Insurable Interest

by: Eric Wagaman

Sales have been seen in the past as an occupation entangled in deception, but there is a new style of selling which has evolved over time. We are in the era of relationship-based sales – it’s all about who you know and your network. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce today and they must learn to adapt. Being a generation that is typically used as the punchline of a joke, Millennials must divert from the stereotype to become successful in sales.

Here are 7 characteristics that Millennials will need to deal with in sales:

  1. Overcoming Rejection –  One of the most challenging parts of working in sales is the sheer volume of rejection; this won’t ever change. If you’re not getting a lot of “No’s,” then you’re not asking enough people for the sale. Success rates will increase over time, but for a generation that has been told “Yes” more times than not, rejection can become extremely discouraging.
  2. Relationship – Human relationships will never die. While technology and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to join into the buyer’s journey, one thing can never be replaced – human interaction. Successful and continuous sales hinge exclusively on customer service and the relationships developed. With a great relationship comes trust and reciprocity.
  3. Change – A buyer’s needs, business landscape, products and competitors will continually change over time. Just go with the flow, be more flexible and have a more positive frame of mind. By embracing change in your life, you will deal much more easily with stressful sales situations, clients and the unknown.
  4. Closing – As Alec Baldwin said in Glengarry Glen Ross, “Always Be Closing.” Closing is the biggest part of the sale. If there is no direct ask to close a deal, there will be no sale. Earn the sale, don’t assume that what you rambled about was applicable to the specific customer at hand. Fact: You don’t get a participation ribbon in sales; you get the ribbon (the sale) or you don’t.
  5. Objections – If the customer has no objections, you most likely did a poor job with the sale. Objections show interest and uncover the true needs of the customer. If you have objections thrown your way, don’t backpedal; be enthusiastic knowing that the customer has interest in your product or service. Use the opportunity to dig and find what their key needs are.
  6. Understanding – Each customer is entirely different from the next. Don’t just assume each customer or prospect wants the same product or service. Ask them a basic, open-ended question to get the ball rolling, then be more directive to uncover their specific needs. You can gain a great understanding of the buyer’s needs if you ask them an open-ended question and let them speak.
  7. Being the Best You – You, the salesperson, make the difference when it comes to the outcome of the sale. You will most likely have stiff competition who offer a similar product with varying benefits. Chances are, on face value, your products will be very similar to what your competition is offering, so being yourself could be the key difference in the buyer making their choice.

Sales will never be easy, it’s not intended to be. Not everyone can sell for a living. Sure, everyone can and does sell in some way, but not everyone can do it professionally. In order for Millennials to be successful, they must adapt and be themselves.

What other advice would you give a Millennial going into sales?

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About the Author:

Eric WagamanEric Wagaman focuses on Brand Marketing and Development at the Whitaker LaChance Agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Senior at Western Michigan University in their top rated Sales and Business Marketing program.  Eric is a driven individual who is passionate about meeting the needs of others by going beyond their expectations. During his free time, Eric enjoys golfing, hiking, attending sporting events and indulging in new restaurants.

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