By: Thomas Young
Competitive Pressures Force High Tech Professionals into Sales
In today’s competitive high tech markets it is very common for technical professionals to find themselves in a selling role. If you are a high tech professional, it may not be enough to be skilled in technical areas. You may be required to become involved in marketing and sales arenas. If this is the case, it becomes essential to develop proficient selling and relationship skills. This article will explain why high tech pros are actually well suited for sales. The challenge is learning how to sell and believing you can do it. Here are a few tips to help your transition into sales and marketing.
Learn the Basics of Professional Selling
Learning how to sell and develop customer relationship skills can be intimidating to many high-tech professionals. Many have never dealt with customers in a sales or marketing capacity. They fear the unknown and dislike the thought of having to become a “pushy” sales person selling to vulnerable prospects. Understanding the power of professional selling can elevate this fear. Begin by learning the nuts and bolts of selling. You will be surprised to learn that selling is very much an analytical process, much like high tech endeavors.
Belief in the Product’s Benefits is a Given
One of the most fundamental parts of sales is a strong belief in your product or service. A thorough understanding of high tech processes results in extensive product knowledge. This is critical, because it is necessary to first understand a product or service before you can believe in it 100%. The technical professional’s high product knowledge provides a very important asset in selling effectively. Selling the benefits of a complex product is key to success in high tech sales.
Selling is Art and Science
The sales process can be very enlightening for high-tech professionals who are making the transformation from things to people. This is true because selling is actually a very analytical process. Analytical skills can be great assets and many high tech professionals will come to realize they have many of the natural, necessary selling skills. First they need to properly learn the sales process. Selling involves prospecting, tracking your contacts, presenting effectively, handling objections and closing. These processes are actually very logical in nature. It is important to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. The key is to learn the sales process and develop a strategic selling plan that can be implemented into day-to-day selling activities. This is the easy part.
How to Develop Relationship Skills
The difficult part is the creative or artistic side of selling, which involves developing a relationship with customers. Creativity is essential as you learn to problem solve and meet the needs of your customers. This too can be learned and the proper skills can be developed. The bottom line is you must develop yourself before you can develop effective relationships. This includes learning how to get inside the head of your customers. Ask questions, listen, provide solutions, understand their real problems and work with them to provide solutions. This is not magic or a quick fix. It is the simple task of serving customers, the secret to building relationships. Many analytical people are focused on what is happening in their own head. To be successful in sales you must get out of your head and into the head of your prospects and customers. This transition will not be easy, however the analytical skills of the high-tech professional can help you to become sales masters.
A High Tech Sales Career Brings High Rewards
The rewards of selling high tech products and services can be tremendous. High price point items can lead to healthy commission pay-outs, repeat customers and a rewarding work experience as you help your customers do their job better. Embrace a commission based compensation system. Although a base salary provides short-term security, it cannot provide unlimited earning potential. What job is secure in today’s turbulent markets? Effective sales and marketing skills will always bring high rewards in high tech markets. In fact, professionals who posses both analytical and relationship skills are in extremely high demand. Develop your selling skills, as a high tech professional, and reach new levels of success.
Tom Young, MBA is president of Intuitive Websites, a sales training and marketing consulting firm helping companies increase revenues. He can be reached at 719-481-4040, or email at [email protected].