Like a good ship, sales reps need to keep their career in top-running condition to brave the mercurial seas of business. The good news is that business success is often a matter of common sense and sticking to a few simple rules. As a recent article on the Harvard Business Review website notes, sales is not just about numbers and money, but also about objectives, future plans, and results. Sometimes the bottom line is more about future goals and career development, in other words, than simply making a sale today. Here are just a few tips towards developing a great career in sales.
1. Develop a Good Reputation
A good reputation can serve many purposes in business. For one thing, we often don’t acknowledge how much reputation precedes us in a business climate where contacts and networking are everything. When clients know ahead of time they can rely on you, they’ll be that much more willing to engage with the services your company can provide. They’ll also recommend you for other jobs.
2. Take Clients Out to Lunch
It’s a common unspoken rule in business that everyone enjoys being bought a good lunch. Lunches are perfect ways to socialise with clients because they don’t take up too much time and they’re enjoyable social occasions. Paying for a client’s lunch and listening to what they have to say will undoubtedly help you as you make your way through the field of sales. They’ll also help you introduce yourself to new business contacts.
3. Keep your Word
It may seem redundant to say that keeping one’s word in business is important, but many sales reps and other professionals forget that missed appointments or phone calls can create a bad impression very quickly. Basically, if you say you’re going to do something, do it; make sure your word is your bond. Everyone makes mistakes now and then, so don’t expect to be perfect at all times, but always own up when you’ve dropped the ball on client communication or service.
4. Courtesy Never Goes Out of Style
Emily Post, the master of etiquette in everyday life, once said that the three keys to likability were a happy demeanour, a sympathetic ear, and an unpretentious manner. The truth is that when we are simply acting naturally as ourselves in business and respectful to others, we’re that much closer to success in sales. Don’t put on airs, be yourself, and you’ll be respected for it.
5. Know Where to Find the Best Jobs
By using job sites to find the best careers available, you’ll not only increase your business contacts, but move towards your ideal salary. Sites like SalesVacancies.com will often provide many openings at top businesses, so that with the right attitude and a bit of searching, you’ll always have the right work available.
For these reasons, surviving in the deepwater of sales can be tricky, but when sales reps use the right tools at their disposal, they’ll make sure their craft is ready for any storm that comes their way.