Sales: The final frontier. Why is it some
people can sell almost anything, and others can hardly sell anything at all? What would
you like to know about selling? We'll look at ways you can turbocharge your selling
ability. First, let's lay the foundation, then let's look at discrete steps you can take.
To excel in any selling situation, you must have
confidence. For confidence that won't vaporize in a tough situation, your confidence must
come from knowledge. You must know and understand yourself, your goals, your customer, and
your product. You must recognize and accept your weaknesses--as well as your special
talents. This requires a kind of personal honesty that not everyone is capable of
You must continue learning about people. What makes
them tick? What are their needs? What is it they want to hear, to see, and to experience?
Some basics always apply. Just as with yourself, you must be
caring, forgiving and laudatory with others. In any sales effort, you must accept other
people as they are, not as you would like for them to be.
And you must understand they are
in the position of balancing your input with that of many others--as well as trying to
"wear a lot of hats." So, your concerns just are not going to be center stage
with your customer, most of the time.
A common fault of sales people is impatience when the
prospective customer is slow to understand or make a decision. The successful salesperson
handles these situations the same if applying for a new job. Learning your product, making
a clear presentation to qualified prospects, and closing more sales will take far less
time once you know your own capabilities and failings. And the effect is even greater when
you understand and care about the prospects you are calling upon.
All of us are selling something all the time. We move
up or stand still, in direct relation to our sales efforts. We are selling, whether we're
attempting to be a friend to a co-worker, a neighbor, or selling multi-million dollar real
estate projects. Accepting this truth enables you to understand there is no such
thing as a born salesman. In selling, we all begin at the same starting line, and we all
have the same finish line as the goal: a successful sale.
Some things are easier to sell than others, and some
people work harder at selling than others. Regardless of what you're selling, or even how
you're attempting to sell it, the odds are in your favor. If you make your presentation to
enough people, you'll find a buyer. The problem with most people seems to be in making
contact. You must get your sales presentation in front of people. But this really
shouldn't be a problem, as we'll explain later. There is a problem of impatience, but you
can also harness this to work in the your favor.
Getting out of bed in the morning, working to sell more
units of your product, keeping records, updating your materials, planning the direction of
further sales efforts, and increasing your own knowledge--in the aggregated requires
immense personal motivation, discipline, and energy. But the rewards can be very high.
Make no mistake about it; selling is the highest paid occupation in the world!
Selling is challenging. It demands the utmost of your
creativity and innovative thinking. The more success you want, and the more dedicated you
are to achieving your goals, the more you'll sell.
People become millionaires each month through selling.
Many of them were flat broke and unable to find a "regular" job when they began
their selling careers. Yet they've done it, and you can do it too! Remember, it's the
surest way to all the wealth you could ever want. You get paid according to your own
efforts, skill, and knowledge of people. If you're ready to become rich, then think
seriously about selling a product or service. You stand the best chance of sales success
if this product or service is exclusively yours--something you "pull out of your
brain." It can be something you write, manufacture or produce for the benefit of
No product of your own? No problem. The want ads are
full of opportunities for ambitious sales people. You can start there, study, learn from
experience, and watch for a chance that will allow you to move ahead by leaps and bounds.
Here are some guidelines that will definitely improve your gross sales, and quite
naturally, your gross income. Give some thought to each of them; and adapt hose that you
can to your own selling efforts.
If the product you're selling is something your
prospect can hold in his hands, get it into his hands as quickly as possible. In other
words, get the prospect "into the act." Let him feel it, weigh it, admire it.
Don't stand or sit alongside your prospect. Instead,
face him while you're pointing out the important advantages of your product. This will
enable you to watch his facial expressions and determine whether and when you should go
for the close. In handling sales literature, hold it by the top of the page, at the proper
angle, so that your prospect can read it as you're highlighting the important points.
Regarding your sales literature, don't release your hold on it, because you want to
control the specific parts you want the prospect to read. In other words, you want the
prospect to read or see only the parts of the sales material you're telling him about at a
When you can get no feedback to your sales
presentation, you must dramatize your presentation to get him involved. Stop and ask
questions such as, "Now, don't you agree that this product can help you or would be
of benefit to you?" After you've asked a question such as this, stop talking and wait
for the prospect to answer. It's a proven fact that following such a question, the one who
talks first will lose, so don't say anything until after the prospect has given you some
kind of answer. Wait him out!
Prospects who are sales people (and prospects who
imagine they know a lot about selling) sometimes present difficult selling obstacles,
especially for the novice. However, these prospects can be the easiest of all to
sell. Simply give your sales presentation, and instead of trying for a close, toss out a
challenge such as, "I don't know, Mr. Prospect.
After watching your reactions to what
I've been showing and telling you about my product, I'm doubtful as to how this product
can truthfully be of benefit to you." Then wait a few seconds, just looking at him
and waiting for him to say something. Then, start packing up your sales materials as if
you are about to leave. In almost every instance, your "tough nut" will quickly
ask you, "Why?" These people are generally so filled with their own importance,
that they just have to prove you wrong.
When they start on this tangent, they will sell
themselves. The more skeptical you are relative to their ability to make your product work
to their benefit, the more they'll demand that you sell it to them. If you find that this
prospect will not rise to your challenge, then go ahead with the packing of your sales
materials and leave quickly. Some people are so convinced of their own importance that it
is a poor use of your valuable time to attempt to convince them.
In selling, time is money! Therefore, you must
allocate only so much time to each prospect. The prospect who asks you to call back next
week, or wants to ramble on about similar products, prices or previous experiences, is
costing you money. Learn to quickly get your prospect interested in, and wanting your product,
and then systematically present your sales pitch through to the close, when he signs on
the dotted line, and reaches for his checkbook.
After the introductory call on your
prospect, you should be selling products and collecting money. Any call backs should be
only for reorders, or to sell him related products from your line. In other words, you can
waste an introductory call on a prospect to qualify him, but you're going to be wasting
money if you continue calling on him to sell him the first unit of your product. When
faced with a reply such as, "Your product looks pretty good, but I'll have to give it
some thought," you should quickly jump in and ask him what it is that he doesn't
understand, or what specifically about your product does he feel he needs to give more
Let him explain, and that's when you go back into your sales presentation and
make everything crystal clear for him. If he still balks, then you can either tell him
that you think he's procrastinating, or that overall, you don't think the product will
really benefit him. You must spend ample time calling on new prospects. Therefore,
your first call should be a selling call with follow-up calls by mail or telephone (once
every month or so in person) to sign him for reorders and other items from your product
Review your sales presentation, your sales materials,
and your prospecting efforts. Make sure you have a "door-opener" that arouses
interest and "forces" a purchase the first time around. This can be a $2
interest stimulator so that you can show him your full line, or a special marked-down
price on an item that everybody wants; but the important thing is to get the prospect on
your "buying customer" list, and then follow up via mail or telephone with
related--but more profitable--products you have to offer.