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Sales Lesson 1: Invest in sales skills today, for a competitive advantage tomorrow

Sales Professor Ramez Helou

I had spotted a pattern whilst being employed with Unilever and having the chance to travel to 30 plus countries.

During good times, I observed people in sales were selling, but not necessarily doing it well.

They were successful because they were just present.

They were just showing up and as the markets were naturally growing and customers wanted and needed the product, the supply was available, and the brands were reputable companies; so people would buy.

These sales individuals weren’t really good at structuring their sales conversations; they had poor sales skills.

I knew there was a gap.

I knew that this is not a sustainable scenario.

So, I decided to take this opportunity and make it my niche.

This allowed me to then talk with company owners, entrepreneurs, and selling professionals about how they could get better by investing in sales training, to ensure that they have a sustainable, long-term winning presence.

If you look at markets currently, has competition gone up or has competition gone down in your field?

I’m willing to bet that you’ll see rising competition no matter your field.

I remember having a conversation with a company owner and he was actually one of my distributors.

The distributor said to me “Ramez, if we train salespeople, what do I do if they leave?” 

And I told this distributor “what are the risks if you continue to not train them and they stay?”

Sales Lesson 2: Build strategic relationships for referrals and faster sales results

Sales Professor Ramez Helou

For any entrepreneur today, your biggest resource is either the money you have or the time you have.

Many feel that they have the time but don’t have a lot of money to waste, right?

But, what we begin to learn is how much time and effort it takes to make a sale.

Every sales opportunity takes considerable time, on top of the time needed to work on your regular activities.

So, a way to condense the time needed to convert opportunities is to find what I call warm leads.

Warm leads happen through relationship introductions.

If you introduce me to some of your friends (the warm leads), I have higher credibility in their eyes because you are talking highly about me.

So, how can I connect myself to more warm leads?

The key would be to identify my existing contacts that have access to my target audience already and encourage more relationship introductions.

Sales Lesson 3: The more you learn, the more you earn

Sales Professor Ramez Helou

I highly believe in the concept that ‘the more you learn, the more you earn.’

This applies to sales skills specifically.

For entrepreneurs starting a business in this new decade, you have a much more difficult task than what I had.

In my case, I was slowly but surely exposed to these ideas over the last 10 years, and it gave me time to adapt.

In today’s more competitive climate, when you go out, you’ve got to go out with a bang.

And, to be frank, many times when you go out on marketing and sales calls, there’s no bang.

You cannot go out there and, you know, make a memorable impression when there are a thousand competitors doing what you’re doing.

So, you’ve really got to find a way to differentiate yourself and to clearly clarify how you add value to your leads and clients quickly.

But most importantly, it’s got to be unique and authentic.

Thus, all the recent rise in marketing and sales tools we see today.

Whether it’s podcasting, or whether it’s blogging, etc, all of these tools give people and brands the means to build awareness in terms of who you are, what you do, and why they (leads and clients) should work with you.

Sales Lesson 4 – To sell is to serve

Sales Professor Ramez Helou

Let me tell you something that can make a huge difference for entrepreneurs.

To sell is to serve, and Ron Kaufman talks about service as a means to proactively add value to someone.

So, it’s not reactive, it’s proactive.

Now, how do you know what adds value to me (your lead or client)?

You have to ask what is it that would add value to you and to your clients?

You have got to ask them this very question.

The more we understand our clients needs and requirements, then the better we can position our products or services in a way that will really serve.

If what you want as the client is to become more profitable for example, show them how exactly your services or product can help them achieve that.

The client doesn’t care so much about the other features, he / she will only care about this one area. 

What normally happens is that a lot of businesses have services with many bells and whistles attached.

The entrepreneurs of these businesses are so in love with their own product and service that they end up talking to people versus asking people what is it that they want to actually achieve?

We forget to ask our leads and clients, what are some of the obstacles holding you back and what can we do to help them get there quicker and faster?

So, to sell is to serve.

As you’re in the car, it’s fun, you see yourself in the visor and you’re pumping yourself up, you head out and ring the doorbell, ding dong, you enter the door of the prospect; at this moment, you must leave your goal outside and instead, start focusing on the goals of your lead and client.

This is to be of service. Absolutely.

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