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How to be an effective salesperson

 

There are people who can sell ice to an Eskimo. When they approach you they are cool, calm and collected. And their words are smoother than butter. These people can convince you to buy just about anything. While giving a sales pitch may come easily to some, for others it takes a lot of practise and effort and courage. If being a salesperson doesn’t come naturally to you then below is a list of how to become a better salesperson.

Visual presentation

Make sure you provide a product demonstration of how the product works. A customer will be more influenced to buy something which they can actually see a demonstration of. A visual demonstration will help your customers get excited about the product. If the customers can see, feel and (depending on the product) smell your product then their interest will be ignited and they’ll be more influenced to buy the product.

Competitive spirit

Great salespeople want to win. They have a competitive spirit and want to outdo their previous accomplishments and be the top in their team. A healthy competitive spirit can be good because it pushes you and helps you remain focused on the prize. You have to be disciplined and be in it to win it.

Listen

You need to enhance your listening skills in order to be an effective salesperson. Bestselling author of 7 Habits of HIghly effective people Stephen Covey was quoted as saying, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand they listen with the intent to reply”. In order to be a great communicator, you need to be able to listen to what the other party has to say. You can’t sell something to someone if you don’t know what their needs are. And giving a monologue to a customer isn’t likely to persuade them to buy your product. For example, if you’re selling cell phones you need to listen out for what the customer needs in order to provide them with a cellphone which will have the features they need.

Know your limits

Be a person who’s tactful. Customers don’t like to have a product pushed down their throats. Don’t be forceful when you make your sales pitch otherwise you might lose a potential customer. A salesperson needs to have high emotional intelligence in order to discern when to pull back and when to persist, when selling to a customer.

Knowledge

You need to learn as much as you can about the product or service you’re trying to sell.  Don’t just wing it. A customer will be able to pick up how well you know a product.You need to be knowledgeable about every aspect of the product and how it works. If a salesperson is interested in the product, the customer will be more likely to buy into their sales pitch because they’ll come across as genuine.

Alter your sales pitch

Those with a talent for selling alter what they are going to say for different customers. They don’t just stick to an over-rehearsed script. In order to have a positive sales pitch, you need to be able to read people and quickly discern how best to market the product to them. People are different and have unique needs and you can’t give a one-size-fits-all sales pitch to every customer you come into contact with. You need to adapt your pitch to fit your customer’s needs.

Persistence

A great salesperson needs to be persistent because they’ll be pressured to meet sales targets. And unfortunately not everyone will be on board to buy your product. There will be people who’ll reject the product and you can’t take it personally. You have to persist and look for the next person who’ll buy into your product.

Confidence

You need to have confidence in yourself and in what you’re selling if you want to close the deal. If you’re confident you’ll be able to approach a customer without worrying about any negative feedback from them. You also need to believe in the product you’re trying to sell because if you don’t, you won’t instil confidence in others.

 

Walk in their shoes

You need to understand your customer and be able to put yourself in their shoes. Walking in your customer’s shoes will help you understand their needs and wants more effectively. Your sales will increase if your pitch caters to the needs of your customers.

 

Educate yourself

There is no end to learning. And taking a marketing course  or sales and marketing course online can help further your sales skills and will give you an understanding of customers behaviour and why they would buy your product.

To be a great salesperson you have to be highly motivated and prepared to learn more about the product and what it takes to be a great salesperson. Going the extra mile will make you a top salesperson and will separate you from the rest.

 

 

Money management tips for students

Students are usually young people suddenly thrust into financial responsibility. Before, they might have found themselves under the care of their parents. Now, they’re thrust into the deep end, where have to balance their studies alongside merely surviving. Anyone would struggle but the chances are students haven’t had as much experience – let alone savings – to make it on their own all of a sudden. Here’s what they should be considering.

Managing loans

Many students deal with student loans, since education costs are enormous. This means they can consult financial aid officers at the university they’re studying at. Alternatively, some countries, like South Africa, offer a National Financial Aid. As South Africa Info highlights:

“Much of an National Student Financial Aid Scheme loan can be converted into a bursary, which does not then need to be repaid, depending on one’s academic progress. A 100% pass rate would result in a 40% bursary rebate on an NSFAS loan.”

Of course, this is dependent on countries. It’s important students understand what is required for their loans. This means, going in, they can begin budgeting properly and knowing what they can do to reduce the total repayment – for example, achieving a 100% pass rate.

Saving properly

As we noted, a lot of responses to managing a loan has to do with saving properly.

The only way to put saving structures in place is to have proper budgeting. Students must calculate what they need and how much they will have, then prioritise. Presumably studying means students won’t be indulging in too many luxuries, instead focusing their energies on those areas to get higher grades (as we noted, this can also mean reducing financial burdens on loans and, indeed, increase chances of obtaining bursaries).

Investing

One form of saving students must begin considering early is investing. This means instead of putting lump sums away, we direct our funds into areas where money can work for us, without input.  

There are a range of options to consider from unit trust investment to property, though the best option for young people is probably the safest. Of course, the safer an option the lower our chances of reaping greater rewards.

Being able to manage our finances is a very important life skill for anyone, especially those entering the business world. If we want to create a new, financially-savvy generation of entrepreneurs, we must encourage smart money management.