Have you ever thought that sales and marketing isn’t for you? Have you ever told yourself it’s only for ‘some people’? We’re here to tell you-you’re wrong. Almost like any other, you can acquire this skill easily with practice and patience.
Here is a list of some valuable suggestions which if you work on, can improve your skills and personality in the long run. Not just of sales and marketing, but the overall quality of your work /communication/life in itself.
Body language is something that gives you away even before you open your mouth. Leaders and change-makers all over the world have acknowledged its importance. If you see yourself in that bunch, you should probably add it to your ‘to be improved’ list today..
Open hands – Open up / Spread your hands out. It is a universal symbol of saying I’m safe. You’re saying that you don’t have guns or ammunition in a literal sense. Figuratively, much more.
Handshakes– Practice making your handshakes firm. Body contact is crucial to develop a sense of attachment. In some south-Asian countries like Nepal, men- women handshakes are often a matter of hesitation. But ladies, toss that self-doubt out of the window. Initiate that handshake, and watch the magic unfold!
Raised eyebrows– Raised eyebrows subconsciously express a feeling of likingness towards the other person. It can give your conversation a lighter vibe instantly.
Posture– Here is what some of the postures denote:
i) Spread out legs and leaning back – I rule.
ii) Crossed arms- I’m guarded and reserved.
iii) Crossed legs and torso slightly inclined towards one side- Confident (When you’re listening)
iv) Hands on top of each other, resting on the table- Confident (During meetings, when you’re talking)
Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with everyone in the room. It shows that you care.
Gestures: Guide the listeners to where you want to with your gestures. It keeps the audience engaged, and motivated.
2. Tone Of Voice:
A tone of voice is the manner/pitch of what you say. This quality tells a lot about you. If you are in sales and marketing, you should make it a point to maintain a pleasant tone of voice.
a) Maintain calm when you talk.
b) Maintain a good pace. Don’t rush through conversations or beat around the bush too much.
c) There are three kinds of relationship you can establish with someone. A tone of voice is a deciding factor in portraying this:
i) Indifference: It suggests that you are unconcerned about the person you’re talking to. Soft pitch and one-word answers can reflect this sort of approach.
ii) Enmity: Being aggressive with your words and talking in a high pitch can convey that you do not like the person.
iii) Friendship: This is the kind of vibe you want to build up. Energetic mannerism, well-paced voice, and a calm tone can help you achieve this without much effort.
In any industry, professionalism is a charm. It’s not only the safest; it’s the best way to deal with any client. Until you’ve established a good relationship (which is generally till the 3rd/ 4th meeting), it’s better to stick to being highly professional. Further on, you could choose to shift to a slightly more casual setting based on the situation.
a) Avoid slang words. It’s the easiest way to ruin professionalism.
b) Thank You should be your mantra. It is called a magic word for a reason. You could even use it instead of sorry sometimes. For example, say “Sorry for being late!” instead of “Thank you for your patience. There was heavy traffic today.”
c) Leave self-doubt outside the door. You define who you are.
d) Clothing: Dress to impress. Soft colors, Prim clothes, it’s all in the little details.
e) Grooming: A well-groomed person shows that if s/he cares about himself this well, s/he will probably get this job done well. Nails, Hair, Beard- everything speaks more than you think you do.
f) Smile: A pleasant smile is a key to being professional. Maintain an inviting smile throughout, and you might even get away with some unintentional errors.
4. Phone calls:
No phone call is unimportant. The 15-20 minutes of your conversation can have a tremendous impact on where your project goes.
a) Be friendly throughout the conversation. Good tone of voice is the way.
b) Be ready for the call. Plan where you want the conversation to go beforehand.
c) Ask questions. Ask about the client’s goals, their team, their plans. It shows that you pay attention, and really, that’s what everybody wants.
d) Address them by their name.
e) Stretch the conversation to around 15 minutes. When you give someone their time, they reciprocate.
f) “YOU”. Use you in your conversation. Make it about your client.
g) Although your body language is not seen, maintain a good one. It gives you confidence, which reflects on your voice.
h) End the conversation with a promise to follow up, which brings us to our next point.
5. Follow up.
All the above-mentioned points are a waste of time, effort, and energy if you refuse to follow up. Especially if you’re in a service industry, following up is a must!
a) Follow the golden rule: E-mail. Call. Call again. The interval between these can be decided based on when a certain task has to be done. Even if your client is not responsive, you need to follow up. Not only does it showcase that you’re making an effort, but it also gives you that ‘safe space.’ You remove yourself from all cases of misgivings by doing these.
b) Document. The progress you’ve made in all your meetings/ e-mails/ phone calls should be noted down. It will come in handy when you’re following up.
c) Ask questions like, “Do you like our service?” , “Do you think there is anything to be improved on?”. It’s all about creating a premium experience.
If you don’t close your meet, you won’t be able to ‘seal the deal’. Every meet left hanging in the air is a valuable lead lost.
Be definite: Whenever you’re ending a conversation, be definite about your conclusions. Set up a time for the next meet.
For e.g. say, “We’ll have a meeting on —– day at —- time” or “We’ll send you the documents by —”
b) Confront: Don’t hesitate to put forward your demands. You need to be honest and be confident about it.
So, are you ready to rock this industry, and sell a broken pen for 500$ if it comes down to it?
It is about working on yourself- it always has been. We hope this helped you in some aspects, to some extent. Now go and conquer what you want – we’re rooting for you!