Every day we are all selling in some capacity – even if we don’t think we are. You may not have “sales” or “business development” in your title, or you may not be directly responsible for selling your company’s products or services. But every day we are selling ideas, suggestions, recommendations, or ourselves. And the more you believe in your idea, the more inclined you are to successfully sell it.
In Dan Pink’s book, To Sell Is Human, he indicates that more than 40% of our professional time is spent selling – not only tangible sales but also our ideas. And if we’re spending that much of our professional time in sales, we should be working to improve these skills!
Even though we are all selling in one way or another, the fear of sales is common. The perception that sales requires making people buy things they don’t want, don’t need or can’t afford is daunting. All of us have had a bad sales experiences where you walked away from the conversation feeling frustrated, annoyed or that the salesperson just didn’t listen. The bad salesperson really has given all salespeople a bad rap!
Fortunately, not all sales experiences end poorly. And how you sell is a critical component of creating value for the customer. Engaging in conversation, learning about the customers’ pain points and targeting the conversation to share how your product, service, or idea can help alleviate a challenge – these are just a few keys to creating value and trust.
When done well, sales and service are very alike. While sales is typically proactive and service is reactive, the outcome of a good service experience and a good sales experience is generally the same – finding the solution to some problem the customer is struggling with, or identifying areas for improvement.
No matter how skilled you are in sales, there is always the likelihood of an objection. When you follow these steps, you will be able to identify the customer’s real issue and overcome their objection.
Listen: Use open and inviting body language, lean forward, make eye contact, don’t be distracted.
Empathize: Ask questions, encourage the speaker, use non-verbal actions.
Reflect: Paraphrase what the speaker is thinking or feeling
Respond: Use words like feel, felt, found
The IAIP Selling Essentials series is not only a great way to obtain valuable sales skills, unlocks the keys to skills that transcend to increasing your overall influence. The six-series course is organized in short modules, which easily lend themselves to mastering the art of selling.
When you complete the Selling Essentials Series you will:
- Understand the Sales Cycle
- Feel empowered to tackle prospecting
- Listen more attentively and ask the right questions
- Present compelling solutions
- Persuade others to take action
- Develop lifetime clients
Courses are available for self-study or an instructor led environment. Start your journey to selling excellence today!