I don’t know about you, but I get awfully tired of being told the “Right” way to sell. Sure, your system may work for you but that doesn’t mean it will work for me (or anybody else for that matter). We are inundated with books, videos, magazine articles, seminars, workshops and social media posts on a daily basis; and any of us who are striving to improve can’t help but wonder if the newest publication is the one that will make a difference. I find more times than not that the latest and greatest is usually more of the same. So how is a sales professional who wants to become better at his craft going to sift through all the literature and find the help that he or she so desires? That’s a good question and I don’t have a complete answer; however I do have some suggestions that I believe are fundamental basics to sales that, for reasons unbeknownst to me, are often left out of the discussion.
One tangential thought before I continue: Salesmanship is a talent – no different than the gift a musician, actress or athlete may have. All the training in the world would not make me a fast runner (it may make me faster than I am but I’ll never be in the Olympics). The same applies to sales; if you don’t have the natural inclination to communicate with and help people then perhaps a different career may be the better idea.
Back to the fundamentals: First and foremost, adopt wholesome values: honesty, integrity, sincerity, compassion and empathy. If the only motive to being a salesperson is to make a big commission then you’re in the wrong business because when all is said and done the customer will ultimately know that you don’t care about their needs and wants. They will pick a vendor who they feel has their best interest at heart. We’ve all heard of the infamous “Used Car Salesman” who offers you one price and if you don’t bite the price keeps coming down leaving the buyer to wonder what the bottom price is! (Sorry used car sales people, I WILL say the reputation is beginning to change.) Truth be told, if you are truly taking care of the customer then the commissions will come. Meanwhile you achieve a secondary reward . . . the satisfaction that you helped the customer.
Second, know that EVERY sales person is unique and nobody else in the world can (or should) sell like him or her. What does that mean? Don’t try to emulate another person’s style! You have to be yourself – once you are then your “style” will emerge.
Third, sell unto others as you would have them sell to you. Amazing how all the pieces start to fall into place when you stop going by the book and start being a human being.
This is not to say that there isn’t a plethora of valuable and effective “tools” that any and every salesperson should adopt. Understanding the psychology of your customer, learning when to speak and when to shut-up, recognizing body language, knowing the pros and cons of the competition and finding the concepts that make your product or service the best choice for your customer are just a few worth investigating. In fact, I think I just answered my own question from the introductory paragraph – choose publications that provide tools and techniques (not so much methods and get rich quick schemes) then adopt those that fit your style. Happy selling. ☺