A generation of inbetweeners in culture, war, and technology, 90s kids are the children of the Internet. It started in chat rooms, led to Instant Messaging, and eventually they became the first adopters of social media (Facebook used to be for students only). But all those Friend Requests and “personalized” messages don’t translate to social skills IRL (that’s In Real Life, of course). Those are the most important skills a salesperson can have; more than having technique, a good salesperson needs to be personable. And as antiquated as it may seem, sales was, is, and always will be an invaluable part of business.
The majority of the startup demographic consists of young, talented people creating stellar products, without a clue as to how to sell them. Especially since they’re so invested in the company’s success. This makes it harder to look at the product or service objectively–like your customers will.
At Likeable Local I spend most of my time speaking with independent business owners about the power of social media. Here are nine ways you can develop your selling skill set.
1. Calls and visits trump the web. Yes it is old-fashioned and it works. Actual human contact is incredibly important. We say more with our bodies than our mouths. Well, most of us do.
2. The power of yes. The more times you get someone to say yes, the more likely they are to say it again later. This is part of an advanced selling technique, but what it really means is you should be engaging with your audience at all times by LISTENING.
3. Preparation is key. Know as much as you can before you reach out and not just about your business, but about the company and the person you are speaking to. Most company websites have an employee section, so start there and move to researching the place on LinkedIn.
4. Always Be Closing; ABC. You can’t be be afraid to close the deal. And it’s not your client’s job to bring it up. The easiest way to lose a sale is by not asking for it.
5. Go off the cuff. Have a plan going in, but be able to adlib. And don’t worry about leaving the plan completely, go with what works best.
6. Talk normally. If you don’t sound like a person, why would I want to speak with you? If you’re asking a question, but it sounds like a statement, I might confuse you for a robot.
7. Make eye contact. This seems obvious, but people forget how powerful it can be. You can make eye contact over phone too. Be genuine in your conversation and, again, be engaging. Try to incorporate what you learn about the person and company into your conversation.
8. Practice makes perfect. Get out there, or on the phone. Learn what works best for you.
9. Social proof works. Many people look at product reviews before making a purchase. And now we have social social proof where customers can see “likes”, purchases and reviews from friends.
These nine sales tips are beneficial in work and in life. Have you used any of these sales tips before? What would you add to this list?