“Those who really want success always work till they get it”DENIS BAKER
Whether you like it or not, your ability to sell your suggestions, ideas, and programs determines your success and the health and safety of your workforce. The good news is that you don’t have to be a natural-born salesperson to succeed in the world of safety. However, if you have a passion for people’s safety and best interests at heart (with an eye for reducing risks), you already have the makings of a great salesperson.
Selling safety is not something they do to people, but as a collaborative process between themselves and the workforce and leadership. Great salespeople can influence the person or group and persuade them to adhere to what is right. Good sales skills can mean fewer injuries and a strong culture.
FIVE QUALITIES EXHIBITED BY SUCCESSFUL SAFETY PROFESSIONALS
Regardless if you’re trying to improve your skills or coach or mentor your team, I recommend looking for these characteristics. You will increase your sales skills by cultivating these five qualities.
1. They are Competitive – Effective Safety Professionals who successfully sell safety don’t want to sit at a desk, staring at their computer for 8 hours, and then go home. They live and breathe, selling safety to the workforce in person; it’s almost like a high. They’re often energized by the idea of exceeding company or facility goals and being rated the best in the organization.
Good salespeople seek out chances to improve performance because that makes them better. I say this often…………….” You can’t change a culture from behind a desk.”
2. They Listen – When you think about “sales,” you might picture a slick-haired, smooth-talking car salesman. He won’t take no for an answer, and he’s just running his mouth without listening to the customer. This stereotype is for bad salespeople. Good Safety Professionals shouldn’t treat employee interactions as a chance to pontificate what they expect. Instead, you need to ask questions and listen to their answers, suggestions, or anything else they want to discuss. You must approach these as honest conversations. You should still lead the path, but you need to allow responses. When you listen to the employee or leadership pain points, you can better align their needs with your directions.
3. They are Robust – I have spent much time researching and learning how to be a successful salesperson throughout my safety career. However, I have learned that selling safety can be a tough gig. The best salespeople are robust people. They are persistent in their approach. If you can’t sell it the first time, you reflect, analyze, and approach it differently 2, 3, or even 10 times. But, if it is correct, you never back down! However, let failure motivate you to succeed.
4. They are Confident – Confidence is the currency of selling safety. Selling your confidence means people see you as in control and informative — even if they are not fully onboard. It’s all about how you present yourself to people. Does your voice tremble when you talk, or is it engaging and bright? Even if you don’t feel confident, presenting yourself that way will bring trust and security to your pitch. At the same time, your tone and body language matter, your choice of words significantly impact your message.
5. They are Honest – Selling safety is not about manipulating people into buying into your direction. That’s not only dishonest and wrong, but it’s also an awful approach and will result in disrespect and loss of trust. Safety Professionals should be honest and transparent from the start and only want to sell something to improve safety. Be honest with the workforce about what you commit to. Can you meet their needs? Be realistic; if your team can’t meet their expectations, it will only frustrate them. And yes, that means being honest — even if being honest means losing a sale.
“Great Safety Professionals are relationship builders who provide value and respect to their workforce so they go home every day.”DENIS BAKER
SO WHAT, NOW WHAT
Look, you don’t have to be a natural-born salesperson to be a successful safety professional. I encourage you to cultivate these five qualities to increase your sales skills. But remember, this isn’t something that happens overnight. Practice and grow your sales skills over time. Approach them like you would any other skill, and you will see an increase in success.