You may have an exceptional product that can improve the lives of many.You may provide a service that is second to none.BUT …if you don’t have exceptional sales skills, you will lose out on many an opportunity to demonstrate or provide value to anyone.The most important, yet least developed business skill in many small and home-based business owners is selling.You may associate selling to undergoing a root canal because of the bad experiences you have had with sales people.Lack of effective sales skills is a major contributor to the demise of a business.The great thing to realize is that selling is a skill. It is not something you are born with. It is a skill that is learned and cultivated.Do some people seem to be naturals at it? You bet! I am in awe of some people who seem to just learn a technique and after practicing it once, are off to the races like they’ve been doing it for years.For others, a little more practice and polishing may be required, but in the end, they can be just as effective and successful as those who seem to have it mastered right out of the gate.A major block in selling is the stereotype of salespeople. When I say, “Salesperson” to you. What immediately comes to mind?Do you see a fast talker in a bad suit?Is this person arrogant and pushy?Does this person hear a word you’re saying or does he/she speak over you?Does this person ignore your questions?Is this person a know-it-all?Will this person not take “No” for an answer?If you raise a concern will this person make you feel stupid?I had first titled this article, “Key Secrets to Being a Great Salesperson,” but recognized that just by using the word, “Salesperson,” fewer people would read the article.The negative or positive association of a word is powerful!Although you are an entrepreneur, you are also a sales person. You are in the business of selling a product or service to others.How would you like to be viewed as a salesperson? Would you like others to see you as:Authentic?A good listener?Genuinely concerned for the best interests of the buyer?Understanding?Professional?A person of high integrity?Trustworthy?Knowledgeable?Honest?These are not only skills. They are behaviors; behaviors that must be embraced and practiced.Others may have a better product or service, or lower price than you, but clients and customers will naturally gravitate to the seller who makes them feel valued, respected and heard.I’m sure you have been in a situation where you opted for a product or service you didn’t originally have in mind because of the way the salesperson made you feel.I know I have.Buyers need to know the facts and benefits of a product or service, but they also need to have a sense of relationship with the salesperson.Take a look at yourself from the buyer’s perspective. How are you coming across? Does the prospective customer or client walk away from your interaction feeling empowered, valued and understood?These skills are not only necessary for selling products or services. You sell yourself to others every single day.How you make people feel determines whether or not they want to do business or have any other type of relationship with you.Keep these thoughts in mind as you go throughout your day.Become aware of the impression you create for others and if you are not satisfied with the results, modify your behavior, measure again and keep fine-tuning until you see positive results.Become the kind of salesperson people will recommend to their friends and acquaintances and watch your business grow.
02 Feb 2013