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Basic knowledge for a successful sales rep

With the new technologies available and being developed, the landscape for sales is ever-changing. Therefore you must keep yourself at the top of the game by increasing your knowledge in the following areas:

AREA #1: Product knowledge

It is crucial that you understand the products which your business sells like the back of your hand. You need to know every specification of the product as many buyers may have already done their research online and may test you to see if you are qualified to give them advice. By being knowledgeable about the products your company sells you will develop trust with your client. You should also ensure you know your industry and the trends which are happening in it. You can learn more about industry trends in South Africa by visiting the IDC website or the BIZcommunity trends page. In addition, you should follow industry influencers and publications to keep on top of your industry.

AREA #2: Communication

When considering communication, we are not just talking about being eloquent when you speak but also being able to communicate through written words. When speaking, it is imperative that you actively listen to what your customers are saying. By being able to truly understand their pain points you will be able to offer them a much better solution. You should also improve your writing skills. Coursera offers a business writing course which you can audit to get the information about how to improve your business writing. You should also work on your negotiation skills.

AREA #3: Confidence

Sales reps are often confronted with rejection. To help build your confidence you need to believe in the product which you sell. If you don’t believe in it then you will struggle to have confidence when you sell it to your customers. You can also build your confidence by surrounding yourself with positive influences rather than negative people and negative self-talk. Keep a record of your successes. When you find your confidence wavering then you can read through your successes and see that with hard work and focus you will be successful.

AREA #4: Storytelling

Many people like to hear a story. Your product story must be clear, concise, authentic and engaging. People remember a story better than they do a list of facts and figures. If you give them a memorable story, it is more likely that they will remember your product and brand and they may relate to the characters in your story and see how your product could solve their problem. You can learn more about storytelling here.

AREA #5: People management

In every sale, you will need to be in contact with people. It is important to be able to deal with people effectively and efficiently. You need to be able to work in a team. You need to be able to get the best out of your customers and the best out of your colleagues and superiors. People management skills focus on your emotional quotient (EQ), your ability to be empathic, and your ability to acknowledge contributors to your success. You can learn more about improving your skills here.

By working on these five areas you will be well on your way to being a very successful sales representative.

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