Tips are important, especially tips for helping people.
Selling is the art and science of helping folks solve problems.
People say that selling is a science because it’s been thoroughly studied and we have lots of information about what works, such as the AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action) to pull prospects into the sales funnel.
“Art” is also a key component of the selling process because people who have problems often don’t want to pay a fair price for the solution. Sometimes they don’t want to pay any price.
When you get right down to it, some folks aren’t even aware that they have a problem. That’s why when selling, it’s good to educate prospects and share tips with them.
After all, it’s a lot easier to sell a roof to a man who knows that its time to replace the shingles.
Whatever you sell should make that person’s life better. Salespeople often help solve problems that have already occurred. Really good salespeople help solve problems before they happen. Tweet This
If you’re in sales, you can constantly improve your craft if you engage in lifelong learning. If tips are constantly flowing toward you, you’re more likely to pass tips along to others.
Here are ideas for selling to anybody, originally published in the book, Work Hacks: 300+ Cool Ideas to SPEED Career Success.
How to sell anything to anyone
1 Helping people is noble and necessary.
Successful salespeople believe that their goods and services have value. You can achieve this mindset by differentiating your offering from the competition. If you sell a commodity that does not enjoy differentiation, then the difference is you. Believe that your offering will benefit people and you’ll always feel good about selling.
2 Sell to people who want your stuff.
Try to find prospects that already purchase the kinds of things you offer. If the prospect is not pre-disposed to buying your product, you must execute the “two-step sale” of first educating and then selling.
3 Let them tell you what’s important to them.
To quote my father, “I never learn anything while I’m talking.” Most sales people talk too much. Get to know people before trying to sell them.
Try to identify the person’s personality. Is he a micro-manager that will want to dictate terms of the sale or a person who is easily influenced? Ask open-ended questions to get the prospect involved. Always stay positive. If the prospect keeps trying to talk about the negative side of things, only agree when the issues are inconsequential.
For example, you might agree that the weather has been bad, but not necessarily agree that all salespeople are crooks.
4 Link what they’re saying to what you’re selling.
Use the prospect’s verbiage, tone, pitch, and energy as clues. Link what’s important to them to what you offer. You might say, “I’m so glad to hear you say that you like quality because my product is the best on the market.” Be assertive, not aggressive.
Once, a man seated next to me on an airplane was lamenting about how difficult it was to travel ten days a month while leaving three small children at home with his wife. I inquired about the kids and he gave me their names and ages. He said travel was an unfortunate requirement of his job. I asked what he did for a living and he told me he was a sales manager.
I asked, “What’s the hardest part about being a sales manager?” and he responded, “Getting people to work a full day.”
Finally, the man asked me what I did for a living. I said, “I teach sales managers how to get their people to work a full day.” He laughed and asked for my business card.
5 Be gracious and be grateful.
Always be grateful for a customer’s time and patronage. Find consistent and creative ways to say “thank you.”
Want more selling tips and work hacks?
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