School teachers are trained to teach. Their focus is about technique, motivation, or expanding foundations of prior learning. Sometimes, the specific subject matter is left for the teacher to explore and explain independently. College professors are experts in their subject matter, but strategies and methods of instruction do not always take priority. Ideally great teachers master both aspects of the educational experience.
So what does any of this have to do with being an excellent salesperson?
Mastering Sales Techniques
The salesperson must have an excellent foundation of how to sell – the variety of techniques to interest and motivate their customers to buy. The worlds of demonstrating products, directing attention to features and benefits and a variety of closes move the customer to complete the purchase. Poor mastery of the components of the process can completely derail the sale. At the very least, the sale is less smooth and more fraught with hiccups when salespersons are not well-versed in their trade.
Yes, it IS possible to show up and go through the motions or fake adequate skills for selling. But, without mastery of the processes of selling, it is too easy for non-skills, snake oil, and manipulations to sneak into the sale, leaving everyone involved knowing that the merchandise has not been presented accurately and that buyer choices have been corrupted.
The professional salesperson actually studies the techniques of the sale. They perfect their skills at product presentation and the variety of closing techniques and overcoming objections. In the process of mastering sales skills, it is imperative that expertise about every feature and every benefit of every product they sell is integrated into their very being! That is why it is vital that salespersons believe in their products!
Knowing Your Products
Knowing every characteristic of every product can only serve to enhance the sales process, creating the greatest degree of satisfaction–for the salesperson, knowing that the buyer had all the information necessary to make the best purchasing decision and for the customer, knowing that they dealt with a salesperson of integrity and honor. In this way, both sales person and buyer are truly confident that the product most closely meets the needs of the shopper. This level of expertise creates repeat sales and the trust that the salesperson is careful in recommending products that are truly functional.
As a salesperson, the choice of how a transaction is going to flow to completion is largely in your control. Making solid choices around sales techniques and product knowledge increases the chances of ease and satisfaction in the marketplace, while gaps in skills and knowledge create hassles, headaches and misery for everyone!
FINAO – Brad Huisken
NOTE: This content originally appeared on IAS Training and is re-posted here with permission.