Each one of us is familiar with the term ‘sales’. As per the Merriam webmaster dictionary, it is nothing, but the total amount of money received by a business from selling of goods and/or services.
It is also stated as the shifting of ownership and title to a property from one individual to another for a price that is agreed upon by both the parties involved.
A sale is something that touches the human life every day. It will not be misleading to state that every individual in the world either buys or sells something or even does both every day in one form or another.
Any professional regardless of whether he is a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer or a consultant is selling his/her service by highlighting the skills and by showing how and why they are better than their competitors.
Thus, it is a universal concept and its scope is vast. When it comes to any organization, sales will be the crucial part. The business organizations produce and deliver goods and services for consumption by the society.
A situation, wherein there is only production and no consumption can be something miserable for any business or manufacturing unit. When this happens in many industries, the economy will come to a halt.
This makes sales an important entity for any business. It can be stated as something important for survival of the business itself. Right from the start of civilizations, sales exist, but earlier it was in the form of mutual exchange of commodities as against the present use of money.
What do sales managers say? Generally, professionals in the field of sales management would rightly accept that it is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding career as well. This claim made by these professionals can be validated with the fact that most of the professionals in the top positions in the business organizations like CEOs will have some form of sales background.
Challenges in Sales: Humans generally have strong ideas and among the many ideas they have, they regard sales as a disgrace. However, it is a field that offers the best opportunities for growth and development.
Even, professionals in this field can gain utmost self-satisfaction as against professionals working for other fields. From a study conducted among management students, it was found that they are reluctant to take up sales as their career, even though they have specialization in marketing/sales and this can be stated as something sad.
When you get into the idea that sales does not appeal as a lucrative career option, you will come across the following crucial beliefs about this field as well:
First belief: Sales can call for real hard work that can be compared to physical labor and it is important that people choosing this field as their career should sweat out. It is also believed that they will have to get exposed to different types of climatic conditions as they will have to keep moving to meet the prospective customers for their employers.
Reality: On the contrary, the fact is that every professional, regardless of the field in which he/she works will have to work hard. Nothing can come easy and the important point to remember here is that hardships can refine an individual and can add to his experience and wisdom.
This is the reason why it is possible to see some people starting their career as sales assistants are becoming experts and are contributing a great share towards the development of their employer.
There are many success stories of local entrepreneurs, who have began their business from scratch and has reached great heights. When you have a thought in this regard, you will realize that they were able to succeed mainly because they were aware of how to sell themselves well regardless of whether it is their ideas, concepts, products or services.
These people have reached great heights mainly because of the utmost sincerity and sweat out they did in the past.
Second belief: Another belief among people is that they will not get respect from others, when they choose to work as sales managers. It is also believed that people generally show unfriendly attitude towards sales people.
Reality: The reality is that people believe that sales guys are smart and so they can easily take off their money. This is why they give the following answers to avoid the sales people:
- I am not interested in the product
- Please come some other time
- I already have similar type of product under a different brand
- Please do not disturb me.
Some people say these even before the sale people start talking. You might have yourself blocked many sales personnel selling general knowledge books at your doorsteps and even you might have blocked the call of an insurance agent, who requests you to take a policy. These instances might have occurred due to your fear of spending money.
Third belief: Sales people are generally false and they will utter any word to make sure that the sales will be completed.
Reality: The reality about this belief is that sales people are always under pressure as their seniors will be knocking at them daily twice to get updates on sales generated.
They also experience peer pressure to showcase that they are the best among the superiors in the clan. This type of pressure makes the sale people to try out whatever they can do to achieve the sales.
Businesses these days have realized that customer loyalty is important for the success of their operations. Furthermore, nowadays, there are social media websites, where information passes like viral in a few minutes.
Even, social media helps sales people to understand what is expected of them. Just making a sale is not enough as it is not a one-time exercise, but is something associated with developing long-lasting relationships that will continue to pay the businesses in the long run.
What takes to succeed in sales? Humans are not perfect and they cannot be perfect always as well. Perfection is something that humans try to achieve all through their lives.
Like this, sales people can get better only after dealing with hands on assignments. The fact to remember here is that a sales person, who is dressed well and maintains good etiquettes, cannot grab the attention of a villager.
On the other hand, a tough individual can strike a deal since his approach can feel to be appealing as it brings the prospective customers some level of comfort. So, a sale is something situational. However, to succeed in this field, an individual will have to possess some personal traits like these discussed below:
Passion towards the job at hand: When an individual feels his work like a hobby, he will never feel it like a work. As stated by Albert Einstein, it does not need any special talents to be a successful sales- person, but it is important that the individual should be passionately curious about the project he has at hand.
Exuding confidence and energy all through the life: A sale is something about the expression an individual carries in his/her face. If the zeal does not come from within, it will be clearly visible in the face.
So, people interested in succeeding in this field and any other field for that matter should have the enthusiasm and energy to perform well. An enthusiastic person will never get bogged down by the situation and he/she will keep deriving inspiration from within, until he/she succeeds.
This character will radiate and instill the same in the minds of prospective buyers as well.
Right attitude: A positive attitude is something that can resolve most of the problems that we face day on day. Charles Swindoll has rightly stated that attitude is something important in the human life and it is more important than facts.
Even, it is stated as important more than money, education, successes and failures. It is important than skill and appearance as well. Generally, humans are responsible for their attitudes and it is important that they should follow good attitude to succeed in any fields, which include sales as well.
Knowledge: When a prospect is made, it is important that the sales person should be aware of what is being offered. Generally, the consumers will have many queries before they accept the product.
A successful closure of sales is all about how convincingly the sales personnel can address to the queries raised by the consumers. When the person does not have complete knowledge about the product that he sells, he cannot show his confidence, which will be rightly understood by the prospective customers from the non-verbal and verbal cues of the sales person. So, knowledge is power.
To sum up, ‘sales’ as a career has always a dishonor attached to it. But, some people have understood the fact that it is a field that offers opportunities that cannot be found in any other fields.
Promising professionals have found placement in big corporate houses and gaining the best insight about the subject will unveil the opportunities available. So, for a promising career in the field of sales, more than a formal qualification, the right characteristics discussed above are important.