Sales persons that have no idea what they are selling do not have great sales records. Sales reps that know their product, know their business, and are authorities in their field, are the sales people that have the sales records that they can brag about. But what is authority, and how is it acquired? And then once you have authority, how is it used properly?

Develop Expertise

Expertise in your field can be acquired at any age. Learning about your market, its products and competitors can only improve your sales skills. There are many ways that you can further develop your knowledge. One of the most valuable tools you can use is a mentor in your field. Find someone is outstanding in sales, and become their student. They have lots of hints and tips that are not taught in school. 

Become an expert in your product and the industry. Customers appreciate an expert’s opinion. Continue your education, learn the trends, be a sponge when it comes to information on sales and your industry. Watch the experts in action and pattern your own sales techniques after theirs. And finally set goals for yourself. See what the expert sales reps are doing and strive for the same. 

Know Your Competition

By knowing and watching your competitors, you can understand their strategies, and sometimes even predict their next move. It isn’t a one-time Google search, but by doing a little bit of research, and using some of the available tools, you can keep up to date with your competitors, and be able to plan your own strategy. 

Research your competition. Perform a SWOT analysis from their point of view. Go to their website and see what their marketing strategies are. You can also monitor their social media sites. Here you will be able to not only see announcements the company makes, but you can also see their customer reviews. You can also monitor the other company’s key players and their activity on social media. Setting up Google Alerts is a handy internet tool. This will alert you to the movements of the other companies. Staying informed will do nothing but keep you in the race.

Continue Education

Your industry is constantly changing, technology is constantly changing. You need to learn and keep current on all the changing elements when it comes to your company, your product, and your customer. It is important to continue to learn tips on sales, communication, and the ever changing ways to be in contact with your customers. Sound like a lot? Sound expensive? It’s not. All it takes is a little bit of time. Subscribe to online trade magazines, surf the net for new technologies and how they could work for you, communicate with the product’s developers, etc. There are many ways to learn more about your marketplace and how it relates to you.

Become an expert in your field. Read the industry magazines, monitor the trends, and go to workshops. If you are able to supply your customer with facts and information it can increase the rapport with the customer, and you will be the first one they call when they are ready to make a change.

Solve Customer Problems Using Authority

“Solve your customer’s problems using your authority.” All sales tips list this one. But what does it really mean? First you need your customer to view you as an authority. You need self-confidence, and to be assertive. Know your product and use that knowledge to educate your customer on how you can solve their problems. This will help you gain their confidence and their trust in you.

Another way to show your authority in your area is to have several options for solving their problem. Give them several choices to choose from, and then assist them in making the correct choice for their situation. This will also help you gain authority with the client.

Case Study

Carol’s customer does not want to make the big purchase, and would prefer to do some research on her own. Carol tells her co-worker, Cindy and Cindy suggests reading an article in the trade magazine about gaining authority and using it. Cindy tells Carol to learn everything about the product and all of its options. That way she can teach the client the different choices that can possibly work for them. 

Carol went home and looked up the article that Cindy recommended. It also spoke about self-confidence in speaking and being assertive. She knows that she could use more of that when it came to speaking to this customer. After researching several products that could help the client, Carol decides to call on the client in a couple of days and try these techniques.