How can you be great at sales in the big and booming technology industry? A question very much open to the individual. There are always the good ones, the bad ones and the ones that are simply great at their job. But which one are you?
When I first became accustomed to selling IT services and products, I had alternated from the very much differentiating world of property where I had a wealth of experience under my belt. Entering this field was just like taking baby steps again… There were tons of new tricks to learn whilst my understanding and knowledge (or lack of) for technology itself also had to grow and adapt, which came as a challenge for someone that had never even touched a MacBook before.
So almost a year down the line when I sat and asked myself, ‘what makes me a good salesman?’, I remembered that it’s not necessarily about the product or service that you’re selling, it’s how you’re selling it. Of course, a good salesperson will know their product inside and out, but your delivery and ability to allow that person to trust your honesty and reliability is a necessary skill to grant you those high numbers.
It’s not that I’m great at selling tech, I’m great at listening and providing the correct solutions…
Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) here are my three top tips to be successful at selling tech (or any other for product/service for that matter!)
- Listen listen listen! I’ve lost count of the number of times I speak to my peers who are excited about a particular product they intend to sell to their prospected clients. It’s not about you! It’s not about how much commission you want to make! Remember we as salespeople are playing the long game, we want repeat business. Attend to the client’s needs properly and long term they will attend to yours.
- Don’t sell to just anyone – tough to say right? As salespeople, that seems to be all that matters, the numbers, and we often confuse quantity with quality. I recently signed a company in Mayfair and when I asked them “why are you leaving your current IT provider?” their response was “we have spent so much money with these guys but nothing works!” Now their former IT provider has lost themselves a wonderful client who wants to grow and improve their network infrastructure… in turn spending the right money for the right kit.
- Customer service is key! Have you tried to get a company to switch their current IT provider to yours? I was told by an Office Manager once that they are not interested in switching because the one time that they did, it was like pulling teeth out without the use of anaesthetic! A very painful procedure indeed. 9 out of 10 companies are capable of doing what any other IT company can do, but the devil is in the details. What makes you stand out?
I regularly go and see clients even when they are not due for another audit, as we want to build a relationship that’s not just solely business. Whilst there I will ask if there’s anything I can do to help with any issues and ensure that they’re being looked after. This is what any partner values and something that a lot of IT providers are missing. I see myself much like HelpDesk Heroes, friendly, focused and proactive – don’t wait for your phone to ring. They are paying your bills at the end of the day, so make them feel valued.
No matter your background, the foundational skills needed for being at the top of your game, can be adapted to any industry. There are of course many other skills a true sales professional will likely want to develop beyond those on this list, but here’s a start. Master these and you may be surprised at how quickly they will start to have an impact on the success you’re seeing with your own deals.
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