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“Sales.” The word is infamous for its negative connotation and can often be intimidating to even the most driven and tenacious of entrepreneurs. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! There are quite a few misconceptions about what selling actually is. By understanding what good selling entails, it will be much easier to make sales you can feel good about.
Doing To Vs. Doing For
When people think of a salesman, the image that comes to mind is often a smarmy, pushy person with ulterior motives. However, this is the exact picture of what a salesperson should not be. True selling means finding a solution to people’s problems and doing something for them, not to them. It’s important for entrepreneurs, especially, to keep this in mind. If you’re confident in your product or service and its problem-solving ability, you should also be confident in the fact that by making a sale, you are adding value to your customers’ lives and solving their problems. After all, entrepreneurial drive is based on the belief that you have the ability to add value one way or another, right? Selling is your opportunity to do just that.
Tipping any sale comes down to one thing: your enthusiasm. People automatically respond to a blend of a good value system with good energy. By fostering positive energy and being truly genuine in your enthusiasm about your business, you’ll find that, in most cases, people will be responsive simply because they truly sense that you have the cause of the sale (helping them) in mind, not just the commission or monetary outcome of that sale.
Conversely, one of the biggest errors in thinking I see new salesmen invest in is the idea that they need to learn some sort of slick method that will close a sale every time. Selling is not a formula for making money – it’s unrealistic to look for a path to guaranteed sales without regard to the people in the equation. It’s a method for communicating value that is based on a true desire to help people. If you believe this, so will your prospects.
Do Away with Negativity
Before making a call, be sure to rid yourself of negative energy. If you have something on your mind that’s bothering you, even if it’s completely unrelated to the sale, your prospects will pick up on that negative energy. However, they’ll interpret it to mean that you’re hiding something or not being forthright. Psychologists call this a double-binding message. Your customers don’t know that the thing bothering you, in fact, has nothing to do with them. Because of this emotional transparency, make sure you put other issues out of your mind before ever picking up the phone or approaching someone for a sale. Solve your own problems to whatever extent you can before beginning to help others solve theirs.
Get the fear of selling out of your mind. Truly helping people should be the first order of the day. If solving people’s problems is at the top of your mind, it will come across in the way you approach the sale. Your prospect with automatically be more receptive.
Listen, Listen, Listen
A salesperson needs to have the ability to listen to the extent that a virtuoso musician would listen when tuning an instrument. Much more goes into communicating than just words. Whether it’s the pitch of his voice, a pause or an inflection, it’s imperative that any salesman picks up on the emotion behind a prospect’s story. Tune your ear to not only pick up on small hints indicating emotion, but also to interpret this information and ask the right questions in response. By being perceptive, salesmen can interpret what a person really wants and direct the conversation accordingly.
Ask for the Sale
People are programmed not to buy the things they need, but rather the things they want. It’s important to foster effective communication, organically elicit a response, and always, always ask for the sale. You’ve heard it a million times, but it truly is the key to selling. Ask for the sale, and do it at the appropriate time (sooner than later). If the sale is ready to be made, stop talking!
Sales can seem daunting, but they don’t need to be. Any entrepreneur already has the tenacity needed to succeed, but selling isn’t just about drive. It’s about truly caring for your customers and being passionate about providing value to them. If you are confident in your business, your enthusiasm will transfer to your prospects, and the sale will ultimately be something you do for your prospects, rather than to them.