Unfortunately, many people associate selling with a negative experience, where somebody is trying to talk us into something that we don’t want or need.
That is why I have been on a mission to elevate the reputation of sales and its practitioners, because SOMEBODY HAS TO DO IT!!According to Wikipedia “A sale is the exchange of a commodity or money as the price of a good or a service.” It’s an exchange, which means that both parties should benefit from this interaction.
Identify your Universe
The first and most important part of effective selling is to understand who our target audience is. The best message will not resonate if it is communicated to audiences that are not a good fit for your product/service. For example, if you sell a service or product that doesn’t work internationally, make sure you don’t target organizations with an international presence. The same holds true for demographics. Some services/products sit better with Millennials than with older generations. It’s important to create an ideal prospect/client profile before developing your messaging.
Find out what your prospect perceives as valuable
In order for salespeople to understand what each of their prospect really needs and/or wants, we as salespeople need to do a lot of research so we can help them understand how our solution could be of unique value to them. As long as we are selling something that the other person might not need, we will be perceived as somebody who pushes a product or service as opposed to providing value.
Listen with Intent
The only way to understand what could be of value to your audiences is to ask strategic questions. Asking questions is important in every relationship. How on earth would we know what our friends, spouses, colleagues, or children think unless we ask them? Assuming that we know what other people think is never a good strategy but that’s exactly what many salespeople do. They sell and they don’t really listen. Listening with intent is an art and is also means that you shouldn’t have an agenda. If, by the end of the conversation it turns out that the person you are talking to is not a good fit for your service or product, you need to be prepared to walk away. Related: In Sales, What Goes Around Comes Around
I know people who are constantly in selling mode. They are trying to sell me on the fact that their wife is the best cook, or that they have the best car, or that their job is not only rewarding but also fulfilling in spite of the fact that they constantly complain about their boss.Selling is never a good strategy. When somebody is trying to sell you something, be on alert. If a person truly has a wife who is a fantastic cook, you don’t have to point it out to me. I will figure it out myself and then praise her skills, which is a lot more authentic.
Results speak for themselves
Let your results be your selling tool. When you have a happy client, get a testimonial from them and share it. It’s a lot more authentic than praising your own products or services.