If you ask me what comes to mind when I think “salesperson” it’s three people: Jim Halpert, Dwight Schrute, and Michael Scott, of NBC’s “The Office.” I probably watch too much TV. All three of these people are fictional, and don’t seem to have any bearings on what sales, or the world, is actually like. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder, if I dug deep enough, could find some real value in their zaniness? Adored across the nation, this silly comedy follows the employees of Dunder Mifflin, a paper company. The show, which ended in 2013, was completely ridiculous, yet, there are still some takeaways that any sales rep could benefit from. Here are some sales tips that “The Office” taught us over nine seasons.
1.) Be Confident:
Confidence is good in most situations, but especially in sales. This doesn’t mean being arrogant, over the top, or overly gregarious the way many people think of it. You can have a quiet confidence, just be aware of you goal and aim for success. Positivity is key, do your research so you feel totally prepared for you pitch and walk in thinking “I am going to make this sale.” Your positivity and knowledge will translate to those you interact with. Furthermore, confidence leads to more engaged employees overall, who have a real desire to further the company.
2.) Work Hard:
As many know, Dwight is the ultimate sales machine, and there is a reason! He’s a worker, a good worker, and a hard worker. This one is straight forward, which is just genuinely try. Don’t cut corners, stay motivated, and there will be boundless results. Your hard work and attention to detail won’t go unnoticed by your higher ups.
3.) Be a Team Player:
In a competitive field like sales, it can be easy to forget that the other people you work with are on your team. This can be especially true if you work in the field, and do not necessarily see your co-workers on a day to day basis. Your co-workers can be great resources whether they have extra insight on a certain client, more experience in a territory, etc. Make sure you take advantage of this by communicating well with your co-workers to achieve higher overall sales for the company. If you manage a sales team, encourage this collaborative environment between sales representatives. One way to do this is with team based selling games/ promotions. This will create a greater camaraderie between co-workers and a more engaged workforce.
4.) Be Professional:
Make sure you present yourself in a professional way to clients. This doesn’t mean be overly formal, but remember they are taking time to speak/meet with you, and will potentially be investing their money in your product. If you don’t seem like you are taking it seriously, they won’t either.
5.) Know What You’re Talking About:
Don’t show up to a client meeting unprepared. Potential customers are weighing their options, and are looking to you to present them with the facts as to why they should choose you. Customers can tell when you are skirting a question, repeating things you have already said, or giving overly general answers. This comes across as suspicious, making you seem untrustworthy. If you are unknowledgable and disinterested, they will likely not purchase from you and may review you poorly to their network.
6.) Be Determined:
You probably won’t make every sale. However, a determined attitude will have you going the extra mile to stand out to customers. Your own success as a salesperson is contingent upon your customers happiness. If they see your commitment to your own job they will know that you are going to give them the best service possible.This attitude will encompass all of the traits listed above. If you really want to succeed, you will know your facts, be professional, work hard for the team, and be confident. Meaning you may not make all your sales, but you might make most of them.
8.) Be a Part of Your Company Culture:
There is more to your job than just your job! Socialize with the people you work with and participate at work, no matter how silly it is. If you work remotely, it may be hard to feel engaged with your company culture. One way to combat this is implementing a messaging service that will keep employees connected even when far, or depending on territories, organizing a monthly meeting in person to maintain that connection. Having personal connections with co-workers, or looking forward to a company outing keeps employees happy and engaged. A distinct culture can also serve to attract new talent who appreciate the fun work environment.
Though it is hard to believe the cast of characters on The Office actually sold anything, if you dig deep enough, you can find some genuinely good advice. Hopefully this post was helpful, or at the very least, made you smile!