How to Make Sales

If you are new to sales, bad at sales, good at sales or want to get into sales you must read this article. This is a guide that takes you from cold calling to networking and will bring you from a sales associate to sales manager in no time.

You just landed a sales job and you are nervous. The commission based atmosphere has you sweating and scared, but looking at the brand new Mercedes Benz CL550 Coupe that your Sales Manager has just arrived in makes you realize why you took the job. He looks at you in your Merona suit that you have just purchased at Target for under $100 dollars and smiles. He says "its time to get you out of Target and into Barney's, off the bus and into an Infiniti. Want a CL550? You'll have to work for it." He than asks you an obviously rhetorical question, "Are you ready?" You say yes, but the real answer is no, you have just walked into the pit.

You see 50 guys yelling, hustling, bustling, moving and grooving. Yelling at each other in what seems like a foreign language (it is). They all look well groomed, smell fantastic and have suits that you can't even dream of buying. They are making bets, ringing bells, some look like they live in a weight room. The manager tells you about all the perks, but you have just entered a grind. You are in a world of uncertainty, disappointment, and frustration. The benefit is one thing and only one thing, money.

"First prize is a Cadillac, second prize a set of steak knives, third prize you're fired." You hear the phrase "ABC, Always Be Closing"; yes you have just entered Glenn Gary Glenn Ross, Wall Street and Boiler Room. You sit down and learn the products, trust me you better. You tag along with a few more experienced sales people, but then you are on your own. This is when all that training you had (if you had any) and all that product knowledge goes out the window, and you are clueless. You need to relax and now!

Cold Calling

First and foremost cold calling introduces you to the client. It is what gets you in the door, trust me you need this. You should be calling anywhere from 100 to 200 people before lunch. You will call your "leads" and you will convince them to meet with you. If you get ten meetings during the course of the week you have done a good job. If you did not get ten meetings, do better tomorrow, because any less is unacceptable.

Meetings

This is your way to not only meet prospective clients, but make new ones as well. Use these meetings to talk to your clients, introduce them to you, your product and find out what product(s) they currently use. When you have this information you can call later on when their leases or contracts expire and use it as a time to move in. After your meeting, you have just been granted a pass into their office building. Use this to explore other businesses who are renting space. This is canvassing at its best.

Canvassing

When you are walking around buildings, streets, etc. you are gathering information. You are discovering business locations, business products, contract / lease dates, and most importantly finding out who the decision makers are. You should be recording all this information and saving it in a database when you finally return to work. This practice makes your next phone calls warm calls later on.

Closing

When you are in the room, close the deal even before an agreement was reached. Talk about your products as if they already are in place at their location. Close the deal before you even open it.

Network

Just like in any other field its not always what you know, but who you know. Networking groups are a great way to meet people that are not in your field who are looking for mutual agreements, references, and ideas on how to make money. This is a fantastic way for you to generate business. Remember with network groups, the more you help them, the more they'll help you.

A few notes:

  1. Always treat the "gatekeepers" (receptionists, security guards, etc.) with respect. Tell them who you are and what you’re about and even go as far as to get their opinion. When you make them seem as if they are the decision makers you are getting back stage access. They will vouch for you and even on the best occasions throw out your competitor’s information.
  2. Follow-up with phone calls. After you have canvassed, follow up with phone calls and try to get a real meeting with them. Even if they are not interested at that time you will leave a lasting impact with them. They will continue to think of you and your persistence.
  3. Be patient. Expect not to make any money for your first few months. However, after a while of just building information a few contracts will be expiring, a few gatekeepers will be calling, and a few sales will be made.

A little hard work goes a long way, and sales are not for everyone. You will be thrown out of buildings, you will be yelled at by superiors for not making sales and you will have goals and deadlines to meet. You will also have the ability to make a ton of money. Work hard (cold call / canvass), sell hard (CLOSE DEALS), and network. Follow these rules and you will be a Sales Manager in no time.

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Brant Levine
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Posted on Nov 17, 2010
Ileen Zovluck
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Posted on Nov 17, 2010