Everyone talks about “how to sell.” Not me. I stress “why they buy” or “how to get people to buy.” It’s a much more powerful success model. I have a trademarked quote: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”
“Sure, Jeffrey,” you say. “Easy for you, but I’m cold calling, I’m fighting competition, I’m in a tough market, you don’t understand.”
I understand very well. You are where 95% of all salespeople are. Struggling.
In order to struggle less, you must begin to make the transition from “making a sale” to “creating a buying atmosphere.”
Most salespeople are taught some “system” of selling. That’s where the hardship starts. They concentrate on the system and not the prospect. Salespeople are so busy trying to manipulate the selling process, that they disengage the buyer.
What is selling about? Let me give you the non-sales skills version. It is the version that leads to buying. These are the life skills that will help you rise to the top. None of them are about “how to close the sale.” All of them are about how to be a success at selling. Forever.
Self understanding is first — One of the keys is understanding what you need to do to establish yourself and your position. It also means understanding the customer’s desires combined with your excellence.
Helping others fill a need or dream — If you take joy in others success or fulfillment, you will be a success a hundred times over. Being your best at all times — Second best in sales is first loser. Best is everything in sales success.
Loving what you do — The most successful people in the world love what they do. The easiest ones to notice are the ones earning the most money. Athletes, actors, entrepreneurs. But money is not what creates the “love.” Teachers, mothers, farmers who love what they do rise to the top of their capabilities. John Patterson said “put your heart into your work.” And he was correct.
Having the best attitude — If you love what you do, it will show through your attitude. Attitude is the energy from which successful people flourish.
Believing in your product, your company and yourself — If you don’t possess these three elements, stop reading. The rest of this information will do you no good. Without belief, you’ll have no desire to do the hard work necessary to convert selling to buying.
Asking engaging questions — Questions must be thought provoking (not irritating). Questions must demand that the prospect be encouraged to consider new information (not tell you information you could have looked up yourself). Questions must be innovative and intelligent. Questions must be different than those asked by your competition. Questions are the key element in creating an “I need to buy this” thought process on the part of your prospect.
Being idea-creative in advance and on the spot — Anyone will tell you that creativity is one of the few, true differentiators. Then the question is, how do you get more creative? The easy answer — and that’s what you really want, isn’t it? — the easy answer is: Read one creativity book each quarter, prepare for your sales calls the night before with Internet research and practice by forcing yourself to come up with five ideas. The practice is the most important element, once you get in the groove and have the knowledge, the ideas will flow.
Knowing how the customer and others produce and profit — When you are trying to make a mental impact on the decision-making process. Trying to persuade someone with facts about your features and benefits pales by comparison to proof that by taking ownership that the customer will increase productivity and profits.
Having great communication skills — Because your message must be compelling and transferable (understandable), you must master speaking and presentation skills. Join Toastmasters.
Serving with sincerity — Your actions are taken by the way they are perceived. Some people love to serve and go the mile. Some people serve with disdain and only go as far as they “need to.” Both philosophies are easily recognized.
Giving without expectation of getting — This is among the hardest things for a salesperson to do, but it’s an important key to getting high level acceptance and recognition. HINT: The more you give, the more you get.
Positioning yourself as a resource — When you give value to prospects and customers, when you provide information they can benefit from beyond your product or service, you are creating the law of attraction.
With valuable information that people use to benefit, profit, and produce, you become sought after. Combine these attributes with self education — and sales success is yours.
If you save this list, review it weekly for a year, select one of the elements each week and work on the skill, you will become a master. This is hard work. There’s an alternative. You can learn old world selling skills.
Which do you think is more powerful?
Free GitBit: Want some sales affirmations to make you think and learn in a more positive and accepting manner? They’re free. Go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user – and enter the word AFFIRMATIONS in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.