November 25, 2008

Don't be Afraid to Ask - What kind of job am I doing?

Yes you can.

There are few salespeople who at one time or another in their career have asked themselves searching questions, such as; 'what kind of job am I doing?', 'am I the best person to be selling this?', 'can I make a success of this role?', or perhaps even 'should I be in sales?.'

In particular, people who are new to sales related roles often ask themselves the question 'am I the right person for this job'. They often say 'well I am not a natural sales person' and express discomfort regarding aspects of the role and their performance.

Well to both, we say 'good question' and well done for asking it.  In our experience, the mere fact that somebody asks these questions suggests a characteristic that is essential to sales success.

Those people who occupy sales, or business development, roles are generally assumed to be highly confident and of course in their dealings with customers and prospects the need to be seen as such. 

However, the reality is that when you scratch beneath the surface they can be quite introspective.  As such they are not afraid to question their approach, success, or even skills.  Yet, rather than being an indication of weakness, such self awareness is actually a pillar of success. 

Great salespeople review the last sales meeting they just had, the last proposal they submitted, the last campaign they ran – constantly identifying opportunities for improvement, or greater success.  Could I have handled that objection differently?  Did I prequalify the opportunity sufficiently?  Did I use the language of the customer and avoid the technical jargon of our own?

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