How to Be a Successful Sales Rep

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Getting into the sales profession is a challenging and sometimes intimidating experience. You must deal with a variety of personalities when speaking with potential customers and also learn the ins and outs of the product you are selling. Some sales positions also pay on a commission basis, which means that your performance is directly linked to your paycheck. Seek ways to improve on an ongoing basis to achieve success as a sales representative.

Attend industry seminars and events to learn more about the product or service you sell. For instance, if you're an insurance sales rep, attend conferences that teach you about new types of insurance programs available to customers. You can use this information to inform your potential customers and possibly generate more sales.

Commit yourself to remaining positive when selling, even in the face of negativity or resistance from customers. According to sales expert and author Roy Chitwood, "A positive attitude is more than just 'looking on the bright side'; it's a conscious choice to always see the possibilities, the way through and the way out of even the worst of circumstances." Stay conscious of your body language in addition to your tone when speaking to potential clients.

Test the product or service you sell on your own before you attempt to sell it to someone else. Take notes on all possible features and benefits of using the product so that you can use this in your sales spiel.

Develop a relationship with your potential customer whenever possible. Take the time to get to know his needs, desires, concerns and current situation. Gathering this information allows you to come up with a solution for the customer rather than attempting to sell him a generic package. It also shows that you care about the customer's needs. If you can honestly relate to the customer's situation, in some cases it's beneficial to reveal your story to the customer along with how the product or service has helped you personally.

Communicate with your sales lead or supervisor frequently to seek feedback and learn about areas where you can improve. In some cases the sales supervisor is in that position because she has advanced and has proven knowledge of how to successfully sell your product or service. Ask for tips and guidance.