Zig Ziglar wrote the playbook on sales when he released Selling 101: What Every Sales Professional Needs to Know. In addition to being considered one of the world’s most influential salespeople, he strove to help others succeed in life through motivational speaking and sales training. Some takeaways from his philosophy are that you need to be confident and value teamwork. Sales can be a very rewarding career with opportunities to advance and succeed in the plastics industry. Here are three tips that can help you improve your sales skills.
1. Collaboration is Key
Moving people into action is the essence of selling, yet there’s a fine line between pressuring and persuading somebody to buy a product or service. As a sales manager in the plastics industry you’ll surely have quotas to meet, but just remember that overaggressive tactics aren’t conducive to long-term success. Rather, a more favorable approach is to work in collaboration with clients to drive change and to help them solve their problems. Be empathetic instead of aggressive if you really want to figure out what is motivating your customers.
2. Use Role-Play Exercises
Hard work, persistence, and practice are all keys to success as an account manager in plastics; but practicing your pitch is especially important in sales so you can improve your delivery and be prepared for questions and objections. Here are some recommended role play exercises that should be practiced on a regular basis:
- Dealing with extreme situations – Resilience is a trait that separates average salespeople from those who are successful. Instead of depending on a pitch, use role playing as a learning opportunity to sharpen your skills and close the next deal. Enlist a colleague, and try role playing a tough negotiation to discover where your weak points are.
- Client or prospect breakups – Breaking up with a client is a part of business and it’s wise to be prepared so you don’t take it personally. Remaining open and empathetic when you part ways is ideal. It’s a small world, and you never know when you may be of service to a client again in the future. Role playing can help you deal with the frustration that could arise in a client breakup.
- Stalled deals – Successful salespeople are experts when it comes to keeping deals moving forward, but there are going to be times when deals get stuck. It’s up to you to invest the time or cut your losses. Role playing this scenario is an effective way to understand why the deal is stalling, along with ways to move it forward.
3. Final Advice
There’s nothing wrong with being enthusiastic about the product or service that you’re selling, but you don’t want to brag, beg, or talk too much either. Sales should always be a peer-level interaction with loose body language and relaxed facial expressions. When you achieve this state of comfort, then you can ask permission to move forward.
Even pioneers like Zig Ziglar were told “no” many times along the way. Still, he taught us not to get discouraged and to continue focusing on the big picture. Your product or service could be the right solution for a client, but it might not be the right time. Just be prepared to revisit them in the future.
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