Tips for Sales Jobs in Japan Part III

July 8th, 2010By Category: Work Tips

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In this part, we will finish off about the all-important idea of the salesperson’s skills that we covered previously in part I and part II. Thanks to David Sweet, Senior Manager at Specialized Group K.K. for working with GP to put these pointers together.

The best salespeople know their ratios, their sales processes, and follow their own system. But on top of that, the best salespeople need to be resourceful and creative. You need to find ways to gain leads, to find names, to open the door. Many have heard salespeople in your office say, “I can’t get to the decision maker.” I know that you would never use that, but perhaps you’ve heard others. And then someone walks up to them and says, “Have you called so-and-so and asked them for the person’s name? They play tennis together.” Wow! That simple. Yes, it can be. The resourceful salesperson will ask themselves, “What ways can I make this happen?” and then start implementing. No excuses. Don’t you hate calling a computer service company and asking for some flexibility, but they have their “systems” and nothing will change it. It’s rather frustrating. We, too, do it to our customers.

The best salespeople, however, are flexible and adaptable. They will add value to the sale, extra service, go outside the normal duties, and adapt to each sales situation. Very difficult to do, but not impossible. Start with a flexible and adaptable mindset, and you’ll gain more sales. Even though this is down the list, one of the most important aspects that a salesperson can have is empathy. You need to get into your customer’s skin, really understand them, feel their problems and challenges from their point of view, and then crawl back into your skin and see how your product or service fits their need. We all know the adage, “All things being equal, people buy from friends. All things being unequal, people still buy from friends.”

Friendship and rapport is built from empathy. Think about your own life: you want people to understand you. The primary elements of a salesperson is to ask good questions, listen, and empathize. Then you can sell. You need to be credible. Educate yourself about your industry, your product, and your customer’s concerns. And from there, you start to be a leader in your field. The next question is to ask yourself, where are the leaders of your field? Are they writing books, giving speeches, setting of trade shows, at charity funds, presidents of associations? Ask yourself where you can be a leader. This leads to your credibility. This double approach of learning and leading will do a great deal to help you gain credibility and succeed in sales. It builds synergy.

Lastly, salespeople should have a great sense of humor. Sales is a profession where you hear “no” a lot. You can’t take it all that seriously. If you do, you’ll quickly burn out. If you have a mindset with all those elements listed above and still lose the big deal, you can laugh a bit to yourself because you’ll build your pipeline again. The defensive and anxious salesperson often ends up with ulcers. Sales should be a source of joy in your life. Clarity of purpose Time management (energy, synergy, and urgency) Action oriented Immovable belief (service, industry and themselves) Enthusiasm Desire to succeed Determination and tenacity Controlling environment Continual learning (mental and physical) Knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses Check back here if you missed part I and part II.

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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