Monday, October 27, 2008

Work life balance as a sales person

Achieving a balance between your work life and your home life if you are a sales person can sometimes be difficult. We are expected to use the hours from 9 to 5 for customer face time and because we don’t really have fixed work hours, use the hours after 5 for proposal writing, social events etc. We often wonder how to fit it all in with family responsibilities and “me” time.

As a sales person we know that the harder we work, the bigger the paycheque as most often there is a variable portion to sales jobs. We have to be careful not to let the quest for cash rule over everything. A well balanced sales person has a better chance of coming back from a weekend refreshed and ready to do more battle than a sales person who spent their entire weekend working. Creativity and sales go hand in hand so resting your brain or changing the air can actually help you perform better on Monday morning.

We generally have the luxury of planning our own schedules. We should use this carefully. Is there a natural ebb and flow to your business? Are there quieter periods during every week, month or year? You can use those times to for administrative duties. Plan carefully for those times and schedule those things that we tend to put off.

It is important to do a variety of different things with your time. It will make you a more interesting sales person to your clients and others around you and a side benefit is a healthier mind. All of these things will help us in oour day job; selling.

Happy selling

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Do I need to make a great impression on the sales recruiter?

You’re just going to see a sales recruiter. No need to put on your best behaviour and best suit?? Not a great idea. Keep in mind that we are the gatekeepers to the client and will make recommendations to the customer as to who they should meet and interview. That is, after all, why they have hired us.

I am still amazed by candidates who arrive late and offer no explanation. Or better yet, don’t arrive appropriately dressed. I assume that you wear your best suit to the interview so it’s downhill after this. I say this sarcastically but there is some truth to this. I believe that I have said this in the past but you can never be over dressed for an interview but you sure can be underdressed.

Some customers are very friendly and try hard to get the candidate to relax. Some sales candidates rely on their charm and fall into the trap and become overly familiar too quickly. This also happens with the recruiter. In both instances, you need to be friendly but don’t invade someone’s space. This can give the recruiter the impression that this is how you sell.

As a sales recruiter, I often ask myself, “would I buy from this person”. The answer to this question might seal this candidate’s fate.

Finding the right balance between friendly and business-like is important to passing from the 1st step in the hiring process to the all important 2nd step; the meeting with the client. How you follow up is also important. Do you call several times without leaving a message? Remember we all have caller display. Leave a message. Professionals will always call you back.

Keep in mind that you are always selling something so be mindful of how you act, what you say and how you look. Most importantly, be yourself. You want to be hired for you.

Happy selling

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Non verbal communication and sales people

According to the scientist Mehrabian, what we say accounts for only 7% of how we are perceived. Tone of voice accounts for 38% and 55% is body language. The exact percentages can be debated but what remains true is that what we say is only part of the picture. Our credibility as sales people depends on all 3 of these factors working in harmony.

As a sales recruiter, I see many sales people who interview with me and believe it or not won’t make eye contact or cross their arms. These kinds of things tell me right away that something is wrong. During the sales interview how you explain difficult situations and how they were resolved is going to tell the interviewer about your credibility. If you were fired from a job, practice how you will explain the situation. I’m not saying make it up but run it by someone else to get their feedback. You need to be 100% honest or else it might come back to bit you.

The initial phone call is also important. If you are sleeping, let the phone go to voice. I can usually hear that in your voice. If you are job hunting, train your family members on how to answer the phone and what to say. I once called a candidate at 3 pm and his wife answered and told me that he was having a nap. This is not the best 1st impression.

Follow these simple rules:
 Smile
 Sit up straight
 Make eye contact but don’t stare
 Leaning forward slightly can show that you are interested in what your interviewer is saying
 Moderate the tomne of your voice according to the situation
 Notice others around you. How do you react their body language?

Happy selling