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The 12 Golden Principles of Selling

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Principle 1: Always Sell to People

This may seem obvious, but it cannot be emphasized enough: You are not selling to an organization or to a conglomerate, but to actual, real people. It is important to remember that all people are different, so you cannot sell the same way to everyone.

Second, no two sales are the same, even if they are made to the same company under similar circumstances.

To become a good salesperson, it isn’t enough to know how to sell. You must aim to become a people expert. It may sound shocking, but the best professional salespeople actually like people!

Remember, people buy from people – they always will.

Principle 2: You Have To Sell Yourself

Just as you are selling to people, you must also remember that you are not only selling and representing a product or service, but you are in effect selling yourself. When beginning a sales relationship, it is important to remember a few key aspects to representing yourself well.

First, be interesting. If potential customers are bored by you, they have less of a chance of being enthralled by any product or service you are representing.

Develop intellect. Of course, you are an intelligent person, but can you converse in an intelligent manner? Can you discuss related subjects with thoughtfulness and hold your clients’ interest?

Never be arrogant – never talk up or down to your potential clients. It’s rude and will serve only to alienate them. Respect the buyer, and they will respect you.

Along the same lines, develop your empathy levels. If you can relate to your customers’ situations authentically, it helps to build rapport. Finally, control your ego levels. A good salesperson is patient and respectful, not an egomaniac.

Principle 3: You Must Ask Questions

A good salesperson knows what questions to ask, and when. Develop your questioning techniques, always remembering the traditional rules of questioning: What? Where? When? Which? Why? Who? And how?

Continually test your understanding of the situation by asking questions and verifying that everybody’s on the right track.

Principle 4: Listen To Understand

Remember, God has given us two ears and one mouth; we should use them in that order! Successful sales professionals talk for 20 percent of the time and listen for 80 percent of the time. It’s crucial for new salespeople to develop their active-listening skills.

Principle 5: Features Must Be Linked to Benefits

It’s a standard sales component, but the features-and-benefits connection bears repeating and reminding: Features are common, but benefits are personal and specific. When describing the product or service you are selling, use “link phrases” when outlining the benefits of the features you are showing. Say, “Such and such is a feature of this service, which means that . . .’ Remember to be specific.

Principle 6: Sell the Results – Paint a Picture

You want the outcome for your prospect to be rosy, but you need to convey that. Discover your prospect’s “prime desires,” and personalize the benefits to him or her. Describe the end results of the transaction and how it will improve the life of your prospect.

Principle 7: You Cannot Rely On Logic

Emotion drives 84 percent of all buying decisions, not logic. What are the chief buying emotions? They include ego, security, pride of ownership, greed, health, prestige, status, ambition, and fear of loss. Be well aware of these emotions as you approach, engage and deal with your customers.

Principle 8: Selective Product Knowledge Is the Key

A good salesperson realizes that buyers buy solutions and results; they do not buy products or services. Know the specific aspects of your product or service that will create your client’s desired result.

Principle 9: Aim To Be Unique

You want to convey to your customers an attitude of “me first,” rather than “me too.”

Every business, every company, every product has something that is unique, and this is what you need to stress. Look outside the square, and identify the uniqueness of your product, your service, your company — and yourself.

Principle 10: Don’t Sell on Price

Selling on price is simply a cop out. You must value your expertise, your products and your services, and price accordingly. Always keep the bottom line firmly in your mind.

Remember, anyone can give business away. Selling merely on price means we do not need sales people!

Principle 11: Present Your Solutions

When we present our proposals, rather than mailing, faxing or e-mailing, we increase the likelihood of a sale by a factor of 10 if we do so in person.

Principle 12: Be Professional at All Times

The greatest compliment a customer can pay you is to describe you as “professional.” Don’t worry about being liked — be respected.

Being professional is not one thing, it is three: It is what you do, what you say, and how you present yourself.

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