How to succeed as a field salesperson

We all know it takes a certain type of person to succeed in sales. To make it, you’ve got to have the right attitude, the tenacity and desire to close deals and the will to work hard. But sales come in many different forms, and working out in the field is a part of the industry that requires some particularly robust qualities.

Field sales can be a tricky role to navigate, but one that can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable if you bring the right talents to it. Here’s how you make it selling on the road.

Know your products

One of the keys to being a great salesperson in any setting is knowing your products inside out. This rings true especially in field sales, where one of your main selling points is often showing the products first-hand, which leads to more direct questions about them that you need to know the answers to.

With field sales being typically a no-frills selling environment – as in you’re probably going to be sat in someone else’s office trying to make a deal – the product takes centre stage. That means whether you’re selling paper towels in bulk or trying to secure a contract for a fancy new pharmaceutical product, you need to know every detail of your stock in order to impress.

The art of negotiation

A good salesperson always knows when and how to cut a deal, but when you’re in your client’s back yard and the onus is on you to walk away with a handshake and an order right there and then, it’s essential your negotiating skills are on point.

Negotiation in field sales is all about finding a sweet spot between getting the best deal possible and not being “mugged off” or walking away without one. Your client might try and leverage the fact you’ve come to them to make the deal, but with some quick thinking, calm and logical discussion and maybe a little “gift of the gab”, you can make sure you both walk away satisfied nine times out of ten.

Ooze confidence

The aforementioned “gift of the gab” might not come naturally to every salesperson, and it doesn’t have to. What does matter is that you exude confidence in your role, as that will instil confidence in your customers. You need to have confidence in your product, the process and your own abilities to sell to deal with the ups and downs that come with a mobile sales job.

Confidence ties into other qualities that are fundamental to success in field sales. Resilience, perseverance, self-belief and the ability to handle the bad days with the good are all based off of having the confidence that you’re going to be successful in what you’re doing.

Time management

Field sales is a highly entrepreneurial sales format. It’s largely up to you what you do with your day, where to go and who to approach. Your only anchor is the sales targets you’ve been set by your employer (or yourself) and usually, as long as you’re hitting those, the rest is up to you.

Thus, managing your time wisely and encouraging your own proactivity is key to your success. In the field, you’ll have a “patch” to cover. Learning your patch as well as your products is another cornerstone of field success, and something you need to invest your time into. In between selling, you need to be getting to know your clients, their businesses, their habits and the ways to get the best results from them. This can only be done with your time invested efficiently.

Sales is a tough gig, and field sales can be even tougher. However, for the right people with the right qualities, it can be an amazing ride. Whether you’re a selling natural or have had to work hard to learn the craft and its techniques, employing the skills mentioned above should see you do well in any field sales role.

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