out all of the questions and answers in my Real World Sales Tips project amd make the most of this growing sales resource.

When I first started out in sales I wish I’d known how to seperate the timewasters from the genuine people that wanted to be called back.

Don’t EVER assume!
Under speculate and over deliver!
Customer retention, trust, loyalty and word of mouth marketing tool….

Rather than promising the world to a prospective client and then the product or service not turning out to be the best, I would be up front, playing towards the good points of a product but not over selling something that could be done. Then deliver a higher standard service/product to the customer.

1 person who receives a bad service from a company will tell 10 people about how bad the service/company was, whereas 1 person who receives a good service/product will tell 2 or 3 people about how good the service was. I would always want to provide a service/product that I had promised to a client and they receive a good service than a bad one or an over promised and under delivered one.

For example I used to work for a conveyancing firm of solicitors.
It was possible in approximately 10% of remortgage cases (with everything in your favour) to complete a case in 5 working days.
In 40% of cases you could complete a case in 7 working days (as in general, waiting on the postal service was a big factor).
In 40% of cases it would take around 10 working days to complete a case.
Finally in 10% of cases it would take longer again (Lost mail, clients not returning documents correctly, hidden bankruptcies etc).

I would always sell our service on the basis that if the case has no out of the norm complications (which the people who I was selling to understood (Mortgage brokers/mortgage companies)) we would complete the case in 10 working days.

If I received comments such as “Another firm have said they can do it in 7 working days rather than 10 working days like you”. 99% of the time they would receive a bad service whereby cases are not completing in the companies given timescale and the mortgage brokers/mortgage company (clients) would be disgruntled and move somewhere else. By under selling and over delivering, I would retain 95% of my clients all of the time.

Therefore I was always selling our service to a good standard in the market but always providing more when the service/product was delivered to a better than expected. In 100% of cases they were receiving exactly what I had sold to them (90% going through in under 10 working days and the other 10% being out of the norm cases).

This works as a good retainer of clients as they know exactly what they are getting from you. If you say you’re going to do something it’s done and usually done better than promised. You gain loyalty, trust and a word of mouth marketing tool for free and it makes it very hard for a customer to go elsewhere…
in reply to your question, I wish I had known when I started sales that what really mattered was what the customer perceives to be important, not what I consider to be important!

For example the fact that my new storage device is 20% higher capacity for the same price as last years model is only important if the customer is running low on disk space, otherwise why should they care.

This would have saved me endless hours of wasted sales visits and saved countless customers the boredom of an irrelevant pitch.

Understanding of Objectives and Goals and how to create to do lists and mission statements of the back of these.

My answer to the question is simple and that his how to handle objections correctly. When I first started out in sales (recruitment sales in the UK) I lost many sales I feel through poor objection handling. Since going on your “No fear cold calling” course I feel that I am more equipped in handling the objections from when I first started out in sales in the UK.

That a rejection (failed sale) does not necessarily mean personal failure. While no introspection can mean that you do not learn to improve, over analysing any such experience can mean that your mind is not focussed on the next sale. People say no for so many reasons and you can never know where the mind of your targeted client was at the moment you dropped into their life to make your presentation.

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