This Friday–October 25, 2013—a very special guest speaker came into the Professional Sales class. Not only is this speaker a “Cornucopia” (in the spirit of Thanksgiving!) of sales knowledge, but Mr. Charlie Soles is also the grandfather of Karly Natalizia, a current student in BUS 201!
As soon as he began to speak, you could sense that Mr. Soles was an experienced salesperson; and indeed, 30 years in any profession is no small achievement. Soles was able to speak to us with ease about his past experiences; his secrets to success; and his motivation for us future salespeople.
The presentation began with the acknowledgement of the negative side to selling—the bad rep, the pressures of meeting quotas, and the potential for rejection. Like any respectable salesperson, Soles was not about to try to deny or conceal the shortcomings of a product—or, in this case, a career. To each of these negatives, however, Soles offered us a means of coping, and suggested to take all hardships as an “Opportunity or challenge to do better next time.”
Next, Soles addressed the more prevalent—and appealing—side of selling: the rewards. Essentially, selling to customers involves creating a relationship in which they allow you to help them in some way—or, as Soles put it, “If you position yourself as a helper, you will have the trust of others.” For Soles, being able to help people is one of the greatest rewards of selling. Beginning with a degree in agriculture, Soles’ journey lead him to eventually being one of the top salespeople of medical devices in the country. When asked how he came to such an unexpected career, Soles answered “If it’s right and you’ve decided you can do it, and you fill your mind with thoughts that you can accomplish it, you will.”
The big secret to success, according to Soles, is to never stop learning. From every sales call there is something to be taken away; one tip I thought could be very useful was to review yourself after a sale or meeting; learn from your strengths and weaknesses in order to constantly better your technique and hone your skills. If you hope to best persuade a prospect to buy, you need to ask questions, see your product from a customers’ point of view, and try to find common ground with the customer. As Soles advised us, “In order to be the best at something, you need to have the best knowledge.”
Today’s class was definitely a testament to what we’ve been covering in class. Not only was Mr. Soles very motivational to listen to, he was also affirmative of many of our previous lessons. Personally, it was refreshing to hear the same message reiterated by someone outside of GCG; today’s speaker has given me the confidence and drive I think I needed to take me through the last 8 weeks of semester one!