The future is bright for an excellent salesperson.
After all, selling is the world's highest paying profession--if you're good at it. It's also one of the oldest professions of all-time. Millions of people have attempted it, but only a few of them succeed.
Why? Is it because you have to be a natural-born salesperson? Must you be highly extraverted and outrageous to make sales consistently? Do you need to get lucky? Do you have to manipulate people and coerce them to act to be successful at sales?
No. The truth about selling is that anyone can master the art of sales. Anyone can persuade others to take action. If you're honest and hardworking, you can become an excellent salesperson. That's what selling is all about.
Over the last few years, I've examined my own sales process and thousands of others. From selling fast-food burgers to multi-million dollar mansions, I've seen everything being sold right before my eyes. I'd like to share what I’ve learned with you through my 7 Secrets to Becoming a Great Salesman. Here they are:
1. Mindset: Every great salesperson understands that nothing moves without a sale. Everything around you has been sold: furniture, clothing, books, food, etc. The excellent salesperson understands that there would be no transaction without their efforts. If you're in sales, you must develop your mindset and be ready for all kinds of untapped opportunities.
Salespeople know that selling is one of the most misunderstood professions of all-time. Therefore, they are able to embrace rejection, which allows them to become better each time they meet a prospect. Are you willing to go through rejection? Can you knock on hundreds of doors, make thousands of calls, and go several days without making a sale? If so, then selling might be the perfect profession for you.
2. Trustworthiness: I was once a car salesman, one of the hardest jobs to build trust. However, I was the best at the dealership because I knew what the customers wanted. Moreover, I would be upfront about their concerns. If they wanted to know the price, I gave them the best deal possible. I didn't hesitate or show uncertainty. I was working for the best interest of my customer--and they knew it.
Your prospects want to trust you. You must give them a reason to do so. If you lack transparency, they will sniff it out right away. Instinctively, your prospects will think, "There's something he or she is hiding. I don't know if I should purchase this item." Make sure they feel like you're working for their best interest, not your own. If you build trust, you will make a friend, which will eventually lead to a sale--or ten.
People don't care about what you know until they know how much you care.
3. Enthusiasm: Whether you're introverted or extraverted, you can project enthusiasm on command. The word 'enthusiasm' derives from the Greek word, "énthous" which means the God within. Each of us possess a god-like power, which can be activated when called upon. Where is your enthusiasm? How are you using it to increase your sales?
When I started in sales, I came off too strong. I would shout to every prospect, "Buy this shirt! It works for everyone and would look good on you too!!" The prospect would say, "You're a good salesman," but they wouldn't be convinced. It was because I wasn't convinced. To be enthusiastic, you must be devoted to what you're selling. You must know the product and embrace it. That's how they will know your enthusiasm is real.
4. Conversation: When you're talking to your prospect, can you actually relate to them? Through conversation, you can learn more about your prospect. Furthermore, they can learn more about you. For instance, I remember a lady telling me a story about the first time she bought a specific leather purse for her mother. Her story enticed me and I knew I had to buy one for my mother! Have you ever been convinced through stories before?
Stories are powerful. However, they must be used strategically. There are many salespeople who rattle off their stories without checking the reaction of their prospects. Without notification, your potential customer may be turned off by your stories. Make sure your conversation connects with those you intend to serve. You never know where the conversation may take you...
5. Questions: The power lies in those who ask the best questions. A simple, "How can I help you?" may not suffice in most environments. However, a better question might be, "What brings you into ABC stores today? Is there anything specific that I may help you find?" With this question, you make the prospect think about their own needs, which makes you look like a friend, not just another salesman.
Always remember, specificity builds credibility. If you ask specific questions, it can cut through the superficiality of selling. It will make your prospect feel at ease as you take them to where they want to be. An excellent salesperson qualifies their prospects with the right questions and exemplifies professionalism as they guide their customer through the sales process.
6. Resourcefulness: Are you as helpful as your customers need you to be? Most people fail at sales simply because they don't try hard enough. They fail to deliver the goods. They hesitate to go the extra mile. They lack persistence and never push to create more results for the lives of others. The main reason is because they are too caught up in serving themselves.
A successful salesperson will ensure that you're getting more than you paid for. They will throw in the freebies, answer non-sales related questions, and even follow up months after the sales. They value the customer and provide resources, even if they aren't paid to do it. In short, they know that if they do more than they are paid to do, they'll get paid more than they do!
People don't know what they need until you give it to them!
7. Advanced Training: What do you know about your sales process? Have you received the necessary training to reach your sales goals? Unfortunately, most salespeople read less than one book per year. It's probably the reason why the majority of people fail to make any sales. Look at superstar salespeople and you'll see them training as if they were Olympians.
In a given year, a superstar salesperson reads dozens of books, attends quarterly trainings, and has a coach who earns at least twice as much as they do. While most people spend countless hours studying product knowledge, it's even more important to develop habits, disciplines, and attitudes to become a winner in sales. Advanced training is what makes a successful salesperson.
Whether you're selling silk scarves on the streets in Shanghai or massaging muscular Marines in Malawi, you must understand that everyone is a salesperson. If you take these seven secrets seriously and implement them in your life, you can create the kind of wealth, joy, and happiness you've always dreamed of.