Background information on the seminar topic "Diploma in Sales"

The desire to sell drives motivation and ambition in everyday professional sales life. The shift between calm listening and animated conversation, between joy and frustration and a constant glance at the watch must be intentional and skilfully applied. To use these techniques consciously is a prerequisite of the job. With expertise and practice, the day-to-day work in sales can be organised.

  • Pitches
  • Convincing​​​​​​​ and persuading
  • Negotiating
  • Selling

are the core activities in sales, no matter if you are a buyer or a seller. The variety of products and the different working methods per customer make the daily routine varied: no customer has the same requirements and aims, and neither do the interested parties. This is why competencies such as

  • Sales training​​​​​​​
  • Customer focus​​​​​​​
  • Price argumentation​​​​​​​
  • Closure technique

are indispensable. In sales you need a certain degree of sensitivity to the special features of the products and an eye for interests of the customers. Tact and sensitivity are not enough however if the techniques of persuasion, rhetorical skills and customer communication, are missing or not developed.

In order to bind new customers to the company in the long term, includes not only applying sales strategies but also small talk and personality management. Maintaining customer relationships over the years means finding a good balance between proximity and distance. On the one hand we know each other, on the other hand we maintain a professional distance. To be able to juggle between the professional and personal level is a special skill. It is however necessary in order to be able to return to the business relationship shortly after social interaction.

Tip: Always find out exactly who the customer is before the conversation. This has the advantage that specific questions can be then asked. An openly expressed interest in the work of the customer creates a basis of trust, which may then be reflected back as trust in the product.

Besides conversation management, a key element is self-management and time management. Sales work means that you do not only have contact with one customer during the day but meet and negotiate with several customers. An understanding of time and organisational ability facilitates day-to-day sales activities.

Tip: Always take time before and after the conversation to organize and reflect on it. Ask yourself the following questions beforehand: what was the current situation and what can be achieved as a result of today's discussion? After the interview, write down your results in detail.

Sales staff who also work abroad also need additional knowledge of the respective country to being visited. Rudimentary knowledge of the language is only one criterion.

  • Greetings​​​​​​​
  • Customs
  • Eating habits​​​​​​​
  • Negotiation strategies

are only a few elements that the sales representative has to deal with in international trade. The focus should be on business activities in the respective country. However, you need to ask yourself a few of the following questions: how is time handled in this culture? At what point is it alright to talk about business? How do I build trust with the customer? Here, too, soft skills are needed. Long conversations about food and cultural norms can often be part of a successful negotiation. With some knowledge of cultural customs and a feeling for the level of communication, sales abroad can be successful.