Knowledge is an important thing to possess. With much of the knowledge people possess no action is required in the use of that knowledge; the information simply helps you to make good or informed decisions. In other situations, such as those in sales, it is the skillful use of knowledge that makes the difference between average and outstanding. This is similar to aptitude in that if you don’t possess it you can develop it.
Often all that is needed to hone your skills is practice and more practice. A great example of this is in professional sports. They practice 4 times as often as they use their skills. Think of what you could accomplish if you practiced your sales skills this often. Utilize members of your team or your significant other to help you in your practice.
Write down a list of account types where you already have some experience and a working knowledge of their business or industry. Do you have experience in trucking, fleet management, retail, auto repair, heavy equipment operators etc…? Starting here gives you the advantage of already “speaking their language” since you are already familiar with their daily concerns.
Think about and write down different ways to utilize the knowledge you already possess to improve your sales calls and then take the following actions:
• Practice your sales calls with a live person. Develop call scenarios based upon the type of customer you will be focusing on.
• Practice and develop your listening skills. Listen for objections, needs or buying signals.
• Use and get comfortable with the literature or demo items you will be using.
• Integrate new knowledge or aptitudes gained during practicing.
• Practice the skill of asking “open ended” questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no and thus produce meaningful dialogue or action.
• Use your developed skill on these aptitudes to enhance your sales script and actions to better support your customer and help achieve your desired outcome of the call.