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8 questions to ask a sales expert

It’s not often you get the chance to sit down with a sales coach or seasoned expert, but if your company is giving you the opportunity, or you come across someone like this in your network, then make sure you make the most of it.
We’ve put together eight questions for you to ask if you get the chance, to make sure the opportunity isn’t wasted.

1. How do I evaluate my sales techniques?
We can all do a quick Google and find out 100 skills a salesperson must have, but how do you know if you’re doing them well? It’s really hard to evaluate your own calls and meetings, because you’re too close. But great salespeople manage to do this so it’s definitely something to pick their brain about. 

This will help you in all your sales training in the future, and means that every pitch 

2. How do I get prospects to honestly tell me why they didn’t buy from me?
We all know that when you get a ‘no’ it’s hard to know the real reason behind it, and this makes it harder to improve your pitch. There’s an art to being able to coax this information from prospects, and it can help you immensely to improve.

3. Where do you recommend getting further advice from?
There are so many associations, networks, groups, resources and coaches out there – which can you reply on for sound advice? Well, those who have been there, done it and excelled are the best to ask! They’ll probably have a favourite resource that has supported them throughout their career, which will be worth looking at.

Remember, everyone’s different so it might not be right for you, but it’s a good place to start!

4. Is there anything else I can do to improve my skills?
Every salesperson knows that practice makes perfect, and just diving in and learning is one of the best things to do. But there are always ways outside of the sales pitch that you can hone your skills. A well-know one is asking something unrealistic of strangers, to get you over the fear of being told ‘no’. If you asked a stranger for £100 every day, you’d pretty quickly get used to surprised looks and being told no in various ways which will help you get used to it. 

Many good salespeople have a separate way to learn a skill than simply practicing.

5. What’s the number one tip you’ve learned in your experience?
You can’t move for sales tips available on Google, so these days it’s more about prioritising what skills you learn. Ask what skill or tip gave them the biggest step up once they mastered it and give it a try yourself!

6. How do you stay positive in the sales environment?
With mental health conditions on the rise, sales is an often-criticised industry with its reliance on fear tactics to drive performance. Not only do you have to deal with constant rejection, but also the pressure of making regular sales or losing your job. There doesn’t tend to be the collaborative environment that many other departments have, and this can often feel isolating.

Take on board any techniques to stay positive and look after your mental health, if only because happy salespeople will sell more!

7. What did you learn from your first sale?
This is a really interesting question, and there’s often a great anecdote to go along with it. Sometimes the first sales teaches us lots, sometimes it’s the first big sale we make, but there’s always one that sticks in your memory and taught you something you’ve never forgotten.

If you’re speaking to a sales genius, then chances are it was an important lesson! 

8. What do you think the most important skill is to be a salesperson today?
There are many important soft and hard skills that salespeople are told they need to be successful, which can feel overwhelming particularly if you’re starting out. So, ask for one or a few skills that those who have been there and done it recommend getting started with first.

This does change with the times too, it’s much more important these days to listen and not be pushy as consumers are a lot savvier and know they hold more of the cards!

Now you just need to find a sales coach or expert to corner and ask these questions! You could ask your boss to provide some training, as this is common and is a recommended part of managing a sales team. You could go on a sales course or join a networking group in the hopes of meeting someone, though these can often be costly. 

Your other choice is to visit the Northern Business Expo. It’s free to attend, takes place at Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March 2020, and has a Sales Advice Centre full of experts just waiting to answer your questions! Aside from this, you can attend sales masterclasses from the best in the business, and network with thousands of other professionals. So, why not get your free ticket today, and look out for the free Sales Advice Centre! 
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