When it Comes to Sales, How Much Does a College Degree Really Matter?

Some businesses require a very specific academic history in order to even be considered. For sales employees, however, it is your work history that matters most. It is shortsighted to say education means nothing, but if given the option between an employee who did great at the best school or someone who can close in the real world, hiring managers will always take the latter when looking for a new salesperson.


Sales has more to do with getting results than it does with education.

Results Trump Resume

As discussed in the article "5 Flexible Career Choices," sales is a results-driven field. Sales employees with good numbers have no problem finding the best jobs with the best companies. If your sales techniques earn you numbers that are consistently at or near the top, no one is going to care where you went to school.

At a job interview, if you have listed at the very top of your resume an array of strong, consistent numbers that reflect a sales rep who knows how to exploit leads and close deals, the hiring manager won't read much farther than that. Sales is competitive and driven by profit. Productivity beats pedigree every time.

Sell Me This Pen

At a job interview for a sales position, it is common for a hiring manager to say, "Sell me this pen" – or this bottle of water or stapler or whatever. Can you ad lib? Can you think on your feet? Do you have good sales techniques? Are you sharp and quick-witted? These are the traits that hiring managers are trying to find when looking for talent, which is why even job interviews are high-pressure in the sales world.


No one is going to be impressed by a salesperson's degree if he or she can't produce good results.

Yes, education is important, and a good degree could help you land that all-important first job. But in the high-pressure world of sales, performance is everything. Can you produce consistent results? If so, you're in.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers sales and small business management.

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #995

Coordinating schedules drives productivity to increase sales

Effective time management and coordination of schedules whether with your clientele or interviewing for multiple jobs in a week, increases the favorable impression of you, as it gives a glimpse into superb customer service, or the fact you are the desired type of employee to be hired.  Several aspects are to be considered as you make future appointments. 

http://youtu.be/9fYZ7AaP9w4

Star Performance

In the case of those salespeople pursuing a territory, the wisdom says, in this particular case – do not be a star performer.  Translated, some salespeople are so happy to get any appointment that most of their day will be spent driving back and forth across their territory.  The better approach is to focus on one area at a time, and mix appointments with appropriate cold calls (introductions) nearby. 

When someone asks for an appointment on a particular day, but you will be across town, suggest 3 alternate days to find the best one for both of you.  Being busy is a good message to deliver to prospective clients.  Communication on a highly professional level is the important factor.

 Teamwork 

 Hold weekly team meetings should you have counterparts or fellow employees assisting you for a major goal.  Track where everyone is on achieving personal milestones.  Brainstorm obstacles, ideas for overcoming, and further achievements to be made.  When everyone has equal input, they each try harder to achieve success.

Communicating Availability

So many ways to communicate exist today, but this one sales strategy works to find a settled upon date.  At minimum list 3 dates and times underneath one another in email, so that it’s easy to comprehend.  Tell the other party to choose the one best for them.  You might also include a range of time available on each particular date.

Some people choose to use a calendar app for scheduling.  This way you both have confirmation as to date and time; reminders pop up, and you have the connection information right in front of you.

The simple sales strategy is, “make it easy for the other person to say, ‘Yes!’  Whichever method suits you the best, offer the possibilities in a friendly and relaxed manner.  By doing so you will enjoy the Smooth Sale!

Dedicating yourself to building a happy clientele leads to the Smooth Sale!

Read Additional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #994

 

Teamwork Drives the Smooth Sale

Future sales are dependent upon the quality of customer service, integrity of standing behind what you sold and delivery that satisfies expectations.  The smallest detail gone awry can break up any relationship including the immediate sale as well as future business.  

The details of your teamwork are dependent upon outstanding communication.  There can be no overlooking one tiniest request, a potential obstacle or untimely event.  Open communication and honesty are a steadfast requirement for client relations as well as retention and employee satisfaction within your company.

Today I am the unhappy client but am hopeful a better arrangement may be negotiated for a happy conclusion.  I’m taking the leadership role to find the solution.  The following example stems from poor communication within the hired team.

Originally I was told to schedule a moving van for 3 days prior to desired travel.  Giving this some thought, I questioned the reality of a cross-country move in 3 days.  Supposedly, the moving team was consulted and then assured the coordinator that 7 days would secure the firm move-in date.  But to my dismay, I learned that delivery may not take place until 3 weeks later.  Happy I’m not.

The original documentation was saved and emailed back to the coordinator to negotiate a settlement of acceptable date.  To do so one needs to be relaxed and make concessions in order to find a happy ending.  Fingers are crossed that it becomes a smooth transition.

The moving team itself was outstanding, and I let the coordinator know that too.Should all be set straight, I will be thankful and post a nice testimonial.

Dedicating yourself to building a happy clientele leads to the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

Tinyurl.com/EStutz-YouTube-Channel

 

 

 

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #994

Inspire your business neighborhood for remarkable results

This blog continues with the theme that our personal lives reflect our professional lives.  In career and business we have our “neighborhoods” or networks, peers and associates.  Salespeople have assigned accounts or territories to nurture their business neighborhood.

What may we learn from personal neighborhoods and apply to business and career?

It was a striking coincidence in our personal neighborhoods, one of 25 years, and another of 6 years, that two highly introverted individuals made similar remarks upon our impending departure.  “Jane”, who customarily avoided speaking to me, ran over as the moving truck door slammed shut to say, “I am so sad to see you go.  You are our all time favorite neighbor.” 

Jane’s statement had me curious, for years, wondering how it could possibly be true.  But then, “Carl”, known as “one who hibernates” in our current neighborhood, approached us yesterday.  His statements were almost startling.  He spent five minutes telling us about the unusual kindness we had shown to he and his wife, and then wished good fortune in life’s journey.

Although different times and different sexes, the commonality was the apparent shyness of these two people.  Most viewed them as “stand-offish” or “snobby”.  My approach is to do my best to treat everyone equally.  You never truly know how you affect some people, but in these two cases, the reward was huge in the end

Sales Calls

How many times have you called an individual but they did not pick up, return a call or sound friendly on the other end?  This is more the norm as time marches forward.  These types of individuals are either over-worked or do not have the same extroverted skills that you might possess.  If you truly wish to have a meting with that person, go out of your way to show extra kindness. 

Secret Sales Technique: 

Be creative and watch your budget.  I’ve been known to ask what type of coffee the person prefers and ask, if it would be alright if I were to bring some coffee to their office while we had a chat.  I’ve set up a picnic in a demo room; I’ve offered lunch at the desk to save time and money, and I was taught early on – always give away free miniature candy bars to everyone you encounter during the holiday season.

The highly unusual offer of food and casual conversation soon turns to serious interest and converts to sales.  Why?  You stand out from the crowd establishing your personal brand, likeability and trust – the key ingredients for making sales. 

For additional ideas on creative giving, watch this video: 

http://youtu.be/DJ8F2Lk1WuQ 

When you give kindness first, you most often find personal reward as well as the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

 

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #993

On the Road Again

In the moment, it is a very freeing experience to have all possessions gone, albeit briefly.  Yesterday, our household was loaded onto the moving van for a cross-country adventure.  FYI, I love Willie Nelson’s song. J

What does this have to do with business and career

http://youtu.be/x-Xfo87L9p4

Entrepreneurship and advancing your career require the same success strategies as in your personal life.  Task lists, reminders, milestones, goals all need to be put into place, written down and have a target date for completion.  As you move from one to the next, cross those completed items off of your list.  This is the sure way to know you are on track to accomplish what it is you have set out for yourself.

 

Should you have peers and teammates, be certain everyone has the same end goal in mind and that they, too, have a similar system in place.  Have check-in meetings to discuss obstacles and share ideas for getting around impending problems.  Encouragement and being there for others will make the celebration in the end all the more satisfying.

As Shakespeare said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow”.  But with our personal goals set on the other end, and having family and friends to greet us and be our team for getting settled, we know the end result will be sweet.

Having your system in place will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

 

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #992

Last Quarter moves to Front Sales Champion

Invariably, the majority of business (including hiring) is conducted the last three months of the year.  Several reasons exist for why this is the case. 

Typically, larger companies are conservative throughout the year as they monitor expenditures vs. income.  By year-end, however, many budgets must be spent or available monies will be lost.  This is the primary reason for hearty expenditures at the end of the year. 

As for entrepreneurs, they too, see a need for making purchases to enhance the following year’s productivity.  In alignment, they keep a watchful eye on the newest technology to purchase that will help them maintain their competitive edge.

Another reason last quarter is so busy, is that gifts are to be purchased for loyal clients, collaborative peers, and good friends.  Holiday parties hosted by employers sometimes require a gift exchange and social parties have you bringing a gift as well.

This brings up the subject of networking at holiday parties.  Some people get so caught up with the “have-to-attend” events, that they forget the niceties that just might land them new clients.  Even at social parties fruitful conversations have been known to produce new clients.  Here are a few sales tips to consider:

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  1. Greet the host of the party with a smile and a thank you for the invitation.  If they have a few seconds to chat do so.  Then take directions from the host for your next steps – literally.
     
  2. Just as with official networking events, find the friendly faces to have a breezy chat.  Should you not anything in common, move on to the next guest.  Ask how they know the host, if they work, and what they do or hobbies that catch their interest. , Actively listen as this is how new clients are born.
  3. Collect contact information of those you most enjoy, and follow up.
     
  4. Offer assistance to the host if you see some might be needed.
     
  5. Thank the host once again on your way you.  Indicate you had a wonderful time.
     
  6. Follow up  with both the interesting guest,(s) and the host.

By concentrating on conversations, with those guests who hold your interest and having an intelligent conversation, you will be headed toward the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #991

Should You Get a Standing Desk? And Other Random Questions

by Andrew Lisa

If you're an entrepreneur, you're always on a mission to increase productivity and decrease spending. You've branched out on your own, you've perfected your sales techniques and you're working on building your brand. You might think you've got all the bases covered, but ask yourself the following questions to double check that you're not missing opportunities to enhance productivity even further. (Extra credit to employees who ask themselves these questions, too!)

Att
A standing desk can reduce the problems associated with sitting in front of a computer all day.

Should I Get a Standing Desk?

For many people, the idea of standing while working is borderline crazy when there is an option to sit. But check out the following article: "Making Time Stand Still: How Standing Prevents Aging." The author presents some very strong evidence that standing slows the aging process. It is widely agreed upon by the scientific and health communities that a sedentary lifestyle is horrible for your health. Entrepreneurs and many salespeople and other employees are doomed to work long hours. A standing desk could be a good place to start.

Should I Get a VoIP System?

If you communicate over the phone and use multimedia like teleconferencing or video chat, do yourself a favor and consider voice over Internet protocol. VoIP technology uses the Internet for phone calls, chat, messages, video and just about every other form of communication. Because it doesn't rely on the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN), there is no expensive hardware to set up or maintain. VoIP-to-VoIP calling is free. It comes with a whole menu of features that would otherwise cost extra, and the pay structure is for one flat rate, not arbitrary and expensive long-distance and international charges.

Should I Take a Course in Social Media?

A successful marketing campaign has to contain a social media element. Business marketing on social media requires a strategy based on targeted research. You're not just posting to Facebook when you have something to say, like you do for your personal account. Social media marketing is a skill – a learned skill. Consider taking a course. You don't have to work toward a degree; just a few classes (which can be found for free online) can take your online presence to a level that matches the professionalism of your sales techniques.

Should I Get a Hybrid Computer?

Although still new enough to be considered novelties among many consumers, hybrids are on the cutting edge of computer technology – and as an entrepreneur, you must be also. Hybrids were playthings for people with more than one computer until very recently. But now the higher-end version of these laptop/tablet combos, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, are promising to be the only computer you need, comparable to even top-of-the line laptops – only with removable tablets and touchscreen capabilities.


A VoIP phone network could save you money and increase productivity.

As an entrepreneur, you can never stop improving. Ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to get ahead – physically, technologically and strategically.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers small business management and digital marketing.

Asking and answer the questions outlined above will help lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

 

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #990

Differentiate yourself to rise above the crowd

Success depends on the authentic you commonly known as "your personal brand".  Differentiating yourself by understanding how those in your field deliver similar services, and all that's associated, will make a big difference for your impending success.  This is true for business development and sales, as well as for success with interviews to be the one hired.

It's still difficult to get one very poor experience out of my mind, due to sales techniques that were both inappropriately used, and several that were obnoxious.  In particular, scare tactics don't cut it with me and hopefully not with you either.  

An example of a scare tactic is, “If you choose to delay or ignore my service, the following will happen…”   This could come across as a sincere threat.  In the case of the above, the threat proved to simply be untrue upon being passed by another person who is experienced in the field.

The good news is, I recognized how to turn that bad karma into a positive result:  Volunteer Help and work to the benefit of the prospective clientele

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"Bill" has just begun in the field.  He is a super nice guy, a friend, highly talented, and I want to see him succeed.  Therefore, I made an offer to share my sales insights, free of charge, should he ever desire the help. At the same time, I let him know what went wrong with his "competitor" in order to help him avoid doing the same.   

Effective sales producers keep a sharp eye on their perceived competitors.  By so doing, they are able to verbalize the differences and similarities, and why their delivery is advantageous.  Doing so holds keen attention by the prospective clientele.  As long as what you convey is truthful, and includes the full picture of what you can and cannot offer, this becomes the competitive edge that wins more sales.

As you build your business and career, be of the mindset to take time to offer help to individuals and communities.  It's highly rewarding to help others succeed.  Several side benefits come about from helping others freely:

  1. Service puts you in a leadership position and creates a stronger personal brand.    
  2. ?New ideas come about by working with others due to determining further need.
  3. With new products and services in the mix, you enjoy increased sales, clientele, and further opportunity presented to you.

My mantra has become, "when we all reach out to help others come up from behind, we may positively impact society".

This is key for the Smooth Sale!

 

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #989

Recognizing limits increases productivity

The above title may sound a bit contradictory.  However, the recognition of what your capacity is will prevent you from over-committing.  Requests will frequently arrive but not all may be attended to given the goals we have set for ourselves along with the must-do task list.  

How you handle rejection and acceptance of requests is paramount for maintaining a favorable personal and business brand.

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1.  Prioritize 

As with everything else, prioritization of the must-do's comes first.  If you forsake a must-do for a favor, or a "let's see what happens", you may possibly set your business back a step or two.  As requests for promotion, collaboration, and doing favors, come into your in-box, decide which ones align with your vision and principles for conducting business.  

Next, decide which requests sound as if they may further enhance your business development and achievement of your vision. Consistency in all you do is essential for maintaining your brand identity.  

The more difficult requests are those of friends. Do your best to honor those relationships but within your own reasonable timeframe.  If you are in a time crunch with your own work, or extenuating circumstances exist, be honest and say so.  Negotiate a target date satisfactory for all so that you both may continue to move forward on a friendly basis.  

2.  Q&A

Sometimes requests are ambiguous.  You aren't quite certain about all the elements required or of the benefits all parties are slated to receive.  Sometimes the benefits are just one-sided; be aware of these.  You need to do some digging before you provide an answer, or potentially, you might be sorry.  

Question and Answer is the better strategy for this scenario. By being inquisitive, you generally avoid being less than diplomatic.  On the other hand, you are able to clarify the situation and get all of the details prior to making a definitive decision of "no" or "yes".  While you might turn an individual down, as they see the professional manner in which you operate, the conversation at the very least will be concluded on a positive note.  Later on, a new project may develop which they recognize as a better fit, and they will contact you once again.

3.  Enjoyment

I'm a proponent of believing work CAN be fun.  Which of the requests will enhance your enjoyment in doing the work?  Understand, if you agree to undertake a project that is a drag on your time and mental outlook, you will not put out your best.  This will be worse than declining the "opportunity".

The end goal should always be to deliver your best for friends, clients, management, and in customer service care.    

When you find the enjoyment in your work and strive to always deliver your best, those are the elements that attracts others to provide repeat business and testimonials – the secret ingredient for the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #988

Apologies make the sun shine

My apology was made seconds ago.  I had to take steps to correct something erroneously posted on my behalf before it became visible to many.  Time management dictates taking the direct path to get something done, and I took it.  But, that wasn't protocol, and I was reprimanded.  

The first words communicated, by me, were, "my sincere apology".  Next, I provided a brief explanation of where I was coming from, known as “the justification”.  By briefly offering this, at least there is some understanding of why the direct path was taken.  I concluded by saying, “it won’t happen again.”  I’m confident this will take care of any misunderstanding, and we will continue on solid footing.

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Sometimes on the job or with a client, misunderstandings will happen.  That's why, as a salesperson, it's best to continually ask questions.  Actually, we are all in sales, if we wish to excel at what we do.  The questions eliminate erroneous assumptions and allow for deeper connections.  This style also allows for personal insight to be revealed as well.  It is the personal coupled with the business connection that develops into strong relationships.

When a mishap does occur with a client, the first words should be a genuine, "I’m sorry".  The next step is to ask, from their viewpoint, how the issue may be resolved.  On rare occasion, the request may not be reasonable.  Honesty is always the best policy.  The best approach to the unreasonable request is to say you are unable to resolve the problem in that manner.  Next, quickly offer a couple of ideas for how you are able to implement a solution.  Most of the time, clients will be thrilled you are working on their behalf to resolve the issue.

Being of the mindset to work in a clam and friendly manner produces the better results. and favorably builds your personal brand. Finding resolution is another form of negotiation.  In the end, working to find a solid solution to any mishap or misunderstanding, will further build the friendship as well as business relationship between you and your clientele.  The end result is you are likely to have developed a long-term client appreciative of all of your help.  And when it comes to mending fences with superiors at work, they too are usually very appreciative of your authentic approach to making things right.

Adhering to Shakespeare's line, "All is Well That Ends Well" becomes the path to the Smooth Sal

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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