“Sales isn’t my thing”. “I don’t like talking to people”. “I’m not very good at it”. These are just a few of the excuses that people make when faced with a situation where they are required to sell. I’m not just talking about selling a product or service, I’m also talking about selling themselves – their skills and what they can offer of value to the other party. Whether we like it or not, nowadays, selling is an essential skill for survival. It may be selling a product to a customer, asking for a raise from your boss, or that person you’ve had your eye on but have been too shy to approach; we should all be working on improving our sales skills. Below are four tips on how you can improve your ability to sell.
Focus not on what you want, but what the other person wants
Realistically, most of us have our own interests at heart. That is why it is imperative that when selling, you don’t sell from your perspective, but you look for what the other person wants. By looking at what the other person wants or needs, you will immediately have their attention, as opposed to coming to them with what would benefit you. For example, as a salesperson selling, say, a conference room display, you would not begin by explaining why you are selling this product, rather you would begin by finding out what the customer needs and then suggesting such the product as one that would solve their problem. By doing this, you are giving the feeling as though their needs are being met first, whilst yours are also too, just less obviously.
Plan and practice your pitches
While “winging it” might work for some people, it should definitely not be relied upon. If you have an upcoming sales pitch, it is imperative that you do your research on those you are pitching to so you are not caught off guard or embarrassed. Once you have researched sufficiently on the company or person and what you can do for them, it is time to practice your pitch. You want to roleplay and have your partner throw whatever questions at you, so you are prepared for anything.
Whether you believe whole-heartedly in your product, or you have absolutely no faith in it, you need to remain calm. Talk to the other person on a peer level by neither bragging nor begging. Think back to the first tip – focus on what the other person wants and not on what you want. After all, it is more about them buying rather than you selling!
Focus on the long-term
When selling, think about building a long-term relationship with your customer. Depending on the product it can be a quick or long sell; regardless, you should aim to build rapport in order to bring in repeat business in the long-run. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t seal the deal the first time, because if you have begun to build a relationship, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to go back after a few months.