Top 3 Questions Asked by New Salespeople

Posted on 10/20/2016 in Selling Skills

Working with new salespeople is inspirational. New sales hires are enthusiastic and have a strong desire to learn new skills that will make them succeed. They know that they have to learn as much as possible, through training and hands-on experience in order to become top performing salespeople. It is also interesting to note that across the board, no matter what the industry, it seems that new salespeople struggle with some of the same challenges. 

We get asked the same three questions from new salespeople, no matter what industry they work in:

  1. What is the most important piece of advice you have for a new salesperson? 
  2. What is the most important skill I need to develop as a new salesperson?  
  3. What is the most difficult challenge I will face as a new salesperson?  

What is the most important piece of advice you have for a new salesperson?

Above all, remember to stay customer focused.  Many salespeople focus too much on talking about their own company and products rather than learning about the customer’s business and needs.  Imagine instead if you used your sales calls to gather information such as: What is most important to this particular customer?  What does the customer value the most in a supplier? What challenges does the customer face in their business? 

Many mistakes made by average sellers can be avoided if you focus on the customer and how your product/service can benefit the customer’s organization. 

What is the most important skill I need to develop as a new salesperson?

Listening Skills are essential to understanding your customer’s needs. How can you understand and meet your customer’s needs if you don’t listen?  

Sales professionals must excel at many skills and competencies. For example: managing key accounts, planning and conducting sales negotiations, handling objections, asking questions, prospecting for new business, closing, and so on. Compared to the other skills and competencies, the skill of listening may sound basic.  Most salespeople mistakenly believe that they are already good at listening. But, listening to customers may seem like common sense but it is not common practice.  There is a lot of truth in the saying "…we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”  

What is the most difficult challenge I will face as a new salesperson?

New salespeople don’t realize how busy the sales profession requires them to be. Consequently, poor time management is the biggest challenge for new sellers. Your most finite resource as a sales professional is time. Invest it wisely.  Wasted time reduces the amount of face-to-face sales time, and the less time that you spend on actual selling, the less successful you will be.

Avoid these examples of common mistakes that newer salespeople make regarding time management:  

  • Calling too frequently on small customers who have little upside potential – avoid making this mistake with pre-call planning routines that will help you prioritize.
  • Not spending enough time prospecting for new business 
  • Getting overloaded in time wasters such as paperwork, email, and meetings

Additional resources well suited for new salespeople: Essential Selling Skills online series and One-on-One Sales Coaching packages

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