Like most of us, Ninwa Pato starts her work day hitting the snooze button multiple times. Yet when she’s up and on the go, Verifone’s New Business Consultant is busy nurturing professional relationships, offering superior support and aligning business owners with the best payment solutions for their company needs.
We sat down with Ninwa to learn firsthand what a day is like in the life of an EFTPOS salesperson - from starting out in sales, to measuring success and maintaining a healthy work life balance along the way.
Starting Out in Sales
To join the 50,000 New Zealander’s employed as sales representatives you’ll need a willingness to learn, confidence and excellent communication skills. Some salespeople begin their careers straight after finishing university, as Ninwa did after she graduated in 2017. Still, others might begin a career in sales with no formal qualifications, or turn to sales when transitioning from other industries.
However you get there, a career in sales does not require formal training. With no sales experience and a degree in communication, Ninwa’s sales career “snowballed” after she accepted a sales rep position at Vodafone fresh out of university.
Progressing in Sales with EFTPOS NZ
A career in sales requires the ability to gain trust, loyalty and business - all of which Ninwa had in spades after three and a half years with Vodafone. When it came time to progress her career, she was more than prepared to join the team at Eftpos New Zealand.
Today, Ninwa arrives at work each morning in Wellington’s CBD, makes a fresh cup of coffee, and sits down to scroll through social media. Not only do Facebook, Twitter and Instagram “tell me what happened while I was asleep,” but the social media platforms also play a part in prospecting sales - all while she waits for her computer to fire up.
Finding the Right Customers
Prospecting is one of the key stages of the sales process. In fact, prospecting in sales can be one of the fastest ways to increase conversion and closing rates. There are many ways to find prospects, from cold outreach to trade publications, but for Ninwa, social media plays an important role.
When she receives an inbound prospect, one of the first things Ninwa does is check out Facebook to see if the company has a business page. Not only does this tell her a lot about the prospective company, but it also means relevant outbound prospects pop up on Ninwa’s Facebook feed too.
While Ninwa’s sales process varies depending on what she’s selling, the majority of her prospects are already in HubSpot - as referrals from banks, or online forms that have been filled out on the Eftpos New Zealand website.
“It’s easy to pull up their account and see what they are already using,” explains Ninwa. This means a point of connection is there to help move the relationship forward.
Meeting Sales Targets
While moving prospects down the pipeline towards closing a deal is one way to measure success, sometimes reaching sales targets can be tricky. As Ninwa explains, prospects and deals vary month to month. Plus, seasonal fluctuations mean some businesses have reduced hours during winter while others trade more over summer.
Ninwa’s personal tips include setting daily goals to measure your success. Closing two deals per day provides a measure of progress as well as the motivation needed to make a few extra phone calls to reach that personal milestone. “You do have bad months and don’t always hit your targets…. one or two off my target hurts to see because it’s really close.”
That’s where resilience comes in.
Dealing with Rejection in Sales
Rejection hurts, but for salespeople, it’s part of the job. Having the right mindset can help you deal with the inevitable ‘no’s’ that come with a sales job.
The way Ninwa sees it is “you always have to do the right thing by the customers long-term.” When clients say no, she always asks for a reason why. Finding a valid reason not only makes the rejection easier to move on from, but it can also help to inform future sales.
And for prospects who choose another provider after months of work, Ninwa’s advice is to ask why, learn, then thank them for their time. “Sometimes it’s a product or service that Eftpos NZ also offers.” If that’s the case, and the customer has not yet signed with the alternative provider, Ninwa will offer to make the changes right then and there.
“Negotiating is a skill,” she says. It’s crucial to know when to move forward and when to hold off to avoid burning bridges. Maintaining the relationship is a top priority, particularly as the pandemic affected so many businesses' ability to trade. People have reached out to Ninwa six to eight months after first speaking with her, so leaving the door open is key.
Learning to Work in Sales
It’s important to Ninwa that she doesn’t sound “scripted or robotic.” So while online sales courses are available, she prefers to learn from her team “during morning meetings and stand-ups, sharing thoughts on what works and what doesn’t.”
That way, Ninwa can try her teammates' solutions when she comes up against similar challenges. After all, working in sales requires the ability to meet unique customer needs as well as win contracts.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Spending her day reaching out to prospects, negotiating deals and nurturing business relationships can be overwhelming at times. To maintain a work-life balance, Ninwa finds it vital to disconnect from the office after work.
“The gym helps so much,” she says. As one coworker told her “everything will be there in the morning.” So when it’s time to leave, Ninwa turns off her computer, exits the office and listens to music before heading to the gym. After working out, she’s able to unwind, relax and head home for a great night’s sleep.
Looking at Getting into Sales?
While you don’t need formal training or even experience to get a job in sales, you do need confidence and the willingness to learn different products and services.
Plus, a “basic understanding on how to build a relationship in any way, and be able to carry a conversation from start to finish.” As Ninwa explains, the knowledge and memorisation of products and services can be learnt on the job, particularly in changing fields like finance and tech.
No matter the industry, any sales career requires you to form and maintain a human connection to better meet your customer’s needs. This is why we focus on making EFTPOS easy for over 50,000 Kiwi businesses - big and small.
If you'd like to chat to one of our friendly sales consultants about using EFTPOS for your business, get in touch with the team today!