A make possible attitude is probably the most fundamental requirement for anyone who wants to do sales. It is a life of extremes! On one hand you deal with plenty of NO’s and for every deal you close, you are likely to have faced uninterested prospects, unanswered texts, calls and emails. But on the other hand, when you have a great product, you live in a world of prospects who are your potential “Yes”.
The journey to making a sale can be discouraging as a salesman powers through rejection. “But rejection of any kind is just part of life in general” Victor Njeru, a Business Development Executive, tells us.
“Some of the greatest businesspeople of our time have all encountered rejection and came out stronger and better. You have to constantly work towards improvement, practice regularly, and grow incrementally with each experience”
As he narrates his journey at Cellulant, he speaks about some of the work that he is particularly proud of; including a recent partnership with Britam. While he has made other notable sales, this particular deal taught him the importance of focusing on the long-term.
“It took about 2 years to close because ultimately, we needed to make sure that the solution we offered to the customer was not only going to support their growth initiatives, but that it would be beneficial to the end users as well”
Fascinatingly, Victor studied Finance at the University of Nairobi. While he fully intended to work in finance, he realized that he preferred interacting with people more than the number-crunching part of Finance. That is how he ended up in Business development.
“Nothing beats the feeling of having won a deal and seeing it come to life.” Victor says when asked how he feels about seeing the Cellulant-Britam partnership going live.
What did he wish he knew before he got into sales? He gently laughs and tells us that probably someone should have told him about the unpredictable sales cycle.
He gives some tips for those starting in sales:
- Focus on the relationships: the foundation of any sale is the relationship you establish with the customer- most importantly your understanding of their problem and how you can solve it for them. Ultimately, no one cares about your product or solution- a customer will only care about the difference you are making in their business.
- Go all in!: Commitment is key in any sale. When you have developed the conviction that you can solve the customer’s challenges with your product- your commitment to seeing the partnership through implementation makes a difference. Your customer will always appreciate the rigour you put into the work.
- Go back to the drawing board as often as possible: Strategize and negotiate the terms to ensure the customer is satisfied. Part of this is understanding that what you probably wanted to sell to the customer might not be what they need at the moment. So it’s okay to go back to the drawing board as many times as needed to ensure that both parties are happy and get value from the partnership.
“Ultimately, sales is really about not giving up. As Babe Ruth once said ‘You just can’t beat the person who never gives up‘ and that is true in sales. You only lose a sale when you give up and stop putting the customer first.” Victor concludes.
To read more on Britam Partnering with Cellulant to Power Payments for Investment Solutions