Let me start with a truth that needs to be said:
Sales is a really tough job.
Most people think they aren’t suited for it. They believe you have to have a certain personality, or they think you have to be sneaky and a bit of a liar. It’s a dirty subject that “nice people” avoid at all costs.
What a bunch of BS.
I have been a salesperson almost my whole career. That is 30+ years. And I will tell you the best sales people are hard working, ambitious, and honest people who care about their customers and want to do right by them. The sleazy ones usually are not all that successful. So when you add someone to your sales team, make sure they have the qualities I mentioned.
To be a good salesperson you have to be a self starter. A person who begins work or undertakes a project on his or her own initiative, without needing to be told what to do.
You see, salespeople need to always be selling. That means increasing their business with their present accounts and always opening up new clients. Because there is a lot of paper and detail work it is very easy to be seduced by busy work and not keep your eye on the ball. Time management is an important skill for a salesperson. Especially since sales is such a difficult job.
The #1 way to improve the productivity of your salespeople is to…
But please remember, there is a difference between micro managing and guiding your staff. It’s a delicate balance that requires conscious effort.
With salespeople you need to be interactive, however you don’t want to be peering over their shoulders every minute. They need to know that you’re there for them without feeling constant pressure.
A good salesperson is worth their weight in gold — and they know it.
So, once you come across someone who really produces, make sure they’re happy and motivated to stick around.
Finally, the ugly truth is that you also need to be ruthless with salespeople who aren’t working out. If you’ve set clear goals and expectations and they clearly aren’t being met, don’t be afraid to part ways. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there, and if it’s not you need to cut costs as soon as possible.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!