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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Yes I am scared of Sales but can I be better at it?



Kirjoittanut: Seungyeon Shin - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that time is going so fast. SYNTRE has now less than a year to graduate, and the word “Final camp” has become more than a real thing. Yes, it is coming.

 

As it is important for all Proakatemia teampreneurs to gain experience working with real business cases and customers, SYNTRE is trying to sell the 12H/24H Innovation Challenge to different companies as a source of funding and experience. I’ve sent emails to companies from small to large, wishing they would reply.

 

I’d say I’m becoming quite passive about selling just like how I did with emails. In fact, selling has become a scary word for me and something that I’d like to avoid if I can. I started to wonder why, and in this essay, I’d like to reflect on the relationship between me and sales, how it has changed over the years of Proakatemia, and how I should overcome the fear of selling.

 

My first sales experience in Proakatemia was during the Sales days in my first year with the team Saawa. I didn’t want to make an excuse for the language, so I remember having a selling script in Finnish and talking to random people. Back then, I was braver stopping people and talking to them, although I didn’t understand the reply when they asked something in Finnish. My heart was bouncing and felt super uncomfortable doing that in a country where I just arrived with the language that I barely knew. But I wanted to at least try. Ever since the first experience of selling in Finland, my relationship with sales has gotten worse. From time to time, SYNTRE had chances to call different companies and I remember feeling self-conscious and insecure in selling. The other week recently, SYNTRE got an opportunity to sell “Float Studio” in Koskikeskus where we had a small table. I remember sitting there staring at people and didn’t know what to do while panicking.

 

The thing is, I know how important sales skills are and I want to improve them. I don’t want this bad relationship to continue and want to end it before my time in Proakatemia.

 

About selling SYNTRE’s innovation challenge, I decided to change my perspective on how to approach it. Before sending emails or calling random companies, I asked for advice to Proakatemia Alumni: Mikael and Kiia.

 

Once Mikael visited Proakatemia and gave us a Friday seminar, and in the seminar, he shared his journey to become a salesman and some experiences working with different large companies. He gave tips on sales:

 

  • Finding the right people and giving them the teaser.
  • Communicate and be honest about what you can deliver to the customer.
  • Giving clear information about the price, such as why it costs what it does and what value you get for that price.

 

I then asked for more detailed sales tips for SYNTRE,

 

  • As we are an international team with 10 different nationalities, we think it’s a great asset. When it comes to finding the right people, how should we go about it? How should we approach and introduce ourselves to clients? Who should we target?
  • How can we price our work and sell it to clients? We came up with some price ranges, like for 12H it’s 1200e, for 24H it’s 2000e. But how should we inform our clients based on these prices? Should we mention some of the methods we use?

 

At first, we thought we’d set the price at 1200e for 12H and 2000e for 24H. But his approach to pricing was different: he said, “Ask the customer about the price. What is the value of the result to them? After asking delicate but crucial questions, a pricing tool can be used to set the price.

 

Kiia’s tips were also very helpful. She strongly recommended calling instead of sending emails.

 

It is also important to consider WHO you are contacting and WHAT you are selling. For example, approaching a CEO with a “24-hour innovation challenge on ANY topic” might sound too vague to them, but approaching a marketing manager with an “innovation challenge on their biggest marketing struggle” would work better from a customer perspective. The manager who is in charge might immediately know what their biggest marketing struggles are.

 

She also suggested trying to arrange a meeting with them on the phone and build trust, rather than sending an email after the call and expecting them to respond. And don’t hesitate to call again and remind them where they are.

 

When you call, try to arrange a meeting where you can build trust and explain more, rather than just sending an email after the call and expecting them to respond. And if you don’t hear back from them, don’t hesitate to call again, thank them for the stimulating first call and ask how things are going.

 

Dan Lok, a serial entrepreneur, marketer, author and financial YouTuber, emphasises preparation and says that lack of confidence comes from lack of preparation. Therefore, you need to prepare for every single conversation or situation you might encounter with a client, so that you know every objection a prospect might have, and practice it over 10 times until you feel fully prepared. (Lok 2018)

 

Another question is how to close the sale. But what is it and how do you do it? Closing the sale is the most important step in convincing a prospect to make a purchase or sign a contract. There’s a closing technique I’d like to try when selling an innovation challenge called the “soft close”, which is less intrusive to the customer but gives the prospect the impression that they are making their own decisions. (Hartshorne 2022) And as Kiia mentioned above, I can call a client back later.

 

This has been a reflective essay on my relationship with sales. I have shared some honest feelings and valuable tips from alumni and some experts on the internet. I hope that in the next essay I will be able to make a sale and share a positive outcome.

 

References:

Lok, D. 2018. How to gain confidence in sales. Published on 12.09.2018. Rohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIEPS2fxxBY

Hartshorne, D. 2022. What is sales closing, and why is it important? Published on 03.11.2022. https://monday.com/blog/crm-and-sales/sales-closing/

Soonie from Entre.

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