My first serious job out of school was as a salesperson for a payroll company in midtown Manhattan. The mission: to convince payroll managers of small to medium-sized companies to switch services from their current provider (usually ADP) to mine.
Believe it or not, I actually craved this type of job. Why? Because I am a big believer that if you have the ability to sell things, that you will never be without work.
Although my duties were quite painful—code calling, knocking on doors—and I was rejected more than I care remember, my initial assumptions were correct and I am still a proponent that the skills required to be a great salesperson can be beneficial to almost anyone!
In this article, I will cover what I believe to be the 2 most important realizations about the mindset of a great salesperson and also 3 critical tools for putting these skills into action.
The way I see it, selling is a way of being, an approach to life, and an art form. When you really start mastering these skills, you can affect the thought patterns of the most important client of all—you!
So as you start implementing the following 5 realizations and tools, do not solely focus on how these skills will benefit your external life. Try and think how the “internal you” can benefit as well:
Realization #1: You Are ALWAYS Selling
No matter if you think of yourself as a “salesperson” or not, I can assure you that you are constantly in sales mode. Sometimes you are outwardly promoting yourself, like when negotiating a pay raise with your boss. Other times you are selling your position on daily activities, like where to go to dinner with your spouse.
Right now, I am selling you this blog, and my writing skills. If you forward this article on to a friend, you are selling her on reading it. “Sales” is all around you, all the time. Listening, communicating, making decisions and taking action are things we ALL do on a daily basis and are also the skills a great salesperson purposefully develops to his/her advantage.
Realization #2: The One Thing You Are ALWAYS Selling is Yourself
The greatest salespeople acquire success through the spread of genuine enthusiasm about the product, service or concept they are selling, and it all starts with effective communication. The product, service or concept becomes secondary once the passion and motivating language take charge of the situation.
Great salespeople can be successful promoting seemingly useless items because their language is such that inspires other people to act. They truly believe in that item, and you can feel it. And its not just the words that come out of their mouth, it’s the body language and the confidence they portray. They sense of trust and confidence they instill in us becomes the very thing we “buy” from them.
Here are 3 of the most important tools for successful selling:
1. Cultivate Ability to Listen
Successful selling is NOT accomplished through jamming your viewpoint down the other person’s throat. This approach may work sometimes, but to truly be a great salesperson it is necessary to listen to the needs of those you are selling.
By asking relevant questions you get to the root cause of their problems and start to really hear the other party’s concerns. Any great salesperson will tell you that developing the skill of listening is their primary component to success. But do not be fooled—this is a very hard skill to habituate and you must actively practice the art of listening.
Once you get this skill down, you can begin to understand how your service, product or concept can address the other person’s root problems. THIS is how you really start to sell someone.
2. Have Unyielding Belief in What You Are Doing
The next step to becoming a great seller is to have firm belief in the product, service or concept you are selling. If your job is to sell vacuum cleaners, but you do not believe your product is the best one out there, switch jobs. OR, if this is not a possibility, focus your sales pitch in an area where you are certain your product is the best.
The point is: uncertainty and doubt have a way of coming across in your communication with others without you realizing it. Remember, no matter what product or service you are promoting, the item you are really selling is yourself. If you do not have unyielding belief in your product, then you will have difficulty generating the motivating language necessary to be successful.
3. Formulate Solutions By Taking Yourself Out of the Equation
The last step to
effective selling is to create solutions for others without thinking about your own personal goals! Most of us think of salespeople as being highly personally motivated; we think of them as aggressive, money hungry creatures that are only out to make some money for themselves.
The truth is, what sets the greatest salespeople apart is a willingness to create solutions for clients without thinking of themselves at all. Through active listening, the best salespeople acquire a sense for the true needs of those they are selling and then provide the most relevant solutions without taking into account their own ambitions.
The amazing thing (and one of the true secrets to successful selling), is that when you adopt this mindset the sales start to roll in, and all the personal goals you have happen anyway!
Sales as a Personal Development Tool
I hinted at the beginning of this article that cultivating sales skills can also serve as an effective self-improvement tool. This premise is certainly worthy of its own article (and I might just do that), but I really want to make the point that the skills described above can be valuable to you outside the realm of your job and profession.
Developing the skills of active listening, unyielding belief, and not thinking of yourself has limitless possibilities in many areas of your life. Start looking at it this way, and take the time to make yourself an expert salesperson!
Popularity: 20% [?]