TOOLS OF THE CHAMPIONS

A good carpenter goes to work feeling good because he has an energy level more than enough to fulfill his eight-hour job in order to earn his day’s rte. But is a high energy level enough for one to take to work? No. Apart from his lunch box, he carries with him his toolbox containing the implements of his profession-a saw, a tape measure, a chisel, a hammer, etc.

The same is true with a good physician. He does not make calls without the necessary tools or medical devices and gadgets; otherwise, the very purpose of his rushing to the aid of his patient will be defeated.

But it is not as simple as that with a salesperson. More is required of a good salesperson than the carpenter and the medical doctor. The carpenter is assured of his day’s wage and tenure for as long as he does what is expected of him. The same is true with the doctor. Whether or not his patient gets well, his services are paid for each visit.

Where lies the difference with the salesperson? Consider this carefully. For every client call that a salesperson makes, a sword of Damocles hangs above his head, so to speak. The slightest mistake in his dealing with his clients may mean disasters, rejection or zero sales.

The doctor and the carpenter do not have this to fear. There is no threat that could cause anxiety in their hearts, like a client’s change of heart in a minute or no earnings for a day.

The simple art of getting your clients to say yes is a complex as a mirror maze, if you do not have what it takes. You see mirrors everywhere in the maze, do you not? In all of those mirrors, you see yourself. Sometimes your image is so clear you think you could get through the mirror. But, once you try it, BLAG! You hit the mirror. You bumped into yourself.

The same is true when you make a mistake during a client call. That is why you need to take with you always your own set of tools of the trade.

The requirements for a successful sales call are basic in nature. They are too basic  to be ignored. But sometimes we have to be reminded of the things that we already know in order to keep our wits about us all the time.

My number one reminder is for you to maintain the proper attitude about sellings. This is a profession-yours as well as mine. It is ours. We need to accept it and be proud of it!

“If you’re not identified with your profession or if you’re not proud of it, how can you be committed to excel?’ Dr. Jocano has challenged people from all walks of life again and again.

How true it is! How can you excel, indeed, if you are ashamed of your profession? This brings to mind one young man I have had a conversation with.

“Son, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m only a salesperson, sir.”

“Where?’

“Only at the Waterfront Village Securities, sir.”

“What products are you selling there?”

“Only investment shares, sir.”

“Is that so?’

If I were his client, I would definitely not buy. Imagine, he is selling millions-of-pesos worth of investment shares with that kind of attitude? Only a salesperson? Only investment shares?

This is one of the various attitudes that a sales champion does not possess. It gives a bad impression to prospective clients. This is bad enough considering that most of them believe that ninety-five percent of all salespersons are flatterers, dishonest and always wanting to put one over another. We have to change these bad impressions.

If ninety-five percent of all salespeople are known in a negative light, let us be the five percent. If many of us come across as flatterers, let us show sincerity. Let us make others feel that it is for their own good that we are selling them our products.

Clients can easily detect if you are sincere or not. You can dish out all the flattery you want, but it will get you nowhere. A client has a way of knowing whether you are flattering him or not. If the flattery is explicit, the client will see through the lie or the exaggeration. If it is implicit, it will not escape his gut feeling.

If a salesperson is said to be talkative, he must learn to listen twice as much as he talks. Simply listening creates a magical bridge connecting the salesperson and the client. Sometimes you ask yourself, “Why do I have to listen and listen well? What will happen to all I need to say if I keep quiet and let my client do all the talking? What about my own views? Are they not worth an ear?”

You will be surprised to learn that people generally appreciate being listened to. It is a unique way of making them feel important. You give them the impression that their views and opinions are equally credible. This does not necessarily mean that your views and opinions are not. But it is important that your client feels he is important and that you believe in him.

You can air your views and opinions somewhere else. If you want, you can even engage anyone in a debate-but not with your client. Never! In the first place, you have sought him out in order to fill his needs, not yours. Remember that.

Some people think that whoever talks more steers the flow of the conversation. This is not so. The one listening is actually the one who is in control of the whole thing.

Another impression salespersons make on other people is that they are liars. Let us change this by being honest ourselves. This is not too difficult to do. If your client tells you that what you are selling is expensive, do not waste time arguing with him. Agree with your client right away. But, at the same time, point out to him the unique and special features of your product, which are not found in any other. Explain to him that these add up to the overall value of your product and to the benefits he will derive from it. Clients are quick to understand, if we spend enough time explaining things to them. If we are sincere, they are bound to know.

You may think that Honesty is the best policy is a worn cliché. But being trustworthy is still your key to harmonious relations with your clients (ang pagiging tapat ang siya mo pa ring ipagsasama nang maluwat ng iyong mga kliyente). Nothing in this world can break that.

By now, I hope that I have convinced you to be among the remaining five percent of salespeople who are honest and trustworthy. To those who have decided to be counted among the few, welcome. You have joined the limited population of successful sales champions who never forget the basic tools of their profession.

Do we need to review these basic tools? ” We need to be reminded again and again of these things in order for them to sink deep into our consciousness,” says Dr. Jocano. A timely reminder is an antidote to a person who forgets (Ang paalaala ay gamot sa taong nakalilimot) is a saying we often hear. But how many of us feel grateful whenever someone gives us a reminder? Sad to say, not too many. Some people think they have reached too high a level that they no longer need to review the basics. Even if you have a PHD, you need to keep on learning. If you stagnate, you become PESSIMISTIC, HUMORLESS, and DEPRESSED.

We all know that life is a continuing study. Review is an integral part of it. Physicians, lawyers, engineers and others do just that-review. So should salespersons.

What are the things that we need to review? Has anyone succeeded in any competition who has not prepared well? Has anybody passed an exam without having reviewed at all? What then do we need to go over?

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