5 Ways to Become an Expert Salesman

Written by: James Ponds

Whether you're selling a product, service or idea, selling effectively requires you to present yourself a certain way. You need to present as an expert of your industry, but that's not the only key to selling. If you're trying to become an expert salesman, here are some ways you can climb that ladder. 

1. Negotiation Skills

Negotiating isn't just about brokering a deal. There are actually several skills you need to become an expert negotiator. For an ideal negotiation to take place, you'll need the right social skills, a well-researched plan, and the ability to communicate effectively. If you can't analyze the problem properly, neither side will come out on top, because you'll have failed to recognize and identify with the other side of the situation. If you want to become a better salesman, negotiations training can be a great way to bolster some of these crucial skills. 

2. Proper Listening

The average person in a conversation isn't listening to comprehend the other person's situation, but to respond. People enjoy talking about themselves. If you don't take the time to listen to the people involved in a potential sale, you won't even realize they aren't a good fit until after you've spent precious minutes pitching to them. Plus, you'll just come across as sales-y. If you talk to people beforehand and ask about their problems, you'll know at the outset if your product or service will be a good solution. Not only will you be better informed for your actual pitch, but your prospects will also appreciate that you took the time to connect with them.

3. Share Insight

If you can talk to your sales prospects about issues you've already seen in their industry, you immediately prove that you're familiar with the ins and outs of their business. This can help build rapport as well as make businesses aware of problems they might not have considered before. When you offer solutions to concerns they've been struggling with, you're suddenly no longer the annoying salesman. When you have answers, you become an expert. This kind of efficiency is what brings people back to you again and again.  

4. Walk Away

It may not feel easy to do now, but you shouldn't be afraid to walk away from a potential sale. Your job is to help people solve their problems, so if you're talking to people who don't have problems you're in a unique position to solve, you need to admit that you don't have anything to offer one another. At least for now. While you could sit there and try to push for a sale that isn't coming, you're better off walking away and dedicating your time to people you actually need what you're selling. Even if you desperately need the sale, make sure no one else can tell. Being too pushy can come across as desperate, and if you're seen as desperate, you're not going to be known as the in-demand expert. This kind of reputation can be hard to shake. However, by respectfully bowing out when appropriate, you're still setting up a respectable reputation for later on, when that prospect may actually have need of your services. 

5. Clear Motivation

Being a salesman isn't always easy, especially in the beginning. When you're struggling to build your foundation, it's important to know exactly why you're pursuing this career. If you can't find the motivation to keep going, chances are you'll stop. Whether your motivation is your family or a lofty career goal, these "whys" aren't just a way to keep you going, but also a way for you to connect with potential customers. 

Getting your career as a salesman off the ground can be tough, but if you're continually building your skills, you'll only get better and better. Subtle changes in your mindset, effective communication and confidence in your abilities will help you become an expert in your chosen field.

Related: How to Position Your Authority So Your People Will Listen