Selling Goods and Services
Selling comes naturally to some individuals, who seem to have an inherent grasp of what makes people want to buy products and services. Other people may not have what we think of as the classic salesperson’s personality, but they have a lot of drive and ambition and they are willing to put in the time and energy that it takes to become better and better at selling. Below are some tips that can help you sell more, get more customers, and retain strong relationships with the customer base that you have already developed.
For starters, it is absolutely vital to fully understand the good or service that you want to sell to customers. In other words, you need to anticipate any questions or concerns that your potential customer might have about what it is that you are selling. If you take the time to educate yourself about the products, it will really pay off in the end, and it may even lead to more sales. Customers appreciate a knowledgeable salesperson above all. It shows that you take your job and them seriously.
Don’t be a pain in the neck. It’s one thing to follow up once or maybe even twice if you have made an initial contact with a potential customer and that contact felt promising to you. But don’t harass anyone. You won’t feel good about it and it will not lead to a sale. Your product (or service) needs to be strong enough to speak for itself. And if someone is not interested, you badgering them about it is definitely not going to change his or her mind. A successful salesperson understands this and will not push or pressure people, as they will simply recoil.
Hone your negotiation skills and be willing to engage in some give and take with any potential client. If you give someone a good deal or discount, they will remember that and it may lead to repeat business. Think of the act of negotiating and giving discounts as an investment in your future relationship with that individual or business, an investment that could end up paying serious dividends as time goes on.
Be personable but don’t get too personal. A good salesperson understands healthy boundaries. Typically speaking, a salesperson-customer relationship is not a personal one, which means certain topics are off limits. Small talk is fine. It breaks the ice, and conversation about the products or services in question is of course more than acceptable. But you don’t want to venture too far beyond those subject areas as you can step across a line, even unwittingly, and the last thing you want to do is offend a potential customer, because that will blow the sale faster than almost anything else you can do.
This one may go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Always be professional, in the way you dress (if you do face to face sales) or in the way you conduct yourself by phone (if you do phone sales). This involves always being polite, understanding and respectful. Good manners will enable you to go far, not just in sales but in life in general. Be aware of how you come across to people, whether you are working or just living your life, and be willing to tweak your attitude and behavior if necessary.