Whether it’s a sales manager or a freshman sales representative, there’s one thing they will always have in common: being a good salesman is vital for doing their job well. But acing sales is not only a matter of high green numbers. In fact, it doesn’t start anywhere near that. No matter how much of a cliché this is, the magic happens inside of us all. It’s good to remember that from time to time, and make sure that we’re not just being a good salesperson, but that we are, in fact, being a good person that’s also good at sales.
The right mindset is the key. It takes some time to find out what works for you and your specific clientele, but there are some checkpoints you should definitely pass on your way to becoming a better salesman. Here they are.
Introverted or extroverted? A bit of both!
Some time ago I read this Forbes article by David diSalvo that crushes the old stereotypes of extroverts being better salesmen than introverts. It’s not at all true that one is better than the other. It’s much more simple than that: balancing between being an introvert and an extrovert is what delivers the best results in the world of sales, according to a study by a University of Pennsylvania student Adam M. Grant from 2012.
Being able to switch between an energized enthusiast and a calm charmer is what works best, mainly due to the fact that each client is different and if you can adapt to them individually, it serves to your great advantage.
I realize this is not an easy thing to control. But if you concentrate on becoming more perceptive of people around you, no matter where on the spectrum you currently are, you can learn a thing or two about how different people react to different approaches. And apply it to your sales techniques.
Show some care.
When you want to sell your product, it’s not just simply about selling it. It’s about finding people who may need your product, establishing a relationship with them, and gently leading them to the realization that they want to buy what you have to sell, because it helps them solve some of their problems.
I’ve read that you should treat your client as you would treat a family member. Other sources claimed to imagine you’re on a first date with them. This is all very sensitive and I will leave it to everyone’s own preference and imagination, but there is some truth to these statements. Ask questions about the customer, show relevant interest, and don’t just pitch. Again, you’re there to help them with their problem — the fact that you happen to be helping them by selling them something really isn’t relevant. Avoid putting any kind of pressure on the customer: once the conversation becomes uncomfortable, it’s very hard to go back to normal. Just concentrate on being friendly and concerned.
Honesty is the best policy.
Establishing a connection and gaining trust from your prospects should be your No. 1 goal, because that’s the first step to a successful business partnership. Treat your customer with respect and don’t try to deceive them for any reason. People can sense dishonesty or bad intentions, and they will not do business with you once they do.
There is a great difference between manipulation and persuasion, and you really want to master the latter, and stay away from the former. Persuasion, compared to manipulation, is based on using valid arguments, maintaining equality in conversation and keeping your prospect’s best interests as a priority — while letting them see that clearly.
Natural = good.
Leave the rules you read about in sales textbooks out of your conversations. We’re people selling to people, so let’s communicate like people, too. Show yourself as a perceiving person open to friendly chat, rather than building up a wall of sales talk. People will tend to listen to you more, and they will also more likely be ready to talk to you about their own needs and preferences.
When you’re selling kitchens, don’t brag about your awesome kitchens. Instead, try asking about what’s your customer’s favorite meal to cook, or whether they have a dishwasher and how satisfied they are with it. Tell them about your experiences, let them relax, and before you know it, they’ll be buying a kitchen from you.
Detach yourself from rejection.
This is very important mainly to keep your sanity, and not to have minor setbacks spoil your whole sales career. We’ve all been told “no”. And we will be again. Don’t see those “no’s” as your personal failure. Just think of it as a response coming from a customer out of your target group, whose demand doesn’t comply with your offer. One satisfied customer makes up for a hundred unsuccessful sales, and that’s an important rule to live by in this world.