Whether it is in business with a peer, a prospective or current client or our significant others, we are always selling. It is a negotiation skill that we can continuously improve upon. I received an interesting article from the President of Compass New York with 20 defining ways of great salesmanship.
1. Honest sales are the best sales; tricking people into buying into your product or ideas is bound to come back to bite you. Honesty is the best policy for a long and successful career.
2. Great Salespeople listen; closely. They as the right questions.
3. Great Salespeople know their subject well. They do their homework.
4. Great Salespeople accentuate the positive. There is negative in EVERY situation, so accentuating the positives should be the focus.
5. Great Salespeople pro-actively pre-address potential concerns and negatives. Nothing is perfect. These negatives are best addressed up front before your audience brings them up as a negative as it allows you to frame the negative in the most positive light.
6. Great Salespeople simplify things. They seek solutions. They identify simple options.
7. Great Salespeople use language that explains things clearly and simply. Effective vocabulary can be learned and tested. Use different language to each different audience that resonates best.
8. Great Salespeople assess their audience to know who they are before addressing them. Each person has a different background, education, etc. Cultural differences matter too.
9. Great Salespeople speak with genuine passion, enthusiasm and confidence…both can be faked if you are nervous. Faking strength to veil dishonesty is bad…faking it to overcome your nervousness is perfectly fine. Never let them see you sweat.
10. Great Salespeople encourage their audience to be part of the decision making process…they make their audience participate in evaluating and deciding on their options.
11. Great Salespeople set realistic expectations very early on, fully. Under-promise, over-deliver. Identify potential hurdles and set-backs before they happen.
12. The customer may “always be right” and should be treated with the greatest respect…but often they are wrong or mis-informed and you need to be the voice of authority with great insight to prove them wrong…delicately and with compassion.
13. Great Salespeople discuss money freely and openly and don’t deliver price or financial matters as a last-minute after-thought.
14. Great Salespeople don’t rush matters. They never give the impression they are exclusively transaction-focused. They take their time when necessary and allow the audience to breathe.
15. Great Salespeople follow up diligently and thoroughly. They are persistent but are so in a civilized manner.
16. Great Salespeople know when to be quiet. They don’t waffle on and babble too much. Their words inspire and inform…they don’t drown or confuse or complicate.
17. Great Salespeople know the value of confidentiality and practice it.
18. Great Salespeople lighten the load to make the experience more positive and enjoyable. They inject some humor. They smile. They are not fake.
19. Great Salespeople make their audience feel that they are on their side… not only with words but also with deeds.
20. Great Salespeople believe in what they are selling.
As we interact with our co-workers, business associates or spouses be genuine in your communication, be passionate about what you are speaking about and ultimately we all will become Great Salespeople.
If you have any additional tips for being a Great Salesperson, please share them with me.