Avoid the negs!

Early on in my sales career, I learnt an important point during a basic training course that has held me in good stead ever since.  It was this: “Avoid the negs!”

By this they meant avoid negative people.  You know the sort of people they were talking about – those that can find issues with any new company initiative, never being paid enough and the like.  They can suck the life out of you.

Salespeople rely heavily on their self-belief and confidence.  I was always one of those types of salespeople that had to believe in what they are selling.  If I’d got affected by the negs (and the bigger the company, the more there are), I probably wouldn’t have sold anything.

In fact I’d go further and say whatever you’re selling, you can always find some positive aspects to concentrate on.  This story is a great example:

I had a senior sales role in a business application software company (I won’t say which one to protect the innocent).  The software was developed in the US and had a pretty dreadful user interface – it was poorly laid out and not remotely intuitive.  End user product demonstrations were not encouraged, which was tricky for a business software product!

However, the underlying software framework was well structured and had been developed in modules that could support bespoke user interfaces (ActiveX components and C++ extensions with published APIs for those technically minded).  So what, you might say.

Well, I realised that this framework could be of value to companies that wanted to develop their own similar business applications by concentrating on their user interface using our base infrastructure components.  They could get to market quickly, using tried and tested software.

We had to get support from the US but I succeeded in making sales, including one which proved to be their largest single order that year – worldwide.  And pretty chuffed I was too.

So, before you throw all your toys out of the pram because of internal politics or product issues, try taking some time out, rethink all the positives and just focus on them – your sales will improve!

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