When you think about the traits of salespeople, what do you think of? Do you think they are rude, pushy and greedy? Truthfully, there are a lot of creative, intelligent, honest, and hardworking salespeople. However, there are many myths about those in sales and we are here to crush those myths.
Myth #1: Anyone that loves talking to people is a good salesperson.
Just because you enjoy talking to people, doesn’t make you a good salesperson. Are you listening to the needs of your customers or prospective clients? If you find yourself always doing all the talking, you probably don’t know what the customer truly wants or needs. For all you know, they may not even need your product or service. So when a customer speaks, stop thinking about what you are going to say next or what you plan on having for dinner that night. It is important that you don’t interrupt your customer while they are speaking either. Always let them finish their thought so they feel heard. After all, this is about them and how you can help.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent reply.” Whether you are guilty of this or you know someone who does this, it is important to listen and actually understand what the other person is saying. You shouldn’t be afraid to get to know your customer.
One way you can be a better listener is by paraphrasing what someone has said. This will make them feel heard and will show that you care about what they are saying. Paraphrasing also eliminates miscommunication. You can also ask questions to clarify what is being said.
Myth #2: Everyone in sales is outgoing.
Believe it or not, not all salespeople are outgoing. You will find some that are calm and quiet. Does that mean they aren’t good at what they do? Absolutely not. Are you a good listener? Do you understand your customer’s challenges? Have you built a relationship and connection? Do you have a solution for their problem? It is your job is to understand their needs and then fulfill their needs.
Regardless of whether you are quiet or outgoing, a successful salesperson will be committed and confident. Do you believe in what you’re selling? Are you 100 percent committed? If you want to be successful, you have to be committed and have confidence in yourself and the business. After all, your customers are coming to you because you are the expert. They trust your knowledge and experience. Of course there are different personalities for those that work in sales, but don’t feel like you have to be outgoing. You just need the drive to succeed.
Myth #3: All salespeople are liars.
Salespeople have a bad reputation for being called liars. Perhaps you have been misled by a salesperson before. Did they tell you anything in order to get the sale? Did they promise you the moon? Did something about them feel shady or spammy? If they sounded like this, you might have been dealing with a con artist. As a salesperson, it is your job to be authentic and honest about your product or service. More importantly, you should always treat people with respect. You shouldn’t be dishonest, manipulative, or aggressive to your customers or prospects.
The truth is, people buy from other people that they trust and like, they don’t buy from companies. The hard fact is your product or service can be found elsewhere. Your customer doesn’t have to buy from you. They choose to buy from you because of the personal connection and the experience.
Myth #4: Salespeople can sell to anyone.
Not everyone wants or needs to be sold something. Your product or service must be a solution to their problem. The person you are selling to should be interested. In reality, some people just aren’t interested in what you’re selling and that’s okay. If you end up being too pushy or aggressive you will more than likely lose the sale. More importantly, you should sell the problem you want to solve, not the product.
Myth #5: Salespeople are greedy.
Who or what is your focus? Your attention should be on the needs of your customers, not the product or service. It also shouldn’t be just about the money or trying to reach your goals. Of course those are things to help keep you motivated. However, money shouldn’t be the driving factor, you should be passionate about what you do. Perhaps what is often confused with salespeople is their drive to succeed. In order to make a living, they have to continue selling. They have to push themselves and get out of the comfort zones. Salespeople have to be self-motivators.
Do you genuinely want to help your customers with a problem or challenge? If the answer is, “I’m just trying to reach my quota for the month,” then you probably should consider another career.
We have all had both good and bad experiences with someone in sales. Not everyone can hit it out of the park every time. But it does make you appreciate those that are talented and skilled in what they do. Next time, don’t believe every stereotype you hear.