How NOT to Ruin Your Sales Career

Jan 11
Did you know that around 50 per cent of people working in sales lack the fundamental traits needed to be successful? A further 25 per cent are selling the wrong thing at the wrong time, which leaves only the other 25 per cent of salespeople actually enjoying success.

If you want to have a successful sales career, numbers like those can be frightening. So how can you avoid being in that 75 per cent that will end up failing in sales? One way of doing this is avoiding habits that will destroy your sales career.

Let us look closer at how NOT to ruin your sales career.

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Avoid Impulsiveness

One of the most damaging habits you can have as a salesperson is impulsiveness. Impulsiveness can present itself through unpredictable emotional responses. If you are quick to anger or lose interest in one idea and jump to the next one without thought, then impulsiveness is something you will have to battle.

Impulsiveness can lead people not to trust you or your decision, hurting work relationships and putting clients on edge. All of this results in lost sales.

To fix a tendency towards impulsiveness, you want to give yourself extra time to plan anything related to your sales career. Then, think through each action you take and consider similar past experiences.

Hogging the Conversation Can Ruin Your Sales Career

Salespeople have to communicate to do their job, but you want to ensure you do not make every conversation about yourself. If you find yourself shifting the focus of every conversation away from others to yourself, you are guilty of what is known as conversational narcissism.

Conversational narcissism can destroy your sales career because it leads you to minimise people's needs, thoughts, and concerns. As a result, prospective clients will not want to reach out to you.

You can avoid this by validating what other people are saying and experiencing. Listen actively and without interrupting. Never talk just to sell but instead make it a habit of listening for feedback from your clients.

Steer Clear of Perfectionism

Salespeople who want every sale and presentation to be perfect will have a hard time closing deals. Perfectionism can lead you to miss deadlines, not submit a proposal, or close a deal because you do not think it is good enough.

The way to avoid falling into the perfectionism trap is to have a clear idea of your boss's expectations. Confirm your standards with colleagues and see if your goals and expectations are realistic. Then, ask them if you should relax some standards and where that would offer the most benefit.

Give Up Some Control

Someone who has a successful career in sales knows that you cannot control everything all of the time. You have to rely on colleagues and engage in teamwork. Being controlling can lead you to take on too much, at the cost of your true responsibilities as a salesperson.

You should not try to control your clients, either, and avoid trying to direct them instead of working with them in a partnership. These behaviours can alienate clients and can make working with colleagues a challenge.

Look for ways that you can loosen control over the different aspects of the sales process. For example, never dismiss what your colleagues say and do not try to direct them to act in the way you prefer.

Work on Your Manners

Making a sale means speaking a lot and engaging with different people from diverse walks of life. This does not mean you should forget your manners. Because salespeople do their best to form relationships with their clients, they may forget it is still a business relationship.

Professionalism is important. Remember to give people space and privacy. Do not call after work hours or during the weekend, and always maintain a friendly but polite demeanour with your clients.

You want to also avoid gossiping about colleagues, clients, and even your competition. In a sales job, it can be easy to talk badly of those you are in competition with, but it is something that reflects badly on you. Instead, change the subject if gossip comes up or say something kind about the person mentioned.

Pay Attention

When speaking with clients or colleagues, give them your full attention. Do not use your phone when speaking with them and answer emails and return phone calls in a prompt manner.

Someone who does not pay attention to what others are saying will miss important cues that could help close that sale. If you try to do many things at the same time, you may also end up making mistakes, which reflects badly on you and can cause clients to lose trust.

If you have to use your phone during a conversation, excuse yourself, and respond to messages and calls within an hour of receiving them.

Be On-Time

It is almost impossible to appear professional when you are late to a meeting when you submit work after the deadline has passed, or when you respond late to requests.

To colleagues and clients, this translates into your lack of care. They can feel they are not a priority and will not find you reliable to turn to if they need something.

You can avoid the pitfall of being late by giving yourself more time to do things. Try not to pack your schedule and always let people know ahead of time if you will not arrive on time.

Keep Your Sales Career on Track

By knowing what your weaknesses are, like tardiness, over-friendliness, or even perfectionism, you can do everything possible to rise above them. Do not let these things ruin your sales career.

If you want to build your sales career, we can assist at Sales Job Board. We are here to offer the guidance and connections you need to jump-start your career.

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