“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford
I believe this to be a good exception.
The most important lesson I have learned (and taught), is that you build relationships through integrity. This obviously works in all aspects of life, not just sales, but it is key to longevity in a sales environment and has been the backbone of my many sales endeavors throughout my career. If we (my customers and I) are going to mutually benefit from our working relationship, I have to outwork the competition and fully appreciate and empathize with what my customer wants and needs. Relationships, in life and in the office, are a two-way street.
I have always focused on being truthful and transparent at all stages of the negotiations process. Experience is learned – it cannot be taught. My many years of experience have made it evident that listening intensely to what the client truly needs and applying transparency and honesty to the process, will earn their confidence in me. My job is complicated, yet fundamentally simple: get the assignment completed for everyone’s benefit. All clients are different in subtle ways, but the common denominator is always going to be, getting them to know that you have listened, you are going to work tirelessly on their behalf, and that you will expertly represent them.
We can constantly reinvent the wheel, but there is no replacement for personal interaction if you want to be a top sales performer. In a world of email and texting, and one further complicated over the past year by a pandemic, it is not as easy knocking on doors, but it still must be regarded as the baseline for relationship building. Things change as the world evolves, but the basic principles are still the best recipe. You must know the task at hand. Always look professional. Be committed to the process and determine how involved your client wants to be in that process in order to follow up accordingly. Do they prefer a phone call? An in-person interaction? Be honest with the client, both with good news and bad. There is no substitute for hard work and genuine commitment, and there are not many long-term successful salespersons who don’t subscribe to the basics.
A final thought: Our customers might be the most important part of our work world, but we are not always the most important element of theirs. Remember this. Our window to communicate might be brief, and we might only have one chance to get the message right. This goes back to knowing the customer on a personal level and empathizing with the hectic nature of their work. This is the job: Listen, gather all you need to get the job done and communicate in the way your customer wants. Don’t just listen-be a good listener. Don’t judge, always find ways to help and always be pleasant even though the circumstances won’t always make that easy. These are simple lessons but following them will earn you the financial benefits you are seeking.
Take pride in your work and end each day happy with your effort. I wish you all great success, health and happiness, both with work and family life. Work hard, play hard. Live life with joy and happiness, and you will be successful.