How to be an Entrepreneurial Salesman
Sales is a field that many young businessmen look down on. It is often view as an underpaid job done by persons who are but one rung above hucksters and con-men. The lead characters in the film Glenngarry Glen Ross are what most people think of when the word sales or salesman is invoked.
However, this stereotype ought to be done away with. Selling is one of the most important things that businesses do. You can’t make money if you don’t have individuals who can sell to people. And in doing so, the salesman becomes both a vital instrument of the company and an entrepreneur in his own right.
Indeed, if you are thinking of going into sales you should look at it as a form of entrepreneurship. In order to succeed in it you have to have certain entrepreneurial qualities.
Entrepreneur magazine has an article discussing some of the qualities that can make you a more effective salesman; and in the end, will make you a better innovator and businessman. Here they are:
- Do-or-die attitude
- Mindset of a scientist
- Efficient work, not hard work
- Attentive listener
- Risk taker
The full article can be read here. However, I found a couple of these attributes especially interesting.
The days of cold calling potential clients, knocking on doors arbitrarily, and engaging in talk meant to trap people into buying what you’re selling are over. As a salesman, you should adopt the mindset of a scientist. You should familiarize yourself with what is known about human behavior. You should then be willing to form hypotheses based on that information and test them in your everyday work. You should also use the huge amounts of publically available data on the buying habits and trends of just about every demographic group in the country.
Being an attentive listener is also an important attribute. One of the things that successful entrepreneurs do is help people solve problems. This begins by actively listening to what people want. As a salesman, you should get into the habit of really hearing what people have to say and showing care and concern for their situation. It will not only help you build strong relationships, it will also help you make the sell—over and over again.
If you are thinking of going into sales, you should take a broader view of what can be done in the field. Sales can be a great place to start in business. Doing it well can make you a lot of money and make you a more effective entrepreneur.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.