Sells marketing only without a degree

Learn to sell: More success in sales and distribution

Learning to sell - is that possible? "However, 60 percent of salespeople are lateral entrants," wrote Wirtschaftswoche in an article about job requirements, which made us think a lot. Why is it just 60 percent? Aren't all salespeople actually career changers?

After 25 years of sales experience, we have not yet met any “qualified” salespeople. Because actually all salespeople are semi-skilled workers in addition to their original professional training.

There is no “sales” subject at school, in vocational training or at universities, nor is there a qualification for this profession.

Can you learn to sell? Or is it in some people's genes? Are you the “born” salesperson, consultant, sales consultant or sales person? Anyway, what kind of title do you prefer for your sales activity? Do you introduce yourself as a representative? Or do you use one of the fashionable English terms such as consultant, key account manager, etc.?

There is a lot of confusion about what salespeople actually are, what tasks they have, how far their area of ​​responsibility extends and, above all, how they should carry out their task. And that is exactly what matters: the “how”.

Why is it that some are real sales talents, while others are not? Surely this has a lot to do with predisposition, but education, training and experience make up at least as much of it. And so everyone agrees: Selling has to be learned, especially if you haven't gotten a lot of that salesman gene.

Distribution and sales - the facts

According to a study by the personnel consultancy Xenagos, however, more than a third of salespeople receive no training at all. This means that, in addition to the lack of training at our universities, there is only partial strategic or personality-building training in the company.

This training is sorely needed - especially in times of crisis. Sales trainer Dirk Kreuter says: "In successful companies, the salespeople are well trained and consistently follow a systematic approach - that is trained."

Instead of binding standard works, new sales methods have been continuously developed over the last 25 years, which promised the salespeople a lot in terms of their chances of success. Sometimes it was about conducting the conversation, sometimes about the advisory component of sales. Other methods combined psychological knowledge with the Procedure in conversation or thought that one just had to be skillful enough to put up with resistance rhetorical gimmicks to bypass and thus to "break".

Some of these methods disappeared as quickly as they came.

Especially that Hard or power selling Back then it tended to lead to a dead end in the context of the financial and economic crisis. Who wants to be moved to something with pressure?

Learning to sell: About virtues and values

Instead, we are now experiencing one Revival of old virtues and values. It's human again in sales. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift and thus in a reorientation towards trustworthy and trust-based sales behavior.

A return to old values ​​therefore means: Above all, salespeople have to have a lot social and emotional skills feature. Because selling is about people, about gaining their trust. Only then does the company come in that represents the individual. If we salespeople don't win over the person, we are hardly an option as suppliers for the company.

The conclusion of a deal always takes place between these people with their emotions and one mutual expectations. If these don't fit or if you deceive each other, you won't get back together anytime soon. But that is exactly what a goal should be. A permanent, trusting and also resilient person-to-person and customer-supplier relationship.

EXTRA: From annoying seller to sought-after solution provider [practical tip]

So what social skills do you need?

  • Trust and trustworthiness: Concentrate on the person, on your counterpart. The customer is an anonymous term. Your attention should belong to the individual human. Give her or him trust and give yourself the trust of others in your person and reliability.
  • Sincerity: Take customers (people) really seriously, without them there is no turnover. You are the measure of all things.
  • Fair togetherness: Reliability, clarity and respect should always be the maxim of your actions.
  • Convince with your skills: Above all, you should train your "soft skills" and strive to develop your authentic personality. This is more important than knowing the product details. Furthermore, it is essential to have: Industry knowledge, eloquence, persuasiveness and a positive attitude.
  • Goal orientation: Set qualitative and quantitative goals (e.g. customer satisfaction) on an equal footing and pursue both consistently but not dogmatically.

Sell ​​yourself first: yours personal presence and reliability alone make up 70 percent of the success. Only those who are on site with customers can fully expand the human component of selling.

But even with everything human: stay persistent and on the ball.

Too many nice conversations neither get you nor your contact on the customer side any further. This also includes being binding and more mutual commitment bring about. Your goal must be clearly formulated and expressed.

Learning to sell: this is how you recognize motives for action

You approach customers to sell a product or service. You know that. But how long do you need to find out whether your product is suitable for the requirements? And will your customers buy it if it meets the requirements?

Being socially and emotionally competent also means having your interlocutor in his Motives for action to recognize as quickly as possible. The current findings of brain research help us to differentiate customer types - to put it very simply - into three groups:

  1. The buyers who buy prestige
  2. those who buy functionality
  3. and those who want to acquire security.

As a salesperson, are you able to recognize this and adapt to it? If so, you immediately have a considerable advantage, because customers do not just buy the product or the functionality, but also the "promise" that is associated with this product.

Salespeople or salespeople have become irreplaceable. You finally bring the business! And you can do that without using any trigger methods or using the lazy bag of tricks. Who today old virtues falls back and does not allow itself to be absorbed by short-lived and fashionable methods, will be able to show more success in the long term. Business between people - with a handshake and with a clear conscience. That's what matters.

If we manage to reanimate and live old "virtues", completely new potentials will open up.

For the manufacturer and supplier of products, his employees, the salespeople of this company and of course for the customers. This not only creates new sales opportunities, but - almost more importantly - security for the future and satisfaction at all levels. So shape your future before you lose touch.

Marcel Klotz, born in 1959, has a degree in business administration and has worked in sales at IBM for 25 years, including 10 years as sales director. In addition to his work, he deals with personality development, leadership issues and Structogram®. He is a certified sales trainer and coach.