If you’ve done one of those ‘green-yellow-blue-red’ personality tests you’ll know what I mean when I say I’m more of a ‘yellow’.
I’m a social guy who finds no difficulty in meeting new people and having a chat to someone at the food table whom I’ve never met before.
Sales has always been associated with the ‘yellow’ personality, and in this post I will demonstrate how it’s a function that requires all personalities and disciplines.
This is by no means the gospel of sales, these are simply things I’ve learnt so far in my business journey that will hopefully help you along your own business journey.
1. Network (The Sociable Yellow)
This is probably the cornerstone of sales. The rock on which sales are built. If you don’t know people, then people can’t know about you.
If you don’t network it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever sell, it just means that you’ll have to cold call all the time. Which is doable but very difficult. If you haven’t networked then it probably also means you’re not going to be a ‘natural’ at cold calling either.
Always be ready to meet new people, at a wedding, at a party, in a bank queue, at a Rugby game, on the plane (don’t sit and read a book, have a chat) and at networking events.
2. Be Strategic (The Analytical Blue)
Yip, that’s the second point I’m going to make. Be strategic. Have a plan. Pinpoint which clients you want and then plot a network path that leads you to that client.
“Who do I know that knows X that knows Y that knows the person in that business?” Physically draw a network map.
3. Be Memorable (The Sociable Yellow)
Remember, you’re not the only person that’s ever tried to get this prospect’s business. Think differently about your approach. Try something new, or do something small that will be memorable.
It may be your website, your business card, your approach, your process, your manner etc. Be remarkable, but don’t be so off the wall that it scares the prospect away.
4. Don’t Take It Personally (The Personable Green)
This is where I sometimes battle. Don’t take rejection personally, because you’re most definitely going to be rejected 10 times more than you’re going to be accepted. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s OK.
5. Know How To Be Firm (The Confrontational Red)
Not every sales meeting is going to be a successful meeting, that’s fine. Sometimes you get taken for a ride. You get, in layman’s terms, ‘stuffed around’.
Know how to discern these prospects and know when to be firm, stand up for yourself. Know when to confront and when to let it go. If you need to be firm then do it, but don’t burn bridges or ruin your reputation.
6. Be Yourself
Lastly, be yourself. Be sincere. People like people. Your clients will end up liking you for you. Bring your own personality into the conversation, talk about life, talk about the things you like and find out what your client likes.
One of Harvard’s 6 principles of persuasion is ‘commonality’. You’re 100 times more likely to have success when approaching a prospect if you have something in common.
Many a pedagogical book has been written about sales. If you don’t believe me type ‘bookstore’ into Google maps and make a trip to your local bookstore.
You’ll find a plethora of How-To books on sales. Although I’m convinced that this wisdom is very necessary, you’ll have to learn selling by trying. Selling is like a muscle. You need to exercise it often in order to become fit. The beauty is that when you’re fit, you’ll win!