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The art of selling


Selling is an art, not necessarily mastered by everyone who holds the title “salesperson.” We all possess some sales skills; we use these skills to convince others to help us accomplish a task or even to buy our children’s raffle tickets; yet so many people either dislike or fear sales. At the core of the best salesperson is the understanding that sales is all about building relationships and that people do business with those they know, like and trust. {{more}}However, any salesperson must first be able to believe in the product himself before actually making a sale of any kind. If you are in sales, here are a few skills you will need to succeed.

Nurture your competitive spirit. A successful salesperson must love to compete. Today’s customers have many choices. They can decide at any time to switch to a different product or service. Your competitive spirit must fuel your desire to do everything possible to keep your customers coming back to you, not moving to your competitor. Whether you compete against your last sales record or you aim to beat your competitor’s record, the goal must be to win and win big. If you dislike competition, sales is not for you.

Build your confidence. Great salespeople are confident in their ability to close the deal. You should not be shy about making cold calls or talking to strangers about your product or service. When you approach a new prospect, your mind should be programmed to expect positive results. You cannot afford negative self-talk. You must reject all thoughts that could derail your concentration or discourage you. The biggest difference between a mediocre and an excellent salesperson is his belief in his ability to seek and close a deal, regardless of the cost, the status of the client or the talent of competitors.

Know and love your product. When you love the product or service you sell, success comes easier. You will know whom to approach and how to solve the customer’s problems. A common mistake is to approach the wrong customer; this guarantees failure. You must know your product. How does it compare to products already on the market? What makes it bigger, better, more functional than the competitor’s product? Be ready to solve your customer’s problems. Selling is not about making lots of money; it is about you solving a customer’s problems, which in turn helps you make money.

Keep your focus on the customer. If you make the customer happy, you will be rewarded financially as your customer spreads the word about your good service/product. Look out for the customer’s best interests and make recommendations before the customer even recognizes his need for what you are selling. This builds goodwill, trust, and a strong business relationship that is hard for your competitors to penetrate.

Conduct follow-up and build relationships. As a salesperson, keep your word and maintain contact with potential customers. Understand that a “no” is simply a “yes” waiting for the right circumstances. Stay regularly in touch with prospective clients by phone, email or mail. One day the customer’s budget may shift and funds may become available; your competitor might make a mistake; or the company may develop a new focus. If you have been diligent, you will be there to capitalize on the situation and watch that “no” turn into a “yes, let’s do business.”

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]

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