Adopting Sales into Your Job

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While not everyone may consider themselves to be, each one of us is, on some level, a salesperson. Think about it – when you apply for a job, you are selling your skills, interests, and capabilities to a potential employer; when you write a proposal, you are selling an idea to a client. Salespeople may sometimes get a bad rap, yet we have to remember that they are the people driving revenue. You may have the greatest idea in recorded history, and you need to sell it to someone to meet with success. Whether you’re a newbie to sales or have years under your belt, it never hurts to revisit the basics.

 

  1. Know your product/service inside and out. This may seem obvious, yet you’d be surprised by those who don’t. Pull your team together and brainstorm a laundry list of questions customers could ask. Then answer them. Do you know your product as well as you think you do? Good. Then trust yourself and others will believe in you, too.

 

  1. Have a plan before you begin selling. Lay out the full structure for a script, whether you’re in person or on the phone. Leave some room for improvisation, as this script will evolve as you interact with and learn from customers.

 

  1. Set measurable, identifiable, obtainable, and specific goals. Know where you are starting and where you are going. The people paying you don’t want vague explanations or promises. They want results.

 

  1. Work harder AND smarter. This is two-fold. Once you do the hard leg-work, let your customer relationship management system work for you. You have to make the calls and build the relationships, and when you include all relevant notes in the system, you’ll be setting yourself up to look good. For example, when you take note that Karen’s a serious dog lover, she’ll appreciate when you ask about Clifford on your next call.

 

  1. Learn from your audience. Listen hard to what your current and potential customers have to say, then learn from it. After all, they’re the ones that already use or would be using your product/service and they can offer a fresh perspective. In the words of Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Don’t assume you know everything.

 

  1. Always be genuine. Don’t try to sell binoculars to a blind man. Sell the right products to the right people – that way, everyone will win. You can sell what you believe in.

 

  1. Attitude is everything. Not everyone will respond well to your pitch. Maybe you caught them on a bad day. Could be that they aren’t really in your target audience. Keep everything in perspective, because, whatever happens, one interaction won’t make or break you. Keep your chin up and move on to the next prospect. You’ll feel great when you make the sale.

 

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

 

–          Danielle

CHARLESTON, SC — SPEAK UP

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Okay – so this week we had another senseless shooting. In a church, no less, by a 21-year-old screwed up kid whose father gave him the gun. A kid who posted hateful messages on Facebook and no one did anything about it. Didn’t want to get involved. Didn’t care enough to speak up.

 

What is wrong with our culture? Are we so involved with ourselves that we can’t look out for the other guy? Are we so caught up in our own lives that we can’t be aware of what’s happening all around us?

 

If there ever was a “grassroots” problem, this is it. Starts in the home, with our own families. Do we have to fear speaking up and out about things that trouble us? Can we sometimes work through “difficult” discussions and work together?

 

Move on to church and work. Is it all surface-y? Always say hello and how are you, but not actually knowing how the other person is. Can we genuinely care about others and be concerned about them AND do something we are very capable of to help people and make a difference in their lives?

 

Step it up to our communities, schools, state, and nation. Can we work together? Can we share our gifts and make the most of the opportunities we are given? Here we are in one of the most prosperous places in the world. Can we appreciate all we have been given and use these gifts for the good of all?  I believe the possibilities are truly endless.

 

What a pity. What a mess. What a disaster — waiting to happen AND happening all around us. We need to set aside our personal agenda and try our best to see things from both our side and the other person’s side. Find some compassion. It’s not all black and white. It doesn’t have to be one way or another. It can be mutually beneficial where everyone wins, and benefits, and grows, and smiles together.

 

Can we try to care about others as much as we care about ourselves, or do we need to continue to scratch and climb and hate and fear? Let’s look deep within our souls and decide how we can each make our world the best place possible.

 

─ Linda

 

“Very Pinteresting”

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Image-centric and search-friendly, Pinterest has bewitched the women of the world. Pinterest is an image sharing cite where users can upload, save, and manage images, also referred to as “pins.” It is essentially a discovery tool that allows users to save ideas or projects that interest them. You can plan your entire wedding, get lost in DIY projects, and obsess over drool-worthy food pictures for hours on end, pinning away until your fingers ache. Pinterest makes its users feel productive, organized, and energized simply from repeatedly sharing images of home décor, fun summertime crafts, puppies, or makeup tutorials.

 

Pinterest is not just the perfect place for women; it’s also the perfect place for business. According to Jennifer Gilhool, founder and CEO of Pink Streak Inc., women control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending.[i]  Given the facts that 80 percent of Pinterest users are women and women also make about 85 percent of purchasing decisions, Pinterest is the perfect place for any business generally geared toward that audience to grab a hold of consumers.[ii]

 

A brand’s success on Pinterest goes beyond a company sharing their own products with their followers. It’s a space where brands can also promote their personalities and values by repinning images posted by other users that add to their character. For example, the Greek yogurt gurus at Chobani have mastered the art of pinning. With more than 118,000 followers, Chobani’s Pinterest content ranges from Mother Teresa quotes to healthy, portable breakfast ideas to best at-home abs exercises, allowing the company to connect with their followers by painting a larger picture of their brand.

 

Unlike Instagram or Twitter, Pinterest users share content rather than like or comment on posts. Users search for images they can relate to or be inspired by, and then save products that they would love to own. Pinterest is a space for visual stimulation. Growth Devil, an agency dedicated to helping start-up companies succeed, suggests on their blog that Pinterest has a 50 percent higher conversation rate than any site that connects consumers with products, making it an ideal place for businesses to advertise.

 

In just a few steps, any company can set up a business account with Pinterest. This tool is designed to help companies using Pinterest for business purposes by providing them with information about their followers’ interests. It also gives companies the ability to measure their social media traffic on other platforms, like Twitter and Facebook. It’s all about seeing and being seen.

 

Four tips for businesses using Pinterest:

 

  1. Make sure your profile information is complete
  2. Keep your pins inspiring
  3. Engage with commentators
  4.  Include links back to your business’s website

─ Lydia

 

References

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2013/08/26/the-power-of-just-one-woman/. Accessed on May 23, 2015

[1] http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/17668.aspx.  Accessed on May 27, 2015