Five Key Factors to Selling Part I

There are some people who just seem to be natural-born salespeople. There are others who dread the thought of having to try to convince someone else to buy something.

The reality is that all of us are selling something. We are selling our skills, our contacts, our ability to get something done, or a product or service – but we are all selling. The one key difference – and this is important – is whether you are helping someone solve a problem or whether you are just trying to get their money.

We have all dealt with people who are just trying to get our money; the high-pressure salesperson who is more focused on what they can get out of a deal than actually helping a potential customer solve a problem.

Here are five things a good salesperson focuses on during the sale process:

  • It is not about you. If you are not focused on helping a potential customer and understanding what is keeping him/her up at night, you will have a very short career. Start with good questions, and please DO NOT ever use, “Tell me about your business/yourself.” If you don’t know about your customer or their business before you sit down, you are wasting their time, and you have already lost the sale.
  • Research. Spend your time researching and understanding your potential new customer. The Internet is a great starting place. Google key people in the business, use LinkedIn, talk to people who do business with the potential customer, look at their website, and review their sales materials and brochures. What are the key trends impacting their industry? Know a lot about the potential customer before you make that call.
  • Failure and rejections. The issue of selling comes down to two big fears – failure and rejection. Nobody wants to be rejected. We take rejection personally and it can quickly become an emotional barrier to success. Another key fear is the fear of failing. We hate to lose. Losing is not a part of our culture, but there is no success without failure. Success and failure go together. Mental toughness is a critical trait that helps people push through their failures.
  • Attitude. If there is one “X” factor to selling, it is attitude. Attitude is an underlying factor in almost every success or failure. How a person thinks and where their mental focus is directed is critical. Negative people sap positive attitudes. If you find yourself with negative thoughts all the time, stop and look at the people you are spending time with during the day. Spend time with people who have positive attitudes and outlooks.
  • Stay with it until you win. Success, so many times, is just going at it one more time. Sometimes it’s just around the corner and people give up too early and walk away. Sometimes, someone was just on the cusp of success and they quit. The “grit” is critical in a person’s understanding of success and failure. Success is falling seven times, but getting up eight times.

Next week, I will write about how to build a network so that you will never have to “cold call.”