Sales are part of every transaction we do. Yet learning how to sell is not generally part of our educational process.
If we could effectively sell, our chances of getting the job we want, the raise we deserve and the promotion we desire would be greatly increased.
Here are five techniques I think will help you sell effectively.
Like what you are selling.
Know what you are selling, know all about it. Use it yourself, enjoy it yourself, maybe even make it yourself.
The grand-kids and their cousin made melt-and-pour oatmeal scrub goats milk soap in lovely shapes, colors and scents. They did the work themselves and could describe to their customer what was in the soap, why it smelled so good and how they got that particular color. Those soaps sold! They sold because the kids loved them.
At work, like yourself when selling yourself. Forget about all your insecurities and perceived flaws. Sell the super you, the one who solves problems, moves the company forward and makes things happen!
People like it when someone gets excited about what they are doing. The excitement catches hold and lights a fire in the conversation or activity.
Sales at the grand kids lemonade stand benefited from the addition of a cousin last summer. She threw herself into the whole process from crafting marketing flyers, to product selection and the actual selling. Her eyes lit up when a potential customer got close. She called out to them and let them know what was for sale. She exuded interest and enthusiasm. Contrast that to a kid, sitting behind the stand, acting disinterested and bored and only responding when a potential customer walked up and asked a question. It makes a difference.
At work, approach tasks and projects with interest, a keen mind and enthusiasm and you will be seen as an up and comer in the organization.
Think like your customer.
Get in their head. What do they want or need? How are they feeling? How can what you are selling solve their problem. Build a relationship with them instead of a one time sales attempt.
Think like that kid at the lemonade stand that knows the neighbor kid well and understands that he is thirsty, wants something sweet and needs something cold and wet.
At work, ask yourself what problems the boss is facing that you can solve? How can you make her look good up the chain of command? Build a relationship with your boss and co-workers so that you can understand them better.
Leave the door open.
There will be a lot of times you won’t make a sale. That doesn’t mean the customer won’t buy, it just means they aren’t ready today to buy what you are selling today.
The lemonade kid knows that selling cold wet drinks on a cold wet day is harder than selling on a hot dry day. He knows that he might be able to try again tomorrow, with the same people and sell; or; try again today with some hot chocolate and the same people might buy that.
At work, when you asked for that new position with your super sales effort, the boss turned you down cold. Thank them for his time, ask him if there are other skills you should learn or if there would be a better time to pursue the opportunity or if there is another area in which the company might need your talents. Indicate that you would like to talk again in the future to learn more about company needs in xyz areas.
Listen, don’t talk.
Your youngster wants to earn some money doing something with pets. You send him out the door to go see if the neighbors will hire him.
One way he could approach the conversation is, “Hi, I’m trying to earn some money. I can walk your dog twice a day for 50 cents a time. Will you hire me?”
What he didn’t take time to do was listen to the neighbor. As it turns out, that neighbor bought a dog so that it would force her to walk twice a day! The neighbor won’t hire your kid.
What if he had started the conversation with, “Hi, I really love dogs and I’m trying to earn money. Are there any parts of caring for your pet that you might pay me to do?” Then he shuts up and listens.
The neighbor starts talking about how Spot loves to run through the woods and gets loaded with burrs (an opportunity to pick out the burrs and groom the dog) and goes on to complain about how hard it is to keep the dog poop picked up from the yard (a job as a pooper scooper could be had!) and ends with how much she loves to walk her dog.
Your child could then suggest services (grooming and cleanup) and prices along with timing and would likely get hired.
At work, you are trying to land that new customer and sign them up to use the company’s software system. Instead of describing what your system does, you listen to them describe the issues they deal with and the things they are wanting to do in the future and then (and only then) point out how the software solves those specific items.
What works for you when trying to sell yourself, your idea or your product?
I’m awful at sales!
My 4-year-old did really well selling lemonade at my last garage sale. She wasn’t afraid to ask people if they wanted any.
That’s great! Most of us aren’t trained or equipped to sell – but it is an important skill to have.
I was a Gemini kid and Geminis are known as a talkative type of person but I’m opposite of that. Surprisingly my daughter knows how to entertain a person, she’s not afraid to talk and explain to someone, even in school her teacher told me that my daughter is a jolly kid. 🙂
That may help her establish a connection that will help her if and when she needs to convince or sell.
great techniques! It’s not very easy to sell things–most people don’t know that in order to be a good seller, you need to be a good listener, because it’s not easy to sell things, you must listen to know what they really want to hear.
Right, you have to solve their problems with your solution.
Great tips! I think being enthusiastic on what you are selling is one of the things that is overlooked by many. As a buyer, I feel more inclined to buying a product that the seller is excited to sell because that means he is confident about his product.
I agree. Positive enthusiasm is very convincing.
I could never sell something I didn’t like and believe in. I know the best sales folks do it all the time but there is no way I could do it.
I would have to find some feature of the product that is beneficial – otherwise it would feel like I was one of those sleazy, pushy sales people.
I think leaving the door open is my favorite point. I hate being pressured to close a sale. As a buyer, I want to think about it. Being pressured to buy impulsively deteriorates trust in my book.
I’ve been in training seminars on selling that really focus on closing the sale. It is true that you have to provide the buyer an opportunity to say yes, but if they just aren’t ready, they are more likely to say no – so leave the door open.