I never thought I had what it takes to go into sales. I thought you had to be ruthless. A friend of mine from the Netherlands told me that he has completed many courses of instruction in sales training that is called “verkooptraining” in his native Dutch. He said that being a good sales person is not like that at all. He explained that if you take any product on the market to use it as an example, that there are people who want to buy it.
He taught me something valuable in understanding sales using car types as an example. He asked me what kind of vehicle I like to drive, and I told him that I like my four-wheel drive. He said that he likes compact electric cars. I could not stand to drive one, but he actually likes them. He pointed out that as consumers, we both got what we wanted when we bought our vehicles. So, sales people are just helping people get what they want. He told me to not help a customer get what I want, but to help them get what it is they actually want. In short, I don’t like electric cars, but there are a lot of people who do.
That kind of stuck with me when my job expanded into needing sales training for my position that never involved having to sell anything. I installed commercial equipment, and now I had to offer options to customers to improve their experience. Over time I saw that the customers were much more satisfied with the products if I suggested to them options to eliminate any issues they may have with the setup they bought. When I was on site, I was the one who could tell where our products would perform best and with what options. Suggesting upgrades was less of an intrusion than it was a solution. The little sales training example I got from my Dutch friend helped me with each client I worked with.