Sales is the end game of every business. If looking to make money and grow, one must sell a product or service in which those profits can be reinvested back into the business. People are no different. With better sales skills come better commissions, better commissions equals better financial security, and with better financial security comes reinvestment into ourselves. That’s why the number one product you are selling is yourself.
I need to be completely candid here in saying selling is not for everyone. Just because you read this article and learn these sales skills does not necessarily mean your going to be the top producer of the week. Sales is a game for people who really love to play. It requires passion, patience, a sense of humor, tough skin and a can do attitude.
People will be turned off by you because you are a sales person based off of the countless stories and stereotypes that have been repeated ad nauseam all over social media. Do not take their rejections personal as it only serves to test your skills at overcoming objections. Again, either you got it, or you don’t.
So you think you have it all? If so continue on and I’m sure that you will find the following sales skills useful in your quest to be the best. If being the best is not already part of your mindset than I can assure you, you are already plenty of steps behind the guy who is reading this that does plan to be the best.
But maybe, just maybe, these are just the tools you’re missing in order to become the best. Submitted for the approval of the millennial society, I call this article “Must Learn Sales Skills that Will Increase Your Income.”
5 Steps to A Conversation
Whether your prospecting your sales network over the phone, going door to door, or through internet marketing, first impressions are timeless and that is one of the most important things you must remember.
This is that first impression you need to nail or your conversation wont go much further than this. How can you be sincere in your approach but not instantly come off as an intimidating aggressive sales person?
K.I.S.S. it, or keep it short and simple. Say hi or hello, my name I is, [insert name] how are you today? Try to insert a successfully tried and tested ice breaker while displaying positive inviting body language. Properly utilizing your S.E.E. factors will separate you from the other shmuck who called or knocked earlier. Your SEE factors will be smiling, eye contact, and enthusiasm.
Smiling builds a level of comfort. It drops the gates of immediate intimidation and portrays you as a nice respectful person. It will go a long way in disarming your prospect as smiles are contagious, according to ScienceBlog.
Eye Contact adds to the comfort by building trust. It shows sincerity in your words as they are focused on the prospect, not on the ground or at the dog walking down the street, or the cute secretary in the front waiting room.
Enthusiasm is the sauce that makes this game so good. You have to actually be passionate; showing great interest in not only the individual but the matter of topic and how continuing the conversation will be in your prospects best interest.
2] Short Story
Here is where you as the sales person, disrupting another persons day, answer the three most important questions as to why you have caused the disturbance. Who are you, what are you doing here, and why are you here doing it?
Explaining who you are is important as it validates your presence and puts a face to a name or company. You become the advisor and the subject matter expert in the area of which your profession directs you. If you have a badge or credentials to back up your position, now would be a good time to simply flash them and NOT shove them up the person’s nose.
What you are doing there releases any concerns of doubt, and security, further disarming your prospects. It also informs your prospect of their immediate interest level and its relevancy to their lifestyle.
Why confirms that you as the subject matter expert are going to demonstrate how your particular product or service will make life better for the prospect. Effectively and confidently getting through your short story puts you in a great position for the most essential part, the presentation.
The presentation is where you will solidify yourself to your prospect that you are the subject matter expert for whatever product or service your selling. This is where the consumer is going to make the hard decision on whether or not they will have a use for your services.
Features tell, but benefits sell. The consumer does not initially care about the features, but instead, what’s in it for me, or W.I.I.F.M? How will they make my life easier or what problem do they solve for me?
This is an important realization as consumers buy products based off of impulse, and emotions. They back up those actions with logic and evidence. So how do we paint the perfect picture during our presentation so we can close the deal and get paid? M.I.M.S. the word.
Make it make sense by tying each point of opportunity and advantage to apart of their life that is missing what you are offering. Uncover those voids through customer relations, asking questions, simple observations around their domicile, and most importantly LISTENING. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Being able to reaffirm and tie in points the consumer made during the presentation back to that customer creates a sense of trust that their best interests are at heart. Now a general belief that your product will solve their problem begins to mold. However… As much as you may have enticed them to buy you, do not over sell it because wasted time is wasted money. The consumer will give you signals and opportunities to close the sale; you just need to be vigilant and identify those signs. Do not worry, buying and non-buying signs will be discussed later.
So you think you are ready to close? Make sure you have built a great rapport and have gained agreement through a series of yes answers commonly referred to as the yes train. “You would agree that saving money would be good for your family correct?” The only sensible answer to this question is yes and almost any prospect would say so. Asking questions that lead to a yes will subconsciously train your prospect to continue saying yes.
The CLOSE… It really is a beautiful dance between negotiations and maneuvering through objections. Remember that as closes go the most important part is to remember that not each prospect is the same, nor will they respond to your closing techniques similarly.
So let us learn the four different types of closes and how each one can be utilized separately or in tandem with people to lead them to the desired yes. The close is as easy as A.B.C, always be closing.
Probably my favorite closing technique so we will start with this one. The alternative close is good for indirectly asking for the sale. You as the salesperson present your prospect with two options, both of which result in the completion of the sale but gives the prospect the illusion that they made the decision to say yes.
An example would be for selling solar panel installation. You would position your prospect into a yes or yes question by asking, “Would you rather have the installers come Friday, or would Thursday be better for you? Note that there is no yes or no response as the prospect is guided into either choosing Friday or Thursday, both of which finalize an installation date.
Once your prospect affirms one of the alterative options begin drawing up the paperwork and do not continue to ask closing questions as you may back your prospect out of their affirmation.
The assumptive close is another power tool for closing the sale. However this one requires that you have done great in your discovery and have built an outstanding rapport. You begin your close by using information about your prospect to tie together to affirm the sale.
An example could be, “After you purchase product “X” your family will save “X” amount of dollars, which can help pay for your kids activities.” In this example we have learned that the kids are enrolled in extracurricular activities that require additional costs. You are tying the savings in as a benefit to the family and you are assuming the prospect is going to purchase when you say the term, after you purchase the product, not if you purchase.
As with the alternative close, once the prospect agrees with your assumptions, begin drawing up the paperwork. Never linger on a close too long, or continue closing after the yes has been granted.
This closing technique emphasize the buildup of a product and its benefits by the principle of 3. You summarize the immediate or relevant benefits of product “X” to that particular consumer in a matter of succession.
For example; Product “X” will be more cost-effective, longer lasting, and safer for the household.” By itemizing the benefits in a quick concise grouping of three, you hammer your point quick and firmly granting a coercive delivery.
Level With Me
Probably the last attempt effort you will need to be sure if your prospect will purchase or not. Lets say for example your prospect has been on the fence and has objected multiple times to your closing advances.
A direct straight to the point way of closing would be to simply ask, “Hey Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, I have leveled with you as best as I could. I have answered any question you have had. How about you level with me and tell me how far you are off from purchasing. What would it take to get you over that hump?”
If your prospect is still not affirming the sale after the level with me close, it’s probably in your best interest to move on to the next prospect. Wasted time is wasted money my friends and some prospects are posers, not buyers. They will give you all the buying signs in the world but will stop just short enough to purchase on our terms and time.
For a further reading on closing techniques, check out this comprehensive list >>>
So you closed the deal, your drawing up the paperwork and your happy about your triumph, but you look over at your customer, they may be fidgeting or starting to think they made the wrong decision. This is buyer’s remorse and it can be a cancer to your sale resulting in churns.
In an ideal world, you have built enough value during your presentation that buyer’s remorse doesn’t kick in, but sometimes it happens, especially if an outside factor became relevant such as a spouse, a phone call, anything to slow the momentum. The rehash is the time to reaffirm and cement the long-term value for both the prospect and whichever factor derailed your progress.
Remember everyone has another sale hidden. That is a perfect acronym for rehash because if you can be successful in mastering the perfect rehash, you will receive referrals and long-term income through a satisfied network.
So maybe you have mastered the art of building relationships, but are still having trouble building a good enough value to get through the close. Try testing your skills with a few advanced psychological techniques that may increase your close rate.
These four skills are called the F.U.G.I. Factors. In order to successfully accomplish each option, one must understand both the verbal and non-verbal actions per each option.
Fear of Loss
We never seem to miss something until its gone forever. That feeling of no longer being able to possess something is an essential power grab. The power of the dollar is a sense of decision. A purchase is made with convictions and actions and gives us a sense of control over our lives.
When we no longer have power we begin to fear, and people do not take kindly to fear. If you can demonstrate a serious concern that your prospect is going to lose out on this opportunity forever, it will increase their impulse enough to revisit the close.
Verbal: Check your schedule or appointment book, “It doesn’t look like I have any time left in this promotion window”
Nonverbal: Take back the flyer or promotional literature you gave to your prospect and take a step back with a slight turn of the shoulder.
In a way urgency relates to fear of loss. As time is running out, that suggests that after time we have no further option to acquire whatever is being sold. Time is running out is a phrase that create anxiety and pressure that the only way to correct would be to act now. This is another matter of control for the consumer.
Verbal: “Time is running out”, or “There are only 4 spots left”
Nonverbal: In a hurried pace begin to pack away your sales materials while using your verbal queues.
Have you ever heard of the phrase keeping up with the Jones? It’s a reference to a 1913 comic strip by Arthur Momand that depicts neighbors competing against each other in a socio economic dominance.
The whole idea of the comic is that we as people judge our social status on that of our surrounding neighbors. Using greed as a factor in sales is successful because it draws from emotion and emotion builds impulse.
Verbal: “I actually signed up your neighbors Mr. And Mrs. Whatever down the street” or name drop testimonials.
Nonverbal: fan through your sales list in a slow recognizable manner.
Cool calm and collected is where you want to be. Showing desperation for the sale puts all control of how the sale goes into the prospects hands. One issue with them having control is that you know the product and benefits better than they do. The real problem however is that is your livelihood.
So how can someone not worry about their livelihood when sales aren’t going their way? It’s about developing a positive attitude of indifference that will come off to the consumer that their sale is one of many you already have. The consumer now has faux control when they purchase.
Verbal: “Hey no problem, I don’t pay the bill you do so the decision is all yours, I’ve already made those other sales with your neighbors.”
Nonverbal: Lean against the wall and make yourself at home.
The F.U.G.I. factors are best used in different combinations. You will want to experiment with different combinations and how you pitch them pending the personality type of who you are selling to.
Identifying your Audience
Understanding who you are selling to is vital to how you as the sales person should approach the conversation. There are four different personality types you should be aware of. They are, competitive, spontaneous, humanistic, and methodical.
These are your highly independent, fast talking, high-strung personalities. Often referred to as Type A personalities, they are called competitors for a reason. Type A people are the survival of the fittest thinkers. They are always looking to take charge. If your thinking of selling to this group, you are going to have to make a compelling case on how your product or service is the best in terms of solving problems through competitive advantage.
These are the you’re “in it for the fun” kind of crowd. Often considered Type B personalities, they are less competitive, and instead more enthusiastic, creative, and high energy. The best way to sell to the spontaneous type is to hype up its technological features and its cutting edge ahead of its time characteristics.
The humanistic types are your caring, loving, want to see the best for everyone kind of folk. They do not like frequent change or disturbances. Humanistic buyers are talkers and like to have clearly defined terms of what they are getting into. Selling to humanistic can be quite rewarding as they are looking to make others happy. You can display those testimonials of ecstatic customers in your network, or explain to them how with your service, not only will they be the most comfortable they have been but it will deliver the most happiness to a higher number.
Methodical types will not make a decision until all the facts and details are presented. They also prefer to take the time to diligently analyze the facts and variable of each outcome to ensure accuracy of their desired return.
Identifying this type of personality is easy. These individuals will ask an exorbitant amount of questions 2 possibly 3 times to ensure accuracy. They also may present to you facts and reviews that they have dug up in their pre-appointment research.
In order to successfully sell to them, you must be able to answer all of their questions confidently. Try to present them with more data to tip the scale in your favor. Remember features tell and benefits sell. Make sure you tie in how the product or service is going to be beneficial to their lifestyle.
If you have paid attention this whole time, which for your sales career I hope so, you remember me mentioning the FACT that your prospects will sell themselves to you. As an observant salesperson you must be vigilant of the many verbal, and non verbal signs customers subconsciously display.
Identifying Buying and Non-Buying signs
Sales is a numbers game folks. You will never have a 100% close rate so don’t ever even think it. The best way to ensure a high close rate is to play your law of averages. Law of averages simply mean that a sale is bound to happen because it is statistically possible. The real question is how many attempts are required in between each sale.
Law of Averages
One of the first points I made in this article was that sales is not for everyone. Law of averages requires a strong work ethic as the general mantra is “more prospects, higher probability of sales”. To achieve more prospects people must utilize their time more efficiently while working harder.
The best way to determine your law of averages is to set a benchmark. How many sales do I need of what return value, to make “x” amount of dollars? Next you need to grind, sharpen your axe and practice your craft until you achieve that goal. Lastly you will want to note of how many prospects were required to get that many sales each and every week.
Understanding your law of Averages and having faith in the principle gives a better understanding of how up days and down days effect our attitude. Negative attitudes lose their drive during the down days. Positive attitudes understand that instead of failure, down days are practice for the next.
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If you can effectively understand and utilize all of these principles than I promise you that your sales will increase, you will build a bigger better network, and will ascend the sales career escalator. Make sure to check out 10 Character Traits Highly Successful People Share.
Thank you for reading “Must Learn Sales Skills that Will Increase Commissions”. Please comment how they have helped or if you have any questions. Don’t forget to share with your fellow sales peeps.