Sales are one of those human things that really hasn’t changed over time. It wouldn’t take long for a good salesperson from the caveman era to get up to speed in this one.
Sure, we have newer and fancier tools. But those are only tools. The important thing to remember is that a bad sales person with great tools is still a bad salesperson.
It is also important to acknowledge that there are different types of sales approaches and methods. There is a place for all of these methods. It really all depends on the type of sales you are doing.
That leads us to the fact that there are multiple types of sales categories. There is business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), one-to-many sales, as in a seminar, and one-to-one sales.
Not every good salesperson is cut out for every sales method and every sales category. But there are some basic sales truths that have been true since the beginning of time and will continue to be true as long as there is something to be sold and people there to buy it. These are the sales basics you never want to forget regardless of which type of salesperson you are:
Presentation Is King
The Presentation Training Institute would like to remind you that great products and services do not sell themselves. Great presenters do. Stop thinking of yourself as a salesman. And start thinking of yourself as a sales presentation expert.
That little shift in focus will remind you to stop paying so much attention to the speeds and feeds of the product or service. And start paying more attention to your presentation. In case it is not already apparent, the reason will become more clear as you read.
What You Are Really Selling Is You
The sale is often won or lost before you ever speak a word. We humans have a nasty habit of sizing others up on very little data. There are a thousand unspoken cues that go into determining whether or not a prospective customer will buy from you.
It often comes down to a matter of credibility. You are mistaken if you think business attire doesn’t matter. No one will be offended that you wore a suit. But many will tune you out if you don’t. The suit is not about honoring yourself, but honoring the other person.
A shave, manicure, and other grooming niceties also go a long way to earning credibility: that intangible that makes other people give you the benefit of the doubt. Even if the product could sell itself, a poor presentation of yourself will unsell it.
The Customer Is Not the Adversary
Salespeople often go into the presentation with an “us versus them” mentality. It becomes an adversarial relationship with each party on opposite sides of the table locked in combat.
This is no way to work. Even if you manage to strong-arm the sale, there is a high probability that the sale will transition into a chargeback before 72 hrs has come to an end.
You will also ensure that the customer will never buy from you again. The negative word of mouth will create negative sales, as you will lose perspective sales in that social group. One positive sales encounter can gain you sales, even if the original prospect doesn’t buy.
Don’t Forget to Ask for the Sale
There are many great presenters who are lousy closers. The easiest way to lose a sale is to never ask for it. At some point, you have to do the uncomfortable thing of looking a person in the eye and asking them to make a decision and give you money.
As one of the great ones used to say, never leave a sale half-asked. The problem with an incomplete sale is usually not the presentation, but the close. You have to ask for the authorization. You have to ask for the credit card. If you have a problem with that, do even bother with the presentation.
Presentation is king. What you are selling is yourself. The customer is not the adversary. And you have to ask for the sale or the sale will never happen. A thousand years from now when salespeople can read minds with their smartphones, basic rules will still be in play.