1. Preparation, research and relationship building
  2. Smash the interview
  3. Preparation is key
  4. The 3 Cs of selling
  5. Follower the lead(er)
  6. Research your candidate/client online 

How to hit your sales target.

From Hollywood hits such as The Wolf of Wall Street to the more prosaic BBC2 sitcom White Gold, it seems everybody has an insight into the art of selling. However the world of sales is far different from the way it is portrayed on TV screens.

Preparation, research and relationship building.

These are key to a successful career in sales and this is rarely demonstrated in the films and TV shows that depict salespeople. So if you are considering a role in sales, or just looking to develop your sales skills, here are five tips to get you started. 

Smash the interview.

Prepare for the interview. A sales interview will be challenging — interviewers will have high expectations for your persuasive powers, and so you will need to respond to questions. We don’t know if you will be asked to ‘sell them a pen or a clock’ but it is best to be prepared for all eventualities. Questions you could  be asked include: How do you cope with rejection? What are you motivated by? Do you hate to lose or do you love to win?

Preparation is key.

Always prepare for a client visit or phone call. Research your client before you make contact and a good way to do this is looking for news stories posted that day on their website. This is a great discussion point to start meetings and beats the usual topics of weather and weekends.

The 3 Cs of selling.

Clients like competent, consistent and credible sales people. This means ring when you say you are going to ring, listen and gather all the facts before offering solutions. Only offer them solutions which are right for them. It is no good selling garden furniture to a flat owner right?

Follower the lead(er).

Follow every lead given to you even if it seems only a very small opportunity - these can grow. It's easy to turn your nose up at an insignificant lead or small opportunity but if you do a good job, word spreads and it can open up a whole range of opportunities. Watch the more experienced salespeople and learn.

Research your candidate/client online.

Keep in regular contact with all your main clients - they move jobs and open up other opportunities for you. LinkedIn is good for this but nothing beats age old communication of the telephone or a coffee catch up. Unfortunately across most industries now client entertaining is now a thing of the past being sales people need to nurture and take time to build and maintain client relationships. 

Sales is a tough career that requires hard work and can involve long hours and added stress. However, for the right person then it is an exhilarating and exciting career with earning potential in the form of bonuses and commission an attractive appeal. There's also a variety of roles out there from business development and account management to media sales, telesales and sales director roles.