Trick or Treat! Do Your Sales Reps Feel Like They're Begging for Candy?

Yes, it's getting to that time of year when the air is crisp, the lattes taste of pumpkin spice, and random kids dressed as princesses and ghouls invade your neighborhood en masse to knock on your door and ask for candy.

Sometimes sales can feel a lot like trick-or-treating--but without the cute five-year-old face and superhero cape to make people want to open their doors. Unfortunately, if your sales representatives feel like they're begging for sales, their prospects will likely pick up on it and be reluctant to buy.

First impressions count for a lot in sales. The way your sales representatives come across during the first thirty seconds of speaking with a new contact will have a significant impact on whether the conversation continues--and whether it leads to a sale. Here are some ideas to help them develop a more effective door approach than "trick-or-treat".

Sell the Seller

Do your sales teams believe in what they're selling? Is it something they can feel confident is a worthwhile product, and a good value for the customer? The ability to convince customers to buy starts with having a good product that your sales representatives feel proud to sell and really believe will be good for their prospects.

And it's not just the product that needs to be good; your sales representatives should feel that the company has their back, and that the people they are talking to will have an all-around good experience if they buy. Do you have a good fulfillment system in place that ensures the customer will receive the product in a streamlined fashion? Is your customer service up to par? Does your company stand behind its product and resolve problems when they occur?

Having the underlying apparatus in place to make sure that your company will make good on the promises they are making to customers will help your sales representatives feel confident selling your product. Customers will pick up on that confidence and be more likely to buy.

Focus on Treats, Not Tricks

Sure, it's OK for your sales representatives to throw in a little urgency and use some savvy sales techniques. But if their presentation is too full of smoke and mirrors, customers will have a hard time trusting them, and in turn, buying from them. The era of snake oil is over. While it's important to help the customer paint a good picture of how the product will make his or her life better, there's no need to exaggerate or make excessive promises.

Teach your sales teams to focus on the basics of the product and how it is a good fit for the customer's needs. Never allow them to over-promise or let any dishonesty creep into their sales presentations. Your company's reputation depends on the trustworthiness and professionalism of your sales force.

Take off the Masks

Some companies teach a certain, very specific sales style and expect all their sales representatives to fit the mold. But forcing everyone to sell exactly the same is a waste of your employees' individual strengths and talents. While there are certain skills that every sales professional needs, a certain personality isn't one of them. Yes, extroverts succeed in sales; but so do introverts. There's no one personality type or approach that works for everyone.

Help your sales representatives be comfortable with themselves and develop their own style, rather than insisting that they blindly copy you or someone else. When they feel confident with themselves they will be able to come across as genuine to their prospects, and build relationships of trust.

For over a decade, Netpique has been helping companies succeed in sales. If you'd like to find out more about how we can help you achieve better organic growth, contact us today!