Previously, selling a company’s products or services was considered to be the sole responsibility of sales professionals. While the rest of the staff worked to provide sales personnel with the necessary support, only a defined segment was expected to actively participate in deriving sales. Whether it was about B2B sales or B2C sales, tasks such as building relationships, calling customers, engaging clients and finalizing deals were expected to be carried out by sales professionals and no one else. After all, they were the experts and nobody could have done a better job than them. But does this notion still stand true? Not really.
Things have changed considerably since back then. The line separating sales personnel and other professionals is now quite vague. This means that no matter what your career choices are you are expected to play the role of a sales professional within your domain- all thanks to the trends and demands of the digital age. Presently, we are living in an era that is dominated by social media and today drawing sales is all about engaging customers on a personal level and building relationships, trust and connections.
Today, building a career in any field is akin to building a sales career. Each and every professional is expected to be capable of building relationships, readily adapting to changing environment and trends, thinking on his feet and prompting his audience to ask for what he is selling, in order to excel in his job. This is what sale is precisely all about.
Following are a few tips for individuals who are just starting their careers or are mid-career professionals, to help them in becoming experts at selling and shaping their careers to achieve higher levels of success.
Relationships are Everything
Your ability to build relationships and trust is one of the key factors that will determine your professional success. You need to present yourself as a friendly, trustworthy and reliable professional in order to ensure long-term job security. You need to network, connect and establish contacts so that opportunities keep on knocking your door- same as it is for sales professionals.
Self-Motivation Pays Best
Previously, professional success used to be all about getting promoted, attaining authority, earning more money and getting more people to work under you. However, this has changed now. Corporate hierarchy has become much flatter and the idea of career ladder has been replaced by the concept of career lattice. Today, building a career is all about staying motivated to proactively prove your value, making worthy decisions, taking initiative and playing an inspirational role in your team to complete a project successfully. Career success is now more about identifying opportunities and making the most out of them. In order to advance in your career you need to do all that a sales professional does i.e. drive productivity, stay motivated and energized, take initiative, influence and inspire others to bring about a positive change and simply be creative.
Sales Skills are Universal
You may not be directly responsible for generating B2B sales or sales at all for your company, but you still need to develop necessary selling skills. Why? Simply, because even if you are not selling a product or a service you still need to sell yourself, your talents, vision and abilities. You need to be able to convince people to listen to you, consider your ideas, invest in your projects and inadvertently extend support to help you in building your career. In order to excel in your career in the present times you need to get out there, make your presence felt, get yourself heard and engage your audience on a personal level. In short, direct your energies towards selling yourself as a worthy professional.
Selling may not be a part of your formal job description but today you are expected to have basic sales skills in order to prove your worth and advance your career. You need to explore your abilities and develop skills to build trust and relationships, inspire change and attain a leadership role to motivate others around you. Putting your sales skills to good use you are sure to emerge as a leader in your professional domain.