The ‘great’ art of selling is earning and keeping your client’s trust. In business or commerce, there is nothing greater than the feeling of making a successful sale. By successful, we mean the whole process: from convincing the customer that your product or service will meet his/her long or short-term needs, the client making the purchase, all the way to the delivery of the goods and the customer acknowledging and thanking you for it.
A successful sale must have all those elements and anything short of that is paramount to a quick-fix or even a scam.
Granted, not all sales turn out to be complete successes as elements of the above process could be stymied by aspects out of the control of the salesman such as lack of budget, delivery delays or a faulty product leading to the tainting of your service or brand.
I once, while based in Johannesburg, sold a product (owned by a US company but like every other product these days, was mass produced in China) and had it delivered from New York to Cape Town via air-freight based on a demand (order) that was placed on my then operational website, that led to correspondence mainly via email and phone to seal the deal. The product was good enough not to warrant a face-to-face visit, though in those days having Skype for Business would have been a great resource to at least give a face to the sales rep. They were, however, willing to deal with me several times without having met me personally based on the quality of the (medical) product and the vote of confidence and guarantees I provided throughout the intensive sales interactions.
This little anecdote proves that it doesn’t matter what you sell, if the product is of good quality, and meets all legal requirements – the sale becomes the easy part. It however still requires a little bit (and the right kind) of presentation to position it properly to execute the sale.
There is no real art to selling – we all do it all the time without realizing it. From the time we apply to a kindergarten or high school, to university and finally for all the jobs in our working career. We must present ourselves (our unique skills and character) and persuade a ‘buyer’ to take us on. And just like a brand, everything we do is intended to enhance our value and the more we beef-up our brand (with educational, mentorship and technical qualifications), the better our brand and the more demand for your ‘product’.
But back to selling. We sell people ideas – something as simple as convincing your mate to meet at the pub after work or your girls to join you for a weekend spa, takes skillful persuasion especially if they had other options. That is what sales is about – persuading a buyer to choose your product or service over that of others. This persuasion obviously can be genuine or fraudulent. Those salespeople trained by their leader Jordan Belfort as illustrated in the 2013 Wolf of Wall Street movie are a testimony to how persuasion can be used effectively when capitalizing on with an inherent human trade – greed. Being truthful, however, (even if it means letting go of a sale) will determine whether you get repeat customers – something most successful salespeople make use of boost their conversion rates and pipelines.
At debunqed.com, we tend to follow unconventional salespeople that use unorthodox methods -not necessarily textbook style of selling and make a killing out of it or at least help inspire you while you address the potential client’s needs honestly. Get yourself a mentor, and one that is honest about what they do.
Such revenue-multiplying potential that repeat-customers can provide for your sales portfolio or pipeline beats getting a quick-fix by conning people no matter how big the ‘score’ is. What you should be doing as a salesman is gaining your customers’ trust whilst solving their problem. A trusting customer will always look you up and if you operate in an industry where you have multiple products or one that needs to be renewed – you earn revenue for life!