I always hear people complain about not being good at sales. The good news is, however, that if sales doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s a skillset you can develop and become great at.
Because I’ve been able to work with many amazing salespeople over the years, I put together a list of the five skills they told me were vital to learning the art of sales.
- Understanding what the buyer wants.
If you try to sell your buyer something they don’t want or need, you’ll be wasting both your time and theirs. Nothing is worse than someone trying to sell you something you don’t want just because they have it on their sales script. Instead of going off of a script, read the buyer, ask questions, and most importantly, listen. You want to find out what their biggest need is and see if you can solve it. At D2, I have several different services I can sell to potential clients, so I don’t use the same sales script with all of them because everyone I talk to has a different need. I wait and listen to what their biggest desire is and I sell based on their needs and budget. In sales, always listen to your potential clients’ biggest need and then pivot your presentation to fit that need.
- Establishing trust with the buyer immediately.
It’s so important to show your credibility as a sales person. Share examples of people you’ve worked with in the past who are similar to them, or you can show evidence from your own business where you’ve had success doing what you’re selling them. Do you use the product or service you’re selling in your own business? How has it improved your work? You can be the best salesperson in the world, but if you don’t believe in the product you’re selling, then it’s no good. The customer can sense if you don’t believe in your own product. I often share the exact marketing strategies I personally use at D2 to get sales leads and covert them with potential buyer, because if it works for us, it will work for them, too. This practice establishes credibility quickly. Case studies and testimonials are another great way to get a buyer to trust you. If you’re a newer business without case studies, offer to do your service for free or give away some of your products to people in your community to build up testimonials for credibility.
- Communicating clearly.
Inexperienced sales reps often ramble out of nervousness. Instead of talking excessively, give your potential client three takeaways with confidence and be done. State your points and let them take it or leave it. The quicker you get an answer, the quicker you can move onto a prospect who is your ideal buyer. If you’re unsure of what you’re saying, practice your pitch over and over again in front of the mirror or your spouse until you master it. Remember that you have to act on what the customer is saying, which means you have to listen to their biggest problem and pivot your presentation when needed. The best salespeople pitch based on what they are hearing. This skill takes practice and doesn’t develop overnight but once you have it down, the rate at which you close your sales will greatly increase.
- Aiming to help prospects rather than closing them.
People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to — they want to be helped. You want to make your prospect forget that they’re on a sales call. I always want to feel like I’ve helped someone and given them valuable marketing knowledge even if they don’t end up becoming a client. Treat them like you would treat a friend, or how you would like to be treated. Remember to start a sales conversation with how you can sell them instead of how you can sell them.
- Telling stories.
Stories are more the most effective selling points. Tell your prospect a story about how your service has helped someone like them. On any sales pitch, I also start by telling them my story so they can get to know me, my experience and see me as a person rather than a sales rep. My story also establishes credibility and allows me to share my successes in a conversational way without seeming like I’m bragging. If you don’t have a brand story, you should invest in a coach to help you. Whether you’re pitching to investors, partners or are just trying to sell your product, it all starts with having a brand story that’s both inspiring and relatable.
Sales is one of the most important things in your business! If you have no sales, you have no business. Practice these fives sales techniques and watch the conversions start coming in.