In today’s world, no matter what industry or profession we’re in, one thing remains true, we need to sell things.
However, if we don’t know how to sell well, or if we’re not good at it, or worse if we hate selling, or if we’re afraid of selling, then our products or services will go nowhere fast.
No matter how you feel about it you are selling yourself or selling an idea every single day. From something as big as getting a job or closing a big business deal or having your first date to something as small as trying to convince your family where you should eat.
Come and step into my office for your first lesson on sales mastery and make more money than ever.
What is Sales?
Let’s answer the question what is sales?
Sales is the process of exchanging a product or service for money. There are many different ways to generate sales.
This can be done through things like advertising face-to-face interactions, and online platforms. At least those are all the technical definitions, a modern-day definition.
It’s the ability to communicate information and emotion, to move people towards a goal on a daily basis. We are moving people directly or indirectly, whether it deals with money or it deals with an idea, or even just a simple request.
Direct sales and indirect sales
Let’s talk about sales in a business context.
There are two main types of sales: direct sales and indirect sales.
Direct conversions occur when a customer buys a product or a service from a company’s website, indirect conversions happen when a customer buys something from a company after being referred by somebody.
Now, there are tons of popular platforms to generate sales in the global marketplace that we now live in.
It could be email marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising.
It could be through your personal website or an e-commerce store, or maybe the classic of cold calling, which I’ve got a lot of experience in.
Sales is an important part of any business because it’s what allows the business to make a profit because without profit a business or a project wouldn’t be able to thrive let alone survive.
When businesses make sales, they are able to fund new products and services, which in turn creates more jobs and stimulates the economy.
Sales is the lifeblood of your business
Sales is the lifeblood of your business. Without it, your business will slowly stop moving and die.
You should be giving the absolute attention that it deserves, but like everything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
Much of what is taught today about sales strategies and tactic, they’re not only wrong, but they’re actually damaging to your career and your business over time.
Despite this, many still promote the sales hacks that try to manipulate and pressure prospects into doing something that might not be in their best interest.
The question is what if there was a better way, a way that not only allowed you to sell more, but also to feel better doing it and a way that allows you to switch over from a high-pressure sales tactics to something more ethical, enjoyable, and effective.
In the next part of this blog post, I’m going to show you how to sell anything to anyone without being salesy, by understanding a modern-day sales approach.
You’ll see the very act of selling in a new light and apply it to your business as well in a world where the seller has more information about the product, the seller can do practically anything he or she wants to influence buying decisions.
Information asymmetry happens when either the buyer or the seller has more information than the other party.
Recently, it has begun shifting over to buyer having more information.
Sales now go from buyer beware to seller beware as the balance of power shifts away from marketers and towards customers.
For as long as people have been selling things, sellers have held an advantage over buyers due to their superior knowledge of the product or the service being sold. But in a global marketplace like today where we’re all connected, buyers have access to more information than ever before, and then not afraid to use it.
As a result, sellers are finding themselves in a much weaker position than they once were with the rise of online review platforms and social media, that advantage has basically all but disappeared today.
Buyers are just as likely to know as much or even more than sellers about what it is that they’re buying.
In sales, our job is to help customers reach a decision. Now, the sky’s the limit when you’re naturally good at sales, but it’s a skill that you can acquire through sales training.
In addition, sales representatives can learn from different sales processes and sales positions. A career in sales is a fantastic way to make money and become a better person.
Succeeding in sales, in general, is much easier when you’re a good salesperson in a digitally fast-paced, connected world.
Most of us spend 40 to 50% of our time at work engaged in something called non-sales selling.
This is things like persuading, influencing, convincing others in ways that don’t necessarily involve anyone making a direct purchase.
There’ve been studies across a range of professions. It’s estimated that we devote roughly 24 minutes out of every hour, moving other people towards making a decision.
In our society as humans, the two most important activities are producing and consuming. But today, much of what we do also seems to involve moving.
Ability to move others
That is moving other people to part with resources, whether something tangible like cash or intangible like effort or attention so that we can get what we want.
The ability to move others, to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival.
To an extent, our happiness as well, it has helped our species evolve, lifted our living standards and enhanced our daily lives. That’s a quote from Daniel H. Pink.
Your job is not to make customers drink, your job is to make customers thirsty.
You need to provide the right mental breadcrumbs so that they will naturally fill the gaps.
The key to a long-term successful business
The key to a long-term successful business is opening a relationship, not just closing the sale.
Modern-day sales is about more than persuading
Modern-day sales is about more than persuading.
It is a tool for change and facilitating the growth of your customer’s company and the lives of your customers and their own personal development.
Don’t think of each sale as a one-off
Don’t think of each sale as a one-off.
Instead view it as the foundation for building a long-term relationship with your customers.
Don’t think of the close as just a deposit in your bank account. Think of it as the start of a long-term relationship.
It’s not about the money, it’s about the connection. When you open a relationship, you create opportunities.
The cornerstone of an effective sales strategy is actually listening
Now, most people, myself included when I was much younger think that selling is the same as talking when in reality, the cornerstone of an effective sales strategy is actually listening.
The most effective salespeople know to practice listening. Customer emotions are much easier to catch when we listen.
To build a long-term relationship you need to open a dialogue, not just close the sale.
It’s a common misconception that in order to be influential or to have influence, you have to talk a lot. In fact, the opposite is true.
The more you listen, the more influence you build, people feel heard and understood when you take the time to listen to them.
That builds trust, which is essential for any long-term relationship.
Listening in the sales process is more important than talking. Let the other person share their needs and wants only then can you identify how you can help them. Make sure you take the time to really, really listen.
Most sales psychology starts with an understanding that emotions sell. If you’re good at tapping into your prospect’s emotions, your chances of making a sale is much higher. Your message is more likely to be remembered and taken to heart.
Now, if you do a good job of this, it almost doesn’t matter what it is that you are selling, whether you’re selling social media marketing, or Facebook advertising or something more low key, like a pen or a pair of trainers, or whether you’re selling a more personal product or service such as travel or a home medicine or anything health-related.
Find something that taps into a deep psychological response
When we’re talking about using emotions in your sales, you want to try to find something that taps into a deep psychological response.
Now, food ads do this really well by tapping into your cravings. Car ads do this with feelings of power or security.
Toy ads use fun and joy. Phone companies in their adverts tap into feelings of or status.
As such you want to tap into the reason why a person wants to make a purchase when you’re trying to sell something.
Buying a thing does not mean that people have that thing, they buy things because they want the emotional response that they think they’re going to get from buying it.
The better you are at communicating this emotional response, the better you’re going to be at selling.
Customers buy things because of the expected emotion that they’re going to get from their purchase. However, there are two main reasons that are deeply instinctual in us as human beings.
Pain and pleasure
Reason number one, pain and pleasure.
Our basic needs as humans are to avoid pain and to seek pleasure.
These needs are really strong motivators. Where do your products or services fit within that pain-pleasure need.
Pick a pain point that your target audience is experiencing
Your starting point is to pick a common problem or pain point that your target audience is experiencing, and then match that with the benefits of what you’re selling.
Now, the more closely you link your products with the depo once the more your sales messaging will resonate with your audience.
Sales occur when you listen to your customers
Sales occur when you listen to your customers. Listen to what they want and provide a solution to their problems.
Reason number two, social recognition.
People buy products in order to gain social recognition.
There’s a subconscious need for social recognition. When we buy stuff, we want others to see us in a good light.
It’s part of our survival instinct. The tribe will drive us away if we don’t follow the social conditioning of the community. In this case, we will starve and become dinner for wild animals.
In order to gain recognition to improve our status, our influence, power, personality or to demonstrate transformation, we go out and we buy stuff. We buy products. Many people are more concerned with how a product will communicate its social status than its actual practical value.
Recognize what emotional value a client wants
It’s important that you recognize what emotional value a client wants so that you can offer them the best option.
By knowing your audience’s situation better you’ll be able to use your offer as a bridge between their pain and the solution that you can bring them back.
My Sales Experience
When I was selling car hire to customers, I was always in a rush to try and get the customer to see all of the benefits that we offered. I talk and talk, trying to bombard them with all the reasons that they should buy.
Eventually, my colleague, Adam, came with me on a sales call and watched me pitch.
You talk way too much and you don’t listen. You need to start asking more questions is exactly what Adam told me.
We came up with a system where he would close his notepad every time I should ask another question. If the notebook was open, I should shut up and let the customer talk.
I remember this one pitch, the first question that came out of my mouth was are you looking for another car hire firm, and of course the answer was no.
Adam closed his notebook and I fumbled around asking, “Uh, okay, can I ask why?
The customer started talking, talking and talking and talking.
Now, eventually, they explained that they were paying too much for their current car’s high service, and didn’t really enjoy it.
I followed up with another question saying if we could cut your prices, improve the service and take care of some of those, would that be worth talking about?
Within days I was outperforming my old sales numbers and within a few weeks, I was the top salesperson in my branch, all from shutting up and asking more questions.
It can be really hard to know how to start selling your services. You want to help people of course, and make a living.
The reason I created Sell Your Service
That’s the reason I created Sell Your Service, to help marketers and agency owners to grow their businesses.
Sell Your Service is dedicated to helping marketers and agency owners open up a dialogue with potential clients, understand their needs so that you can build long-term relationships with your prospects and close more sales consistently and scale your business faster.