Boost your sales, marketing, and general life skills!
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
Callen Cochran, president of United Pallet Services, hosted a fantastic session entitled “If you can sell advertising, you can sell anything.”Admittedly, when I first saw this session I judged it by its cover.
I thought it was going to be good for me… but boring. Boy was I wrong. This business and sales speech taught me four core principles that will carry anyone through any sales career: the power of trust, the importance of determination, building value, and the need for laughter.
1. The power of trust
People buy from those they trust. Repeat that. People buy from those they trust. Cochran reiterated this statement a couple of times during his session, stating that if we learned nothing else, knowing that people buy from people they trust was just about the most valuable takeaway we could grasp.
How do you gain trust? Be respectful. Respect the customer’s time and their money, get to know them—maybe even find some common ground that you share and talk about it. Don’t be in a hurry to launch into your sales pitch; people don’t care about what you know until they know you care.
Show up. Better yet, show up on time. And dress the part. I’m talking about doing a little research beforehand and dressing like those who you’re meeting with.
Most importantly, do what you say you will. It really is that simple. If you say you’re going to take the trash out, take out the trash. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at 8 am sharp, ‘ya better be there.
b) Be honest
Don’t try to mislead or trick the customer into a sale. Also, if something you promised fails to happen, be the first to tell them about it. Don’t wait for someone or something else to spill the beans, and don’t wait until the last second. We’ve all been guilty of this one at least once before… waiting a little too late to call in for work and mention that we can’t make it.
The importance of determination
Recognizing failure is important. Failure is a learning experience, an opportunity to do better, and part of any success story. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried.
a) Focus on what is important
Tackle the biggest problem of the day first. This is a good rule of thumb for all aspects of life.
b) Put your heart into it
If you’re going to do something, put your all into it. Offer solutions to the problems you complain about.
3. Distinction between selling and delivering value
Ask the right questions. Do a little research and draft good questions before so that your questions are specific and targeted. And most importantly, let the customer tell you what they need.
a) When the customer speaks, LISTEN
Yes, we all love the sound of our own voices and showing off what we know and how big our brains are… but really, when someone is talking to you, make sure you’re actually listening.
b) Keep it simple for the customer
Don’t over complicate things. Keep unnecessary details out of your conversations and pitches, but also be prepared to answer tricky questions. Make sure you leave every meeting you have with an important takeaway.
4. Having gratitude and perspective
Never take yourself too seriously. Life is already stressful and serious enough. If you can poke a little fun here and there, do it. Of course, it is important to have a balance of fun and professionalism too.
Customers want to work with someone who’s committed to getting the job done right, and also with someone who’s capable of having fun.
And most importantly, be grateful. You are where you are because people invested in you.