To become and remain a professional in this business of selling, you must recognize that you are in charge of your own training and act on that fact. Build on your strengths and correct your weaknesses. If you aren't sure of what to work on first, there is certainly someone in your life who will gladly assist you - your manager, your spouse, your children, a trusted friend.
Here are six skill areas that I strongly recommend you consider developing or strengthening:
Do you consider yourself a trained negotiator? Trained negotiators can quickly and effectively analyze the details of situations and determine the best route to resolution. If that brief description doesn't fit you, make an effort to find a book, tape or seminar on the subject, then schedule the time to learn from it.
A Second Language
Consider the part of the country in which you live and those people you do business with. As our country continually redefines itself by its people, be aware of the advantages of being able to communicate with others in their native tongues. Today's projections show that both Hispanic and Asian portions of the population are on the increase. To be able to offer your fine services to more people, you must learn more about them, their language and their cultures.
Since your clients choose to 'own' your products or services based on what you say and how you represent it, doesn't it make sense that you train your voice to give the highest level of professional presentation? If you've never considered voice training before, tape yourself giving a portion of your presentation, then listen to it. Most of us hate the sound of our voices on tape. Just imagine how our clients must feel when listening to us. To project your message with clarity and power, consider at least one session with a voice coach. They can be found in your local yellow pages.
Many sales professionals find that giving short speeches in their communities helps build their name recognition and their business. Public speaking is also a great way to build your confidence. Try your skills out by speaking to your child's class about what you do or a hobby you have. Teachers love it when the students can learn first-hand about careers. Join Toastmasters International. There are local chapters in just about every city. They provide excellent opportunities to hone your skills and meet other business professionals with whom you might do business or share referrals.
Having a good memory is critical to anyone in today's world, but especially so to those of us who meet many new people every week. I have learned to make a game of it in my career. I challenge myself to remember as many people and their stories as I can. There are some great courses and books written on this subject. Even if you learn and use only one small strategy, I guarantee you'll see the benefit of having done so.
Don't cringe on me here. I know there is a large percentage of people who hate math. However, in business, you need to know some basic math skills really well. How does it look when you take a client to lunch and you have to think real hard to calculate the tip? Do you think that will raise any doubts about your competency in the client's mind? Of course it will. Also, when clients toss out figures in their projections, you have to be quick on the uptake in understanding what that means in your business - quantities of supplies they'll need, projecting delivery dates and times, etc. Practice your math skills. Every time you hear or see a number in a conversation or even in a bit of advertising, take a moment to work with the number and see what it means. Compute unit costs for grocery items - $1.29 for 12 ounces. How much is that per ounce? I know the favorite computation of every salesperson who works on a fee basis is to determine their percentage of every sale. Don't stop there. Play the numbers game often and you'll get better at winning.
Choose just one of these six areas and dedicate yourself to improving in it this month. Then, next month, choose another. Once you get started on this journey of self-education, you'll be amazed at what you learn and how simple things can have a powerful impact on your overall success in life.Tom Hopkins
You can receive more information about Tom Hopkins as well as receive 20% off his audio and book products by going to www.yoursuccessstore.com or calling 877-929-0439.