Many new sales people tell me the toughest thing about sales is the rejection, or "no" they receive from a prospective customer. When I hear "no" I consider that to be an opportunity to provide a better (or different) value proposition or ask the prospect who I can talk to that would be interested in what I have to offer. While they may not be interested in what you're selling, someone within their organization, industry, network or neighborhood might....you'll never know until you ask.
The bottom line is never give up. Be respectful and put yourself in your prospective customer's position. Sometimes a customer just doesn't have a need for what you're selling....knowing that you can't win them all will help you stay positive and move on to the next prospect/opportunity.
One of the most valuable tools I use is the referral. That referral might be from an existing customer that likes and uses my service, it might be referencing an article I read about a company similar to theirs that could benefit from my services....letting a new prospect know that there is someone else out there who either has or may use your services for the benefits you offer can help you get your foot in the door. Of course once your foot is there, you need to offer something that can help the customer be more....efficient, save costs, solve a problem, boost revenue.....whatever it is you're offering has to provide value.
Find the customer's problem and help them solve it! Turn the "no" into a referral, and always stay positive!
Being great at sales is actually quite easy! Great sales people know that selling is 80% listening and 20% talking as that way they understand and provide powerful solutions to their customers needs. The toughest part about selling is remembering that 80/20 rule - the more sales people increase the 20, the tougher selling becomes.
Sales is tough because you have to be able to convince the customer that they need something they aren't currently buying from you. You have to have the tenacity to keep pursuing the sales, because your first few attempts are going to be unsuccessful. Sales takes a lot of planning and research before being able to present a solid business case to the customer on why they should buy your product. Understanding your customer and their challenges is important. Then position the benefits of your product/service to help solve the customers problem.
I love Sales, so to say anything is "hard" about it is hard for me. The most challenging thing for me having been in various sales role for years was controlling the way you communicate challenges to customers that you have no control over. You still have to own the message without shifting the blame but with confidence in resolution. Customers are wonderful and as long as you're genuinely seeking to help them solve their operational challenges while keeping an eye on their future planning, you'll do great!
Most people find the most difficult aspect of commission-based sales is learning to live with a variable income. Some months you make $5000, sometimes you make $15,000. Some you may make nothing. The solution is to put all your money into a commissions account and then pay yourself a fixed income from that account. So one month you make $15,000 but you pay yourself $7000 and keep the extra $8000 in the bank. Next month, you only make $5000 but you pay yourself $7000 anyway, taking the extra $2000 from last month's commissions.
The worst kind of sales people are focused on their commissions and not the client's problem. The best sales people are what I call "brother in law sales people." They understand the customer environment and know the product well enough to explain how the product can solve the client problem. Just like if your brother-in-law was an expert in cars, he wouldn't just say "buy this thing because I get a commission," he'd ask, "Tell me about how you drive. Do you pull a trailer? Do you have kids? Do you take long car trips?" In short, he'd help you clarify your objectives and find the car that best fits your lifestyle.
Sales is a wonderful profession, filled with people who are brilliant and also those who are idiots. It's the idiots who ruin the profession's reputation. But the sales reps who help customers are gold. And they get paid really well as a result.
This challenge can clearly vary whether you're selling for a well-known company vs a start-up with a novel, unheard-of service. Worse than a "no" is silence--no response--indifference. And that challenges us to revisit our approach. Access your resources (colleagues, boss, supporting departments, case studies, data). Work to improve your message and the value proposition that you're bringing to your prospects. How are you going to help them succeed? That's what they care about--making a good decision...including that first decision to call you back or return your email or click on that link you provided. Then talk about what matters to them--and how you're in a position to help. If you have examples, show examples of successful scenarios involving your product or service. DO that frequently. Finally, whatever you're selling, stay persistent and resilient. Smile--even if you're on the phone--somehow, that comes thru. And pack that pipeline. Something good will come out the other end.
One of the most challenging things about sales is having to manage multiple "stakeholders." In B2B (business to business) sales, you're usually selling a solution for many people to use within an organization and multiple budget holders.
Understanding everyone's priorities and meeting those goals is a big challenge but goes a long way if you do it successfully.
The hardest thing about sales is how to over come the "no's" and staying motivated to work harder. There will always be times that are stressful in a sales career- it comes with the job. Just try to be motivated. Motivation is like bathing. It should be done daily if not twice a day. If you want it bad enough you'll always hit your target.
You have a lot of advices above. I would add that the best thing is to start from the beginning. What does it mean ?
Begin as a sales guy selling simple products in stores this is a hard job as people are not often interested in your products. So you have to be good in what you do. With the experience you will improve your skills and your approach. Experience in king in sales so do not hesitate to multiply experiences. And believe in yourself, in your are confident that you like SALES domain do not hear the bad advices. When I was young, a guy told me I will be a bad sales guy as I was too shy. 30 years later I feel really comfortable in my life, in my job selling products. I am very happy about my choice so listen to your heart if you feel this is your way for the future...
Good sales people, in my opinion, dont get put off by rejection....they accept it as part of the role. They learn from it & apply it.
There are not many sales jobs that are 'easy'...if there were, we'd all be doing it....
As you build your career you'll be ready for most objections & have answers for questions....personally i wasnt comfortable in a sales role until i thought of myself as a subject-matter expert (or close to that)...
It can be an extremely rewarding career...not just monetarily , but with job satisfaction & personal growth.
So, it is truly an honorable profession. One of the toughest things is that more often than not, you work from a home office environment. So, with that said, it is important to be visible to your management team. That means, showing up for team calls, letting your management know what you are working on out in the field.
There is always the quarter by quarter requirement to produce for the company. So, it can be stressful. Just know that if you continue to prospect for new opportunities, the statistics show that you will close deals and earn commissions to augment your base pay.
These days I think it is good to use Consultive Seling Approach. It means listen to customer what they need, what are their issues and how can you help them with your product/service. It is not anymore about persuade the customer that he/she needs something. It was just in a nutshell - google Consultive Seling Approach for more information. And what I think is the toughest thing in Sales? Usually when the sales numbers in the company are great, than everybody (across all departments) achieved this success, but when there is sales crises than usually only sales is guilty:-)
As far as i'm concerned, the toughest thing would be to keep calm and focused when the level of stress is on the rise.
Let's say your customer is facing a negative experience and is expressing how unhappy he is. It will feel like the customer is holding you responsible for the bad experience. My tip would be to not take it personally, at the end of the day being in sales is centered around understanding your customers and helping them out with their needs. keep professional, listen, understand and solve the problem as swiftly as possible. I'm sure you'll do great !! :)
Another challenge is being tied to a sales quota/commission pay structure. All types of sales jobs are different, so this can vary widely, but in general, it's definitely a bit stressful knowing that you have a sales quote hanging over your head. You have to get comfortable knowing that you may not always be on pace to hit goals, you may not always hit or surpass goals, and that's okay. I have good quarters and bad quarters. Additionally, when it comes to commission, a lot of sales jobs do offer some type of base pay, and then anything above and beyond is earned as commission. A general rule of thumb is to be able to live off your base pay, and treat commission as gravy. I do know that some sales jobs are entirely commission based - just know what you're getting yourself into, and make sure it is a situation you can handle.
Great question. The toughest thing in sales are the hurdles you will place in front of yourself, Self confidence, organization, listening, and problem solving. These are the foundation for success and at times will be your biggest challenges to overcome.
No one likes to be rejected. Yet not every solution you provide will meet your clients needs, so you will not make every sale. Beware of people who tell you they close every sales opportunity; they may try and sell you a bridge. That understanding is not an excuse to fail, but rather a call to excellence. Your goal is to make every sale, but not to hurt your self confidence if your don’t. Stay confident and never doubt yourself.
Organization is key to sales. Your ability to organize your day to maximize sales opportunities and remove tasks that don’t positively impact your sales goals need to be minimized or at best removed.
Listening, will be the advantage you exercise as it will help you to identify a customers pain points that are motivating them to make a change to your product. It all starts with listening. Listening serves another crucial function as it builds rapport with your customer.
The reason a customer buys your product of service over the competition is you solved a problem for them. You must become keen at understanding and solving their problems. Once you do that you will be irreplaceable.
Therefore, in closing, the hardest part about sales is how you view and react to the challenges you will face. If you keep your self confidence, stay organized on what is important, listen to find pain points and build rapport, and be a problem solver for your customer, you will find sales to be a long and rewarding career.
You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>
<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>
The fact that some days you will do the same things over and over it feels like...but then one day...something different happens and you really connect with a customer and truly help them out...those days you go home feeling like a winner!
I currently employ hundreds of sales reps that I lead indirectly. This means those people are actually paid by someone else to sell the product my company offers. It is similar to a franchise company. I started in sales because I have the ability to literally talk to anyone. Anyone. This skill set allowed me to connect with people, build a relationship with them, earn their trust, and then offer them a solution or product. If you don't connect with your customer, you are just a "used car sales man".
Now that I am in management I have to build those same relationships with my internal customer or my sales reps that sell for me. But....I don't sign their pay checks so I have to convince them to sell my product through relationship building and relating with them.
You can teach the widget to anyone...but not just anyone can learn people skills!
My first sales job was working in an industry that I had zero passion for and little knowledge in. I found every day challenging and my motivation dropped fast. This previous company had lured me into the position with promises of quick promotions and management.
Looking back, I realize how naive I was. I should have done more research because the bottom line is this: Sell for a company that has values that align with yours and sells products that make you excited and you will never find your work "hard". Challenging at times, yes (as all sales processes are) but extremely rewarding.