Wether you like it or not, you will have to learn how to sell! Selling is an important skill that is useful to whatever it is you desire to become in life. If you read the first article on becoming a star, you will remember that the first thing you need to do after discovering your ultimate desire is to analyse your skill requirements. Selling is a skill that is very essential. The first commodity you’ll learn to sell upon coming into the labour market, is yourself!
Knowing how to sell is crucial in getting your dream job, securing your promotion, closing a business deal, pushing your ideas or even getting a good wife. I have done a full day training on selling for people before and they wondered why they were never taught to sell back in school. It’s so interesting that a skill of this much value is completely left out of the school curriculum. Get it straight, you need to know how to sell, then you need to go out and put it to practice.
Over time, selling had been imagined to be an art. You either had it or didn’t. People believed that being a good sales woman or man was based on temperament. The smooth talking sanguines will do better than the melacholic melancholies, how untrue. In looking critically at the art of selling used by people ranked as exceptional sales men, some science was discovered. There is a way to sell, there is a process, there are steps and the art can be distilled down into a science which can be taught.
To understand selling, it will be good to understand another skill that is a close colleague of selling. It’s a skill we all use as well, it’s the skill of “buying”. By studing the behaviour of the buyer, which we all fall into at one time or the other, we can gain a deeper understanding of the key principles for selling. Please be certain that a full course on Selling can take as much as 3 full days.
The question that unviels the steps that should govern your sales process is, “why will a buyer buy?” In years of studying the thinking process of buyers (you inclusive), it was discovered that there are 5 reasons why a buyer will buy any product. You can put any product in these reasons, and you’ll discover that the reasons are absolutely correct. The buyer will not buy for one of the reasons, all are critical to making this decision. In order to have fun with this, I prefer to use the example of asking a lady out. Why will a buyer buy? Why will the employer say yes? Why will the lady say yes? Why will your boss say yes?
The buyer will buy if
1. he sees that the seller demonstrates an understanding of his or her present situation
2. the sellers proposal is practical
3. he understand how the sellers idea/product/service works
4. the benefits are clear and
5. the next steps of action are easy.
In every sales encounter, success is greatly enhanced depending on how well your sales pitch is delivered. The five questions above form not only the content of your sales presentation, but even the order of your presentation. Mastery of this is developed over time by practice and by experience.
Let’s use getting to ask a lady out as an example – Just for humour. First you need to understand the person situation before you can demonstrate your understanding. Lets assume you are both in the same school and she has been having a lot of male disturbance. You walk up to her, and
Guy: How are you linda, you’ve been looking quite distant lately, is everything okay? I observed that as soon as the class is over, you simply pack your books and go, you don’t wait to chat with people anymore, hope it’s not that people were beginning to take you for granted and make silly assumptions? (1-Demonstrates understanding of situation)
Girl: You are very observant, actually, people were beginning to make assumptions. (smiles that smile that says it all)
Guy: Wow, Guys!!! Well can’t blame them, the girl is good (chuckle) but you know, I don’t think it pays you not to be active in class because of these. I think if you act close to just one person, everybody will get an idea and buzz off, that way you can still make the most of the class discussions. (2. The practical proposal- remember win-win)
Girl: How will that work? (if you did a good job with step 2, the buyer will ask for step 3)
Guy: Quite easy, you and I will read together, chat together, and generally create the we are close idea, no strings attached, no serious favours, just do all we have always done, only this time around, sufficient to ward off unneccesary assumptions. I’ll wait for you….( fill in the blanks)
Girl: (Thinking, does this pay me? Every buyer asks that)
Guy: The benefit of this is that you’ll be able to maintain your friendships, your academics will improve, you’ll be able to light up in class and fully participate, and who knows, we might get to like each other- (laughs loud- she tries to hit him) Girl: you ke?
Guy: …(continues) it will really help you, its not nice the way you’ve been looking harrassed in the past few days.(4. Clarifies the benefits)
Girl: (thinking…hmmm, not bad, whats the next step)
Guy: I think we should start right away. Essentially, I walk you to your hostel regularly, we make sure we are each in class together, I’m generally around, we keep it up and see how it goes. If you fall in love with me, I won’t find it funny (both laugh-hahahahah) (5. easy next steps)
This entire article is just one element of one of the critical success factors in selling, master it, and keep searching for more. Rome was not built in a day.