By: First Union | Date:
The Famous "Sell Me This Pen" Idea
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eMy father always had a knack for sales. I picked up on this early from him, and it became a skill that came naturally to me. So much that, at a young age, I was of the false impression that most everyone possessed this ability. However, experience has proven otherwise.
I can remember the first time I realized that sales are not for everyone. One of my friends - We'll call him Jay - was looking for a new job. I set a meeting up for Jay at the company I worked for. It was a relatively low resistance sales position, contacting existing clients and businesses we already had a relationship with. Jay only lasted two days before giving up. I was both embarrassed and insulted.
It took me a while to wrap my head around why he gave up so quickly. After discussing the situation with him, and reflecting on his reasoning, it became quite clear. It wasn't that the job was horrible, or that the product was unsellable - Far from reality - It was that he was uncomfortable. He was unfamiliar with the product, awkward stepping into a new role at a new company, and most importantly, he was uncertain about his ability to sell.
Jay wasn't cut out for sales. Not because he was forever-incapable. He didn't take the opportunity to gain certainty; Certainty in the product and himself.
Whether you're selling a product or a service, your potential customers will have different problems or pain points that need to be solved. Ask essential questions. You need to qualify your customers before selling them anything. Once you've determined that your product or service is a good fit, find out what their pain points are, and provide appropriate solutions for them.
Know the product
You will never sell someone on anything to your would-be customers if you can't answer questions about your product. If you're a business owner, you likely know your product inside and out. If you're new to a sales position, research what you're selling. You need to be an expert. If you don't have the answers to the most fundamental questions customers have, you will never be able to guide them into a sale.
Be an authority
Until your client recognizes you as an authority, you will not make the sale. The customer needs to trust that you have their best interest at heart. This goes beyond knowing the facts. It's not just what you say; it's how you say it. When doing business over the phone, you can't rely on body language. Listen to your tone and learn to control your voice effectively. Convey confidence in what you are saying. Ensure that your clients trust that you are an authority.
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