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Hello, and welcome to my blog! I'd like to thank all of those who have supported my efforts in making this website. If you want to truly support me, then please follow my blog. Let me know you were here:D I make it a point to respond to all messages asap! Thanks again for your continuing support:)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Understanding The Business Side Of Sales

I must admit, the way I look at sales is pretty business-like. If you met me while I was doing my job, you might think I'm not thinking about business. The truth is, I always am. I know my clients think I'm a "fun" sales girl, or that I'm like family. I get that a lot. And I like someone looking at me as if I'm part of their family, like a daughter, for instance. I'm surprised when this happens, because even though it's nice to make those friends along the way, that wasn't my main objective when I came to work. 

I look at selling as a means to make money for my company, and for myself. It's what I get paid to do, and It's what makes me happy. When I'm doing great in my sales, it gives me a lift in everything I do. I just feel better in general, because it's what motivates me to keep going. When I'm doing business, that's when I am happiest. Not to sound corny, but sales is my life! I live it! It's what I love, and so is business. 

A lot of salespeople fail because they don't seem to understand that the main objective for a company hiring them is to make money for the company. They get caught up in other aspects of the job that don't involve making money, and then they complain when they are let go! Well, they weren't selling enough for the company they were hired to make money for, but they thought the company should keep them because they are a good person. I've met plenty of great people who got hired as salespeople, and I really like them, too. And I outlasted almost all of them! Because those really great people weren't meant for sales. They didn't understand the business aspect of a company. 

Now, I'm not saying that great salespeople are all business all the time! No, sir! If I was all about business all the time, I would never have any fun! And if you know anything about me, I think you know I'm all about having fun. But here's my take on having fun....I always try to incorporate business into it! In other words, I'm always trying to think of ways to make business more enjoyable, and that's what's fun for me. To have a great time with those other amazing salespeople, while taking care of business together!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Making Time For Self Development

I truly understand how we can get caught up in our work life. Sometimes that's all a person will talk about, because they get so much out of their professional environment. I am one of those people as well. I'm always learning something helpful in my life from work situations, and from colleagues. To be honest, my work environment is a very positive and uplifting one...and I'm grateful for that! I know it could be a lot worse, that's for sure!

Still, I also want to stress the importance of self-development outside of the work place. You can get caught up in your job, because you love it, and base your identity on the ability to make a living. Or, maybe you're trying to get a promotion (like me), and you become consumed by that one goal. There's nothing wrong with having professional goals. In fact, it's necessary to have them in order to get anywhere in your life. But it's also important to develop those parts of yourself that maybe you've put on the back burner, because you think you don't have time any more. You always have time to better your spirit!

Maybe you want to take up a hobby, like fishing, or knitting! Whatever it is, you have time, trust me! For example, I have plenty of time on my hands, even though I work full time. I have time to be on Blogger, writing my blog! I sure do! And I blog because it is fun, not just because it's a professional blog! If that was the only reason for me to do it, I would quit! But the truth is that I LOVE writing. It feeds my spirit:) Essentially, I'm killing two birds with one stone. Getting my professional persona out there for the world to see, and doing something I adore, that makes me happier. See where I'm going with this?

Whatever it is that makes you a happier person, or that can help you to better yourself, you can make the time for it if it's important enough to you. For example, I have an hour lunch. I know, I'm spoiled:) What do I do during my lunch? First, I take my time getting to the break room, because I'm a shopper, and I love to look at our new merchandise. Don't always buy, but sometimes I do! Then, I get up to the lunch room, and eat. By that time, I have about 15 to 20 minutes left, and I read! I'm always carrying a book around with me, because I'm on a constant quest for knowledge. And I'm not able to go on extensive trips right now, so I've found that reading is an escape for me. It often can take you to another place, and give you insight into another person's imagination. What could be better that that?!

I've finished many books just by reading for those 20 minutes a day! The truth is, that is one of my monthly goals....to finish a new book or two by the end of each month! It's amazing what you can accomplish in small increments of time spread out through a month, or even a year! If you're looking to learn something new, now is the time! If you're looking to get in better shape, now's the time! Trust me, if it's important enough to you, you will find the time to do it, and become more fulfilled as a result.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's not about quantity

One of the most important questions in any sales career...exactly what kind of clients are you hoping to attract? I've learned through experience that not all customers are equal. They should all be treated with respect, but when it comes down to making money, you know what you need to do. So why is it that so few salespeople understand this? They don't want to be unkind. They want to be liked. Okay, maybe they should realize that the whole idea of being liked by everyone is over-rated. You can't make every client like you, and why would you want to attract clients who are one item buyers in the first place? Why would you add a customer to your C@D who is known for shopping cheap, and makes you do the most work? They make you crazy with their demands, while you see your colleague get that customer you really wanted to help. I think the one question you should be asking yourself is, "is this really fair to me?"

Again, you know the answer. No, it's not fair to you. It's downright detrimental to your success! You think the customer will be offended. You think they will try to get you fired. And so on....Hey! You should wake up, man! Nobody is going to hand you a trophy for getting the most customers who shop during a sale! Those are not your real money makers, and you know it! So why is it that you forget to add that client who's a doctor to your C@D, who adores you, and always comes back only when you are there? See the point I'm trying to make? It's just plain silly to send emails to your clients that a sale is coming, when you know there are going to  be multiple ads everywhere! So why do it? Focus on those clients who would come in on ANY day you ask them, simply because they have the money, and want to shop with only YOU....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

There Is No Magic Formula

I wish I could say there is a magic formula to being a top salesperson. That it's just a natural talent for some, and all they have to do is flash a charismatic grin for the sales to start raining down on them. However, this is the real world, where sales dollars do not magically rain down on us like diamonds rushing down on our heads. Especially in these tough economic times, it's become imperative to work harder just to maintain a quota, let alone surpass sales goals. Here's what I've discovered in my experience as a salesperson who has thrived in the business....

What sets successful salespeople apart from the pack?

1) Willingness to take risks
I call it throwing yourself into the fire. I believe there's a song about just that! by Garth Brooks. He talks about standing outside the fire, how it's safe, but you're merely surviving, and not doing what you're meant to do in life. It's all about taking risks! The greater the risk, the greater the reward! How many times have I stuck my neck out when nobody else would? A lot more times than most, I'll tell you that! And do I have any regrets about that? Absolutely not! Nobody will ever notice what you have to offer unless you make put yourself out there, so stick your neck out every once in a while. You might be surprised at the rewards and recognition you receive(even if you don't achieve that sought after goal, you might just achieve something else simultaneously).
2) They are not hesitant to approach a stranger
9 times out of 10, if that first interaction is positive, that customer will no longer view you as a stranger, but as a budding friendship.
3) Motivation
They keep working, even when their body hurts, their voice is practically gone, and they're tired (but they don't show it.)
4) Game Face
A simple decision: to smile:) A smile tells a customer so many things about you. It says you're friendly, you feel good about yourself, and that you're approachable(and harmless). As a salesperson, this is exactly the image you want to project. An approachable person makes more sales, so smile and make yourself accessible to the customer. They will appreciate your openness, and want to buy more from you if they like you. It's a documented fact that salespeople who are all selling similar merchandise sell very different amounts. Sure, this has something to do with luck. And your selling area is important, too. However, the #1 indicator of a person's success in sales is the willingness of that person to extend themselves further than the average salesperson. The ability to set themselves apart from the pack, literally.

Let's say you're in an area where sales stink...(it's happened to the best of us.) Does that mean that YOUR sales have to stink, too? Absolutely not! I've worked in many departments where the sales in that area were down, but I was always up. It was because of my flexibility. I realized that if I saw a customer who was sort of far away from me, that I could still get their attention. And I did!! How? Simply by smiling and waving to them. A lot of the time, they would go out of their way to walk over to me! Even if they didn't really have something to ask me about, they would make up something, just to start a conversation. I've made many great sales this way! And it all started with a smile:)

5) Knowledge
They study their product up and down, side to side. They never relax when it comes to product knowledge. You need to know what you're selling, and the benefit to your clients. The more you know about your products, the more respect you'll gain from that client that asks difficult questions, and always gets a quick and accurate answer from YOU...great way to gain repeat customers.
6) Willingness to teach others
Great salespeople are willing to mentor others, whether it be through training them, or simply being there to share their experiences.
7) Willingness to be assertive
You can be an aggressive salesperson who never intimidates or puts people off, as long as you know what you're talking about is important to the client, and you are comfortable being in the same space. And as long as you know the difference between persuasiveness(positive aggression) and force of action, and pushiness(negative aggression).
8) Honesty
They don't lie to sell a product. Their expertise makes it so they don't have to.
9) Focus
They always keep the main objective in mind. That they will achieve success, and stay on the right track. They set daily goals.
10) They don't get caught up in what others think of them.
If  I worried what people think of me, I would never have achieved most of my goals in sales, because whatever I do, I realize people will criticize me any way. So who cares! People scoff or laugh at you when you are going after a goal. I just tell myself that I will be far ahead of them in the next 5 years. And keep going!
11) They have a "can do" attitude
Okay, I know I put this at the bottom of the list, but it is probably the most important of all! When someone asks you for help, you are not doing THEM a favor by offering your assistance. You are simply doing what you are being paid to do. It is your obligation to help them to the best of your ability. Trust me! People are always watching, whether it be your boss who happens to pass by at exactly the right moment, your co-workers, or even the owner of the company! You never know, so always put service first. And if you can't get a particular item or service for that client, then at least explain why in the most friendly way possible. Then make them another offer for comparable product or service. Remember, they could always decide to go somewhere else, so make a conscious effort to keep them coming back to YOU....