Simple Selling Rules
Do you need to head to the top of the highest mountain, take a vow of silence, and live in a monastery until the answer is revealed in order to kick up your selling skills? Is it imperative to spend a lot of time learning the ropes from a grizzled sales veteran in order to become a more effective sales professional?
The answer is no. In fact if you keep the following three rules in mind when selling you will get better results than the vast majority of salespeople out there plying their trade in the industrial marketplace.
It’s not about you
The first rule of successful selling is to realize that it is not about you. It is, without exception, completely about your prospect. I have never been able to figure out why salespeople believe a sparkling personality, a practiced patter, and a sincere smile are all that are necessary to succeed as a salesperson. These same salespeople tell you that salespeople are born not made which, in the vast majority of cases, is simply untrue. I can’t tell you the total number of people with absolutely no selling skills whatsoever I have trained over the years who ultimately became incredibly effective salespeople.
The more time a salesperson spends asking well-thought-out questions and truly uncovering the problems and aspirations as revealed by the prospect the more likely the sales call will succeed. Good questioning can easily be made systematic and repeatable.
It’s not about your product
Another common misperception is that comprehensive product knowledge is all a salesperson needs to succeed. If you have ever endured the pain of a sales presentation based solely on product knowledge you will know that product knowledge is not the killer app for selling. I have seen salespeople cobble together presentations in which they revealed they had more product knowledge than the engineers who designed the product in question. I have also seen these presentations fail, repeatedly.
This is not to say that product knowledge is not important. Good salespeople really know their stuff. Great salespeople realize that they need to only present the specific product features and benefits that will allow prospects to eliminate their problems or achieve their aspirations.
It’s not about your closing techniques
Oh man, the takeaway close, the puppy-dog close, the Ben Franklin close. We all know about these closing techniques. Your prospects also know about these closing techniques. There are few things more offensive to an experienced buyer than a manipulative salesperson using time-worn closing techniques. Jedi mind tricks are great, if you are in a Star Wars movie, otherwise, not so good.
The best way to close a sale is to simply ask your buyer how they would like to proceed. Shocking and horrifying, isn’t it? If you have done a good job with your questioning it’s very likely they will be asking you what the next step is to move the selling process forward.