The Sales team profiles are brief Q & A sessions with our Sales team which aim to give insight into the mechanics of the Publishing Sales industry, shed light on what it takes to be part of the Sales team at Oxford University Press South Africa, and give expert advice to anybody interested in joining the world of TVET Sales team in South Africa.
Every week we will be introducing you to a team member from our TVET division. This week we are chatting with Koena Namethe.
Q: How did you find yourself following a career in the Publishing Sales industry?
I think that my patience helps me be a good Sales person. I find that I have made some of my best sales when I have taken the time to let the customer weigh their decision carefully, ask as many questions as they wished and not put too much pressure on them.
I am very detail-oriented and that helps me obtain sales. I make sure that I know everything there is to know about the product I’m selling so that I can answer any questions a customer may have (to their satisfaction). I like to know my territory well and I like to know my customers personally, so I can better serve them.
Q: Describe your work day – What does your job entail?
My day varies from generating leads and contacting customers to identifying opportunities for new business. I work closely with other departments to find opportunities to cross sell. I also ensure that all administration is completed effectively.
Q: What key traits do you think make a good Sales Consultant?
- To care about the customer’s interests: Your customer wants to know that you understand their challenges, dreams and goals and have carefully considered why your solution makes sense. They want to be sure you have their best interests at heart. They have to ensure you care more about their mission and the greater good, than your numbers.
- Be subtle: Great Sales people never look like they are selling anything. They are educating, instilling faith and confidence. They are quietly and invisibly demonstrating why customers should believe in them and, in return, buy from them.
- Be optimistic and upbeat: Good Sales people tend to be upbeat, and radiate a sense of humor, fun and general positivity. While grounded in reality, they focus on what they can control, stay on course with optimism about what they can achieve, and don’t let the rest drag them down.
Q: What part of your job do you enjoy the most and what would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love that I have a great degree of control and freedom within my job. I work full time on a flexible schedule and my boss trusts me to produce high-quality work and results. I work hard to maintain that level of trust, which keeps me engaged and excited – but at the same time, I love that my job enables me to love and enjoy my other passions in life.
The diversity of the work that I do ensures that no day is like any other, and I am always focused on satisfying the customer, which makes me feel good when the day is done.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Sales/Publishing?
In sales you’ll develop and master skills you can use to thrive in any area of your professional life – skills that are transferable and applicable to any role you may take on in the future. Focus on making a difference.
Slow down to speed up your sales – this was one of the hardest things for me to learn. When I first started selling, I was so eager to be successful. I tried to WOW my prospects with my great product knowledge. I closed deals often and early. But the more I tried to rush things, the more resistant to moving forward my prospects became. They’d throw out obstacles and objections that I couldn’t overcome. When I learned to slow down, parcel information out over multiple meetings, and simply advance the sales process one step at a time, suddenly my sales increased.
Q: On a personal note, what is your favourite book and why?
21 WAYS TO FINDING PEACE AND HAPPINESS by JOYCE MEYER (published in 2004) because I’m a God fearing person and the content inside the book guides one to be at peace with God.