In my years as a sales coach, I’ve seen this situation play out a million times: A salesperson gets a new job and doesn’t want to call on prospects until they feel like they’ve learned absolutely everything there is to know about the product or service they’re selling.
They feel like making those calls would be “wasting” a lead on someone before they become “good enough” at their job. That is 100% the wrong way to approach things. Doing so will pretty much guarantee that you never become a top producer.
I cut my teeth in the mortgage business. I then moved on to working with a company that sold technology software to attorneys. Now I sell coaching and consulting services.
Sales Skills are Sales Skills
I’ve helped clients who sell anything from financial products to AV equipment—and even one who sells load cells. Yeah, I know, you’ve probably never heard of a load cell. I hadn’t either until I met this client. But I feel absolutely confident that I could walk into an engineering firm, sell a load cell today, and effectively describe what it does.
And that’s not because I became an expert on load cells. It’s because I have sales skills. If you ask good questions, identify the prospect’s need, and provide a solution that effectively solves their problem, you can sell anything.
There is always going to be a learning curve when you’re getting started with a new product or service. And cultivating product knowledge is important. But it can’t be what keeps you from jumping feet-first into a new position. You can have all the product knowledge in the world, but if you don’t have the sales ability, you’re not going to be as successful as you could be.
Transferable Sales Skills
If you can sell, you can sell. Bottom line. End of story. Ultimately, selling is personality and mindset. You have to be confident in the knowledge that no matter where you are in your career, you could change jobs tomorrow and do just as well as you are right now.
Here are just a few core sales skills that are transferable to almost any industry:
- Qualifying a prospect.
- Creating a buying atmosphere.
- Asking the right questions—then listening.
- Identifying their pain.
- Asking for the business.
- Overcoming sales objections.
It’s easy to allow negative self-talk to take over, but if you can relax and let your natural ability and practiced sales skills take over, they’ll sell the product for you. It’s never about how good you are at selling one particular thing; if you’re a good salesperson, it won’t really matter precisely what you’re selling. A great carpenter with the right tools can build almost anything. And you can sell anything—so just get your head in the game and do it!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!