- Business and Employment
Tips For Easy Selling
You can earn an income selling
I expect there are as many different ways of selling as there are sales people. This is my way. I've found that I'm more suited to the soft sell, and I believe it’s more conducive to the longer-term sales career. Something similar might suit you. If so, I hope this hub will be helpful to you - and good luck.
What Makes a Good Salesman?
Soft Selling in a Hard World
Earning An Income
The soft sell approach
When I started selling about 22 years ago, all I wanted was a part time job to supplement my income. Yet, selling has helped to keep me fed, housed, and paying tax, and it’s all I do for a living now. So, assuming there's something to sell, and some prospective customers, what tips would I give to anyone wanting to earn an income this way?
First, you have to ask your customer some basic questions like, “What particular product would you like to look at?” Note, that in keeping with the soft sell approach, you’re asking them to look at things; you’re not selling them anything - yet.
They might reply, “I don’t know; you tell me”.
Don’t tell them. If they don’t know, how would you know? They’ll eventually decide themselves - that’s their job.
Ask more questions like, "How do you intend to use this product? How do you think it will benefit you?" Don’t jump to conclusions, keep asking questions, and the conclusion will come.
Some people have ideas fixed in their minds - even when they don’t realise it. You might need to ask, if they would consider other options. Give your time freely. If you see them moving towards an unwise decision, tactfully point out the pros and cons; don't just move in for the sale. With the soft sell, you're trying to build up a loyal customer base.
Trust is the glue that holds people together. It’s the most effective trick in the book, if you want to build a lasting career in sales. When your customers know they can trust you - you won’t need to be pushy, or to use deceit or misleading ads to earn your living. Eventually, you might find you don’t need to advertise at all.
Be honest. Be reliable. Be consistent. Be amenable.
With prices, make sure everyone gets the same, fair deal; don’t barter, just cut to the chase. That way if people look you in the eye and ask, “Is that your best price?” You can say yes, and no one will catch you lying - because you're not.
Don’t try to sell something just because it’s more expensive - to get a bigger commission. Don’t sell something inadequate either - just because you’ve jumped to the conclusion that they want the cheapest option. (Even when they say, they want the cheapest.)
If you say you’ll do something - do it, or, say you’ll do your best, but never promise what you might not be able to deliver: - under promise, over deliver.
No matter what your competitors get up to, stick to the highest possible set of principles - it pays in the end.
When people are spending money, don’t try to rush them. If they say, they can’t decide - that’s an opportunity for you to show you’re on their side. Tell them to take their time, because it’s important that they choose the most suitable product.
You can help them do that, by asking more questions.
Ask your customers about their two favourite topics: them and your product. We all like talking about ourselves, (unless we’ve something to hide). Right now, their second favourite subject is your product, because they think it might benefit them.
Listen and attend to their concerns first - return to your’s later.
Listen carefully to each answer. Firstly, because it’s good manners and people don’t like buying from ignorant oinks - but also because the more talking they do, the more they will reveal about their life, and how it relates to the products you have to offer them.
‘Manners maketh man’.
If they butt in while you’re talking, stop and listen - it's their show, and they know what concerns them. Practice this with everyone you talk to - even your spouse (don’t overdo it with your spouse, she/he might get suspicious); it’s a valuable people-skill. If you need to make a vital point, return to it later. Write it down if you have to.
Soft selling = making friends
Soft selling is largely about building long-term relationships with your customers. You'll mostly find that a call from a previous customer, asking for advice about your products and services, feels like getting a call from an old friend. However, sometimes you'll get the odd difficult customer; that's life - and like all areas of life, we have to have standards, and to know where to draw the line. Don't let people bully you; stick to your principles; being civil, respectful and amenable is not the same thing as being subservient. Your services or products, and your customers' interest in them, is a mutual thing.
How do I close the sale?
Don't worry too much about selling. They’ll buy - when they’re confident that they’re doing the right thing, buying from you.
© Copyright David B. McBain 2012. All rights reserved.