The best sales people know that there is both an art and a science to closing the deal. Instead of relying on high-pressure tactics, experienced sales and marketing pros realize that they need to listen intently. A customer who is matched with the product or service that they need has much greater potential to become a long-term, loyal customer; while high-pressure sales may produce short-term gains, a dissatisfied customer may not choose to recommend the brand.
Of course, employees who are committed to developing a career in sales and marketing should be prepared to overcome customer objections. Listening to the customer express their needs is an important first step, but “asking for the sale” and pushing past initial resistance is also an important skill to develop. About four out of every 10 sales professionals will abandon the sale after they hear the first “no,” but successful sales and marketing efforts may require more perseverance.
Sales recruitment firms look to hire people who are confident, polite, and dynamic. Representing a brand with a sense of loyalty and enthusiasm — and maintaining high levels of product knowledge — can allow for considerable success in a retail environment. Customers are more likely to buy from brands that have an established social media and internet presence, and a positive conversation with a sales person can often solidify an intention to purchase a product or service.
Sales people who have “people skills” are more likely to close a sale, and a sales career path can be attractive to people who have a firm marketing background. An important skill for creating a career in sales and marketing is understanding how to attract customer interest and then how to translate that interest into a committed investment. Social media and online advertising can both allow customers the time to perform internet research before entering a store.
Studies show that more than 80% of all shoppers perform at least one internet search before making the decision to buy, and that they visit three stores or more before deciding to purchase. With increased concern about credit card fraud, some shoppers would rather make their buying decisions in person. Personal relationships are also becoming more valuable: sometimes, having an in-person conversation about a product can be much more effective than hours of internet research.
Overall, developing a career in sales and marketing should mean that customers can trust what their sales people tell them. Honesty and a high degree of professional ethics should make sales people more successful; despite the advent of internet retail, some customers still rely on a firm handshake and a “gut instinct” when they decide which business deserves their loyalty.