I’m not a big fan of the whole concept of being a salesperson. I'll buy it on-line before I go into a store any day. Mostly – to avoid sales people. For some reason, whenever I think of a salesperson a host of negative, stereotypical adjectives immediately come to mind. I picture an individual who is there to do whatever it takes to get me to spend money so that s/he can increase their commission.
The truth, however, is that sales people play an important roll in many businesses by providing product/service information as well as educating the client on the benefits of purchasing such. For many companies they are the life blood on which the entire company's success depends.
Over the years I have found myself in various kinds of sales positions within the healthcare staffing industry from account management, to selling new market services, to managing large sales teams. I’ve always worked to avoid being viewed as the negative version of the salesperson I described above, even if it meant I didn’t always get the sale. I thought I’d share a list of “dos” and “don’ts” for successfully selling in the healthcare staffing industry while still keeping your reputation in tact. For the next two weeks I will be posting two tips each day. I’ll cover the dos this week and the don’ts next week.
First, the Dos.
1. Build relationships first
Trying to make a sale without first establishing trust is like going to get a filling from a dental student who set up shop in the bathroom of his home. Most people you are selling to are usually looking to work with professionals they can trust – professionals who understand their business needs and are interested in building a long term relationship. That’s why you are there. Trying to make a sale or pushing someone into a decision before a relationship is built is a critical mistake. Perhaps more than in any other industry, everyone knows that in healthcare staffing – it’s all about the relationships.
2. Know your clients and their goals
Understanding your client allows you to make the best presentation possible – so do your homework. Get to know their company, the company culture, even get to know your contact personally. Google and social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great places to start. The company's website and other Hospital Directory sites can also be helpful.
Understanding your client’s goals lets you know their motivations, their dislikes and what they hope to achieve. Are they new in their role? Do they have particular mandates they need to achieve? Are they looking for a win or facing budget restrictions? Knowing these things lets you figure out how will you help them meet their goals, what services you should provide, what you should avoid and how to present the best value offering possible.