I am often invited to speak at sales conventions, or to conduct training programmes for people in the branding, communications, and marketing sphere.
While I am not a sales coach or trainer in its purest form, I suppose the companies that I work for as a management consultant and leadership coach, see value in engaging me for their sales teams.
In my sessions for sales teams, my focus has always been to get the trainees to understand how their passion impacts their ability to sell. While many programmes place emphasis on offering techniques on how to “close” a sale, my programmes concentrate on creating an internal operating system to ensure that sales people connect with passion.
Think about the times when you have not realised you needed something, but you have still gone ahead and bought it anyway. I am certain that it was because the person, who sold it to you, was absolutely convincing. They successfully influenced you to decide that you needed what they were selling.
And, this ability to be an influencer is firmly grounded on passion.
Passion is arguably the most effective sales tool, and it is displayed in people who genuinely care, and who are willing to take the time to serve their customers in whatever manner, necessary.
People who are really passionate about their products or service will understand that they cannot be artificial, or fake their passion. It has to be genuinely founded on enthusiasm, and a belief that they are being useful to others.
Recently, I was invited to spend the day with some agency managers and top performing agents from AmMetLife Insurance, a long-established insurer in Malaysia.
My training programme was aimed at getting them connected with purpose, and for me to help them become passionate about their products and services.
I must say that it was one of the most engaging programmes I have conducted. The energy levels were sky high because of the unbridled passion the participants had for their industry, and their vocation.
Each one of them truly believed in the idea of a secure financial future for their potential customers. They understood that what they were offering was extremely vital, in the long-term, for their prospects.
Because they believed in their product so strongly, their passion shone through.
If you worked in sales, I would remind you that your potential clients can tell when you are enjoying what you do. Your customers will recognise when you are not into the job. They will sniff you out easily.
Sales people must have the right “vibe”. A customer needs to sense three things from you if ever you want to be a successful sales person.
You must show them clearly through your communication with them that: “I am glad to be here”; “I know what I'm talking about”; and “I love what I'm doing”.
This exhibits passion to your customer. If you don't have passion for what you're selling, the prospect won't either. So, working on your belief and attitude is critical for sales success.
You may be thinking right now, “…what has this got to do with me? I am not a sales person.”
The truth is that you are sales person!
Every day, at work, you have to convince the people who employed you that they made the right decision in hiring you. And, that you are a suitable candidate for further up-skilling, growth investment, and promotions.
In my book, “So, You Want To Get Promoted?” I explain how the first key step towards career growth is to actually get noticed for the right reasons. And, you have to put your best foot forward to get noticed.
Every employer wants their staff to show that they are glad to be at work; know what they are talking about; and love their job. These are the same three vibes I mention earlier, that a successful sales person needs to give out to their customer.
In sales, you must demonstrate your passion to your customers. If you feel very proud of what you can do for your customers, they will connect with this enthusiasm, and be interested in what you are selling.
This is exactly how it works in your career too, with your bosses. Your employer is your customer.
There are some basic techniques to show your customers that you’re excited about what you are selling.
These same techniques also apply for your interactions with your bosses.
It always starts with your body posture. At work you need to show energy, and excitement in your body deportment, and movement.
Your voice is a key indicator of your passion. Put some passion into your voice by speaking with energy, and commitment. There’s nothing worse than listening to an employee drone on about something. The perception is that you are disengaged.
Maintain eye contact with your line leaders. This shows that you are interested in them, and you can also watch their expressions to get feedback on their reactions to you.
Remember, you might say, “I am not in sales; as that kind of work is just not for me…” but the reality is that you most definitely are.
Shankar R. Santhiram is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”