If you want to be successful in sales, treat it like a career. Even if it is only a part-time role for you.
Learn, learn and then learn some more. Either read the leading books on sales or enrol in a reputable sales training program like SPIN or Sandler.
Set up a system to aid you in being efficient and effective at sales. CRM’s and sales management tools are your friends. Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding them out of fear or laziness.
Develop your communication and listening skills at the same time with resources like L.E.T. by Thomas Gordon and most of the books by Stephen Covey or Dale Carnegie.
Keep in mind there are old school hard-sell product-based selling models that few people appreciate, and there are modern professional solution-focused selling models. There are also inside sales and outside sales – the so-called rain-maker rolls. Pick one and own it. You need to choose an approach that is right for you and then work in employment scenarios that require that type of selling.
You need to break out of victim thinking and embrace personal accountability if you are to have any hope of success in sales.
You will do better at sales if you authentically enjoy and adopt a target customer-base who genuinely needs what you offer.
Learn to write effective proposals. You can lose a lot of deals if you can’t prepare an effective document that aligns with the buyer’s purchase process.
Sales is also a numbers game, learn the math. You need to understand how to be productive and to relate to people at a financial level.
I also have found that developing your resilience and emotional mastery is critical to enduring the battering that comes with the territory. Programs like Landmark Education can help you accelerate your learning in this area.
A good sales training program will address all these factors and more. Don’t look for simple and easy solutions. Recognise that sales is a discipline that can be mastered if you decide to own your results and make it happen.
Okay, that was more than 5 tips, but sales is a huge topic that took me several years to learn.