How to sell big without selling your soul
By Adam Blanch
Everything you need to know about sales you can learn in a bar. Selling a product or a service begins with selling yourself, but you don't have to sell your soul to do it. Indeed, the more integrity and authenticity you have, the easier it is for people to buy from you.
Making a sale is all about gaining trust. It's not a game, or a contest, or a power struggle. The sales relationship is like dating. It needs to be respectful and mutually beneficial. To do that, all we have to do is treat people as we would like to be treated.
Here are some tips and reminders:
Slow down, slugger
Relationships grow through small 'offers'. Have you ever walked into a shop to be confronted by that over-keen person asking if they can help you? If you wanted their help, you'd ask for it. A simple "Hello, let me know if you need anything" is completely different. It's a no-obligations offer, not a request.
Enough about me, let's talk about you
Forget about selling what you have. Ask the customer what they want. If there is a match, ask them if they'd like to see what you have. If you don't have it, suggest where they can get it. They will remember your kindness when they do want what you have.
Buy me a drink first
Don't try to close the sale. If they want your product they'll tell you. If they aren't sure but they are still there, then you haven't answered all their questions. Ask them what further questions they have. Put in the time if you want the honey.
Be prepared to walk away
If they aren't ready to make a decision and they don't have any more questions, be prepared to politely walk away, leaving behind an offer of future help. Either it isn't what they want or they have to convince themselves to buy it. Do everything you can to help them make a decision, but no one wants to be forced into one.
Be yourself and trust your gut
Forget the sales script. We buy from people we like and trust. The more real you are, the more we trust and like you. If you like yourself and your product, it's much easier for us to do the same. We value and respect other people pretty much to the extent that they respect themselves.
Great salespeople are great relationship builders. Their focus is on the people, not the products, and they don't need to compromise themselves to make sales.
So what's in your sales toolkit? Do you have any tips to share with fellow business owners?