I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person into a win-win situation. ~Bo Bennett
Being good at selling is beneficial to anyone no matter what job you’re working. Obviously it’s the most important asset of a salesperson, but anywhere in life selling is part of the game one way or another. Knowing how to persuade people is an invaluable skill. The best way to learn is to look at those who excel at it, so I’ve summed up three key characteristics of good sellers.
With perspective I mean understanding your client or customer. A seller who puts himself in the position of his customer will be much more likely to make a sale, because he’s operating on the same level. By thinking along with your customer’s wishes and desires, you take on the role of an advisor before you start promoting your products. This will earn you trust and makes you less of a threat.
Other than that, you’ll have a better idea of what your customer is looking for. With that information it’s much easier to complete the puzzle. It’s only at this point that you’ll get into your sales role by pitching some of your products that your customer may be interested in. In short, being aware of your customer’s perspective is one of the best things you can do to increase your sales.
Enthusiasm means loving your product, or whatever else you have to offer. People who are enthusiastic about their trade are more likely to make a sale, because enthusiasm is highly contagious. Much more important than actual words are body language and tone of voice. Those two elements of our communication have a way bigger impact on people than just words alone.
Of course it’s essential to know all about your product, so you’ll always have your word ready. When you believe in what you’re selling you’ll appear a lot more credible. Instead of trying to just make a sale you’re involving other people in your conviction. Instead of selling it becomes more like sharing. Don’t let it carry you away though. It’s a good thing to keep your composure for the sake of professionality.
Another important aspect about enthusiasm is motivation. If you’re selling something you don’t believe in, then it’s hard to stay motivated when things aren’t going so well. One of the toughest challenges in sales is to deal with disappointment. You’ll want to be at your best every time you approach a customer. I’ve personally never made a sale in my life when I felt demotivated. And remember it’s never the customer’s fault.
A lot of people who work in sales only think about the short term; they just want to close deals and everything else comes second. Of course it’s important to close deals, but if your methods are actually harming your sales in the long term, then you’re just being counterproductive. A good seller isn’t just interested in making a sale, but also in creating a brand. Customers are good, but loyal customers are better.
Your best advertisement comes from happy customers who tell their friends and family about your fantastic products and services. Quality will net you more quantity over time. A perfect example is Apple, because Steve Jobs built a brand that speaks for itself. However, many companies don’t understand this and only care about short-term goals. The result is that they lose customers as much as they’re getting them, while spending a lot of money on marketing and advertisement.
- In conclusion
Even if you’re not working in sales, the above characteristics are valuable to everyone. Persuasion is one of the most practical skills to learn, because human beings are social creatures and we all depend on each other one way or another. If you can connect with other people on their level, get them excited and inspired, then you’re holding the keys to a productive and successful relationship with your customers and partners.