By Eugene Gold, relentlesspreneur, mentor and speaker
Selling isn’t a skill that’s only used by those who have “salesperson” as a job title. Everyone is a salesperson, and everything boils down to selling. Whether you are selling your merits in an interview or selling the idea of buying a Ferrari to your spouse, you are always in the midst of trying to convince others of something.
Of course, not everyone knows how to sell, so if you don’t know yet, then you owe it to yourself to learn. After all, if you aren’t selling, you’re being sold to. Everyone, not only people who make sales for a living, can benefit from learning the following secrets of selling.
Know what you’re selling.
Sales can’t be conducted based solely on confidence and charisma. Being a successful salesperson requires knowing the ins and outs of what you’re selling. That means not only knowing why your products or services are the best fit for the customer, but also knowing how the technical minutiae of the product can make their lives easier.
When I sell something, I look to highlight the features of that product. While doing this, I explain to the consumer that there is a problem that only this product can solve. Understanding the product in and out allows you to have a competitive advantage.
Relaying this information to potential customers shows that you are passionate about what you’re selling. Passion signals that you are dedicated and capable of helping should things go wrong. Knowing what you’re selling ensures that those to whom you sell will naturally trust your expertise.
Anyone can offer low prices and minimal risks. In order to master selling, you need to bring more to the table. Differentiate yourself from the competition by bringing value to potential customers. Of course, one easy way to bring value is to offer something that is inherently valuable.
If you are selling something that you can prove makes people’s lives easier, they’ll appreciate it. Personally, I like to use data to show the customer how doing business with me will benefit them. Using customer testimonials is also a great tool because it shows that other people doing business with you are satisfied.
That’s straightforward in some areas where certain products, services and ideas are clearly better than others. Unfortunately, in some other fields, it can be difficult to make your product stand out as valuable.
However, bringing value to those to whom you’re selling doesn’t have to be directly related to what you’re selling. You can bring value to others by finding little ways to make their lives easier while letting them know that you appreciate their consideration.
That can entail anything from letting potential customers try your product for free to bringing an extra cup of coffee to your meeting. Nobody wants to work with a jerk. By letting people see how valuable you consider them, they’ll be more likely to want to buy from you regardless of what you’re selling.
No one will buy from you if you don’t respect yourself. Don’t let customers walk over you. If a potential customer doesn’t give you the full courtesy that you deserve, feel free to walk away. After all, do you really want to build a working relationship with someone who treats you poorly?
For example, if you were speaking with a potential client who was constantly checking their cellphone or interrupting your conversation with other things going on around you, this would be a clear indicator that they did not respect my time. Kindly shake their hand and part on good terms; there is no reason to continue the conversation.
It’s also important that you establish early on that you respect your own time. Ask customers to be decisive when working with you, and promise you’ll do the same for them. When customers know that you care about your time, it makes it all the more special when you spend it helping them succeed.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
Of course, the best way to get better at selling is to practice. Luckily, whether selling is part of your job description or not, you should find yourself with plenty of opportunities to utilize the methods described above.
That’s because when you know what you’re selling, bring value to those you’re selling to and respect yourself, you can convince others to buy your goods and services -; and ideas.
Whether you’re trying to cinch a business deal or convince your partner to get married, selling is unavoidable. So, why not master it?
Eugene Gold is the relentlesspreneur, mentor and speaker whose companies were listed on INC. 5000 and Entrepreneur360.