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The How-To Sales Guide. How to Learn How to Sell.
Guest articles > The How-To Sales Guide. How to Learn How to Sell.
by: Jon Gilge
So you have a job in sales.
You have to learn how to sell, that’s what, but how exactly do you go about doing that?
Let me share with you how to learn how to sell so you can insure that you will be successful in the profession of selling. Essentially, this article will share with you exactly how to organize and implement the process of learning how sell by starting with the resources and processes that you need to put into place.
Let’s get started.
How-To Sales Guide: Before You Learn How to Sell
First things first–
You start the process of being successful in sales by understanding this:
Sales success has very little to do with natural talent, and everything to do with practicing a set of skills known to produce sales success.
Talent is largely a myth as it relates to success. In sports, in business, in life, and specifically in sales, it is not the most talented person that has the greatest success, but the person who applies the most effort to perfecting the skills that lead to success.
This is great news, because it means that effort will make you great, and effort is a choice that is completely up to you. If you want to learn how to sell successfully there is nothing beyond your control that is needed to do so. The greatest salespeople that I know, every one of them, have worked harder than their peers on the skills of selling, and it is this characteristic alone that has created their success.
So you have no disadvantages, and every advantage if you are willing to choose to make the effort.
How-To Sales Guide: Who to Learn How to Sell From
Every sales organization has top performers, and most of them have poor performers. Both of them are your allies.
Learn how to sell by utilizing both effectively.
The Top Performers
You’ll want to learn how to sell from the best, but the top performers in any organization are not always easily willing to share their secrets with the new sales representative. This is understandable. In their career they have probably seen hundreds of new salespeople come and go, and are justifiably reluctant to spend their time with someone who may not be around next year or even next month.
You need to convince them that you are worth the effort because you are committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed
How to you do this?
It’s not too hard. You tell them.
“I am serious about being successful and I want to learn from the best. I promise not to waste your time, get in your way, or not put in the time to master what you teach me. Give me the time and won’t regret it.”
A little flattery, a bit of appeal to the ego that most great salespeople have, and you should have yourself a teacher. Great salespeople all had teachers, and at some level are looking for someone to pass that knowledge onto. Convince them that years from now you will be their legacy in the profession of selling and they will gladly teach you how to sell.
Now, follow through on your promises, take excellent notes, practice what they teach you, and never forget to thank them for their assistance.
The Poor Performers
Don’t forget the poor performers. You can also learn how to sell from these people by learning what not to do. These salespeople are not where they are for lack of talent (you’ll remember that talent is a myth), but because they have not put in the effort to learn the skills that would make them successful. By observing what they do you will understand what doesn’t work, and most often reinforce the idea that the difference between this group and the high performers is that the former has put in little if any effort into learning how to sell correctly.
How-To Sales Guide: How to Use Resources to Learn How to Sell
Hopefully your company teaches you how to sell, but how do you use that education to learn how to sell.
There is a big difference between being taught how to sell, and learning how to sell. Anyone can sit in the class, nod their head, ask a few questions and take a few notes, and convince themselves that for having done so that they’ve got it.
Learning is an active process– a very active process.
Hearing information will likely result in a retention rate of around 15%. This is far from what is needed to actually apply the information to a sales situation.
Here’s how you really learn.
Take great notes. Don’t repeat the information on the printed materials you were given but rather supplement it.
Review the information each night. Each day will present new information that builds on what you’ve learned the day before. There won’t be much time to go back and review if you’ve fallen behind.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Since you will be speaking to prospects, practice by speaking. Learning is largely context based, meaning that if you practice by studying notes you will become proficient at recalling written information– hardly effective in selling. But if you practice by speaking the information you will be prepared to deliver the message to your prospects.
Organize a study session. This sounds like you are back in school but it really works. The only thing better than practicing the presentation of your sales information out loud is doing it in front of people that can offer feedback and give you the additional context of presenting to a real person.
How-To Sales Guide: Learn How to Sell by Living Sales
To complete the process of leaning how to learn to sell, you need to learn to be a salesperson. By this I’m not referring to what you do, but who you are. You need to learn to be a salesman by involving yourself deeply in the life of a salesperson. Here are some ways to do that:
Read sales books. There is some great information about the profession of selling from people who were great salespeople. Learn from them and apply it to what you are selling.
Associate with other salespeople. You will rise to the level of your peers more often then not, and by associating with successful salespeople you will give yourself a pattern to emulate.
Be an active member of the sales community. There are several great online resources and forums where professional sales practices are discussed in great detail (salesgravy.com, salespractice.com, changingminds.org). Join great salespeople there to learn how to sell, and teach other where you can.
That’s it. Not complicated but is does involve some effort like most worthwhile things do.
Best wishes on your journey toward sales greatness. If I can help in any way, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org or in our forums.
Sales Giant Training is the internet resource that in-home and other direct salespeople turn to for current and effective sales training and motivation.
The Sales Giant is the publisher of the popular Sales Giant Training Blog (www.salesgianttraining.com/blog) and the author of the FREE 'Master Closing Guide' that you can download instantly at www.salesgianttraining.com/free-master-closing-guide. For more information on all of the sales training resources they offer, please visit them at their online home at www.salesgianttraining.com.
Contributor: Jon Gilge
Published here on: 24-Jul-11
Classification: Sales, Psychology
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