A salesman, I am not. But then again, I have to sell every day. We all do. We sell the fact we are competent at our jobs. We sell the fact we’re enthusiastic about the boss’s new idea. We sell the fact that we like what we were served for dinner.
Sure, sometimes its easy to sell, if the fact you’re trying to sell is true. But sometimes it’s not so much and you have to really sell it.
In your job, you probably have moments when you have to sell, even though you don’t want to. If you are actually in sales, you depend on your ability to do so, so you’d better know how.
It’s shocking, however, how many sales people I run into who know know the trick to selling more.
The trick to selling more is simple: Don’t sell you. Sell them.
More, specifically, sell them a solution to their problem. They don’t care about you. I’ve ranted and raved before about pitches from software companies who insist on spending 20 minutes at the start of a call talking about themselves. I don’t care about their company history or CEO’s biography any more than the person you’re trying to sell to cares about your neato thing.
If you don’t start your pitch with, “You need a solution to problem X. Let me show you how I can help you solve that …” You’ve already lost.
- “Our product does this!”
- “We’ve been voted the best at …”
- “Companies like this one think we’re great!”
Your prospect is quietly saying, “Please stop talking. I want to do anything but listen to this peckerhead yammer on about how great his thing is.”
Stop thinking about you. Start thinking (and talking) about them.
- “You seem to be frustrated with the exposure your product is getting in this market. Let me show you how we can solve that problem.”
- “You said your internal projects aren’t moving fast enough. Let me help you optimize that workflow to get more things done faster.”
- “You want to keep the kids safe. Let me show you how you can rest easy with a smart home alert system.”
Yes, this requires you to know something about your prospect sooner than you’re used to. Yes, you might have to ask questions first so you don’t assume too much and pick a problem they don’t perceive as a problem.
But the end result will be more than feigned interest. It might even lead to a sale.
Can you think of a time when you were sold something you didn’t know you wanted? Did the sales person make it all about you rather than how cool he, she or it was? Did they use the trick to selling more? Tell me your story in the comments.