19 Aug Born To Sell
Sales Secrets of the Rich and Powerful
From the moment you were born and began crying for attention, your life in sales began. Every social interaction, job application, or business deal since your first day on Earth required your sales skills. You are actually a natural-born salesperson, and now it’s time to refine your understanding of how to most successfully apply your sales skills.
Whether you ask someone on a date, negotiate a price at a farmers’ market, or discuss where to go on vacation with your friends or significant other, you’ll need to employ your sales skills. In business, you’ll need well-honed skills with your customers, employees, partners, and suppliers so you can make your business successful.
Selling is a form of persuasion, and persuasion is one of the most basic forms of human communication. If you’re not the one doing the persuading, you’re probably the one being persuaded.
By learning, understanding, and employing sales fundamentals, you’ll become a better communicator and achieve more favorable results in your business and your life.
Every entrepreneur needs to learn the psychology of selling because even though you may not be personally involved in sales, the art of selling forms the basis of marketing, and creates a powerful connection with your target audience which in turn drives cash flow. Here are seven sales secrets that will transform your path as an entrepreneur.
Secret #1: Know Your Target Audience
If you put up a billboard in the middle of the desert, nobody will see it. If you set up a hamburger stand at a vegan festival, you will offend and alienate your audience. Sales and persuasion are easier when the audience you are targeting already wants what you are selling. Half the battle is finding the audience that’s hungry for what you’re offering. The other half is feeding your market what they are hungry to consume. By identifying the market that wants or needs what you sell, and then understanding their motivations and sensibilities, sales will follow. For example, if you sold “heavenly meatless tacos” at the vegan festival, you would likely have a long line in front of your counter.
Secret #2: Belief In What You Sell
There is a powerful element in the human brain called the “mirror neuron” that facilitates a desire to mimic the actions of other people. We use this skill for learning, empathizing, and of course, persuasion and sales. When you sincerely believe in the product, your enthusiasm and belief persuade others to believe in your product as well. Conversely, if you have doubts about what you’re selling, others will intuit your lack of commitment and find reasons to reject your product or service. This is why it’s so important that you absolutely and genuinely believe in what you’re selling. Your belief in your product or service must be authentic because any half-belief will be detected in your prospect will disbelieve you and what you’re selling. The cardinal rule about sales is that most people must know, like, and trust you before they’ll make a purchase. When you believe in your product and you speak with authenticity and confidence born of your own commitment to the value of your product, you’re more likely to make a sale. Your prospect is reading you and judging you emotionally and logically to determine whether or not you’re speaking the truth. You must connect completely at every level in order to have a decent chance of making a sale. Secret #3 explains this further.
Secret #3: Connect With Your Audience
There are three key elements to the human brain. First, deep down in the core of your brain is the amygdala, which is responsible for ‘gut’ reactions, reflexes, and our deepest fears and desires. The second element is the limbic system which controls our emotional responses and generates feelings of joy, love, pain, sadness, excitement, etc. The third element is the prefrontal cortex, which is where the logical or rational influences of the brain reside.
To be great at sales, you have to connect with your prospects and customers on all three levels. If you only connect on one or two of these key elements, your sales will be diminished. Your prospects and customers should believe your product solves their biggest fears and achieves their deepest desires (the amygdala). Your marketing should connect to your audience emotionally (the limbic system), so they can imagine the joy of using your product or service and fear or regret not having it. Lastly, prospects and customers should logically conclude (the prefrontal cortex) that purchasing your product or service is the obvious and rational choice.
Aside from the biological features of our brain and how these aspects affect how we respond, the most important point to remember is that when you’re making a sale, the person you’re speaking with has to believe what you believe. The only way this can happen is if you truly believe in your product or service. When you believe in what you’re selling, you’re authentic and your message transfers naturally. This makes the connection complete, and the emotional and logical bridge is established.
The person may buy or not, but this is no longer your concern because you’ve done your most important task: connecting completely and transferring the message that’s organic to your truth.
Secret #4: Know Your Customers’ WHY
This is familiar territory. Earlier we discussed the importance of your knowing your own WHY. In sales, is just as important to know the WHY that motivates your target market.
The WHY always relates to deep-seated emotions and desires – the core of a person. To identify and understand the WHY of your prospects and customers, you have to go deep into their persona. For example, if you want to sell perfume, the following scenario might apply:
First, you might start by asking, “Why does a person want to buy perfume?” The simple answer could be “To smell nice”.
Now you should go a level deeper and ask, “Why would a person want to smell nice?” and the answer might be “To feel attractive”.
Next, go even deeper: “Why does a person want to feel attractive?” and you might receive the answer “To feel loved”.
This is why perfume ads so often focus on love – the message appeals to the deepest WHY of the target audience.
As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to find your customers’ deepest WHYs and appeal to these core desires in your marketing.
Secret #5: Exert Confidence
A vitally important aspect of persuasion is how you are perceived by your audience. If you appear confident, self-assured, well-dressed, groomed, and reasonable, people will want to listen. On the other hand, if you act insecure, arrogant, pushy, or look disheveled, nobody will care what you have to say; most people are likely to be repelled by you, and your message will be ignored even if it could help them.
The next time you’re out in public, observe your reactions to strangers. Note the mannerisms, clothing, and speaking styles of the people you think you’d enjoy knowing compared with those who make you feel uncomfortable.
Give some thought to how you’re being perceived and consider whether you need a makeover. Perhaps you need to adjust your attitude, your listening style, your sense of presence; these are inner qualities.
Most people do judge a book by its cover, so you might need to upgrade your wardrobe or focus on your hairstyle, or other external attributes that may detract and distract a prospect’s or customer’s acceptance of you and your message. Perhaps you can ask a trusted confidant for feedback. The best public speakers and celebrities constantly reflect on ways to improve and present themselves.
Being confident in yourself, with the way you look and the way you speak, and the attitude with which you carry yourself, all of these contribute to the impression of your personal power and they translate into welcome acceptance. People like to be around someone who is confident, and they buy them a person who is confident in themselves and in their product or service. There is a magnetic attraction that is compelling, so nurture this aspect of yourself and master this ability as soon as possible.
Secret #6: Be Credible
You have to be knowledgeable in your field. Many entrepreneurs are so laser-focused on a particular product or service, that they neglect to develop their understanding of their niche. Products and services do not exist in a vacuum but are part of a larger picture.
Being credible means you have a deep understanding of your customers and their needs, detailed and insightful information about your products or services, and the ability and desire to enthusiastically discuss essential aspects of your industry. People put their trust in those who know what they’re talking about and are happy to share valuable information. Because you want your customers to trust you with their hard-earned money, being generous with credible insights will gain their trust, build rapport, and make sales.
Secret #7: Truly Listen
A prospect will often give you everything you need to close the sale. Unfortunately, many salespeople are way too interested in what they themselves are saying and miss the cues given by their prospects.
Everything a prospect says is important if only you would read between the lines and actively listen to the message beneath their words. Active listening means giving full attention to the person and listening with all your senses. Too often, when someone is speaking, we stop listening! Instead, we are thinking of our response rather than fully hearing the other person or observing non-verbal cues from body language, voice inflections, and eye contact.
When someone feels they are being heard, they become far more receptive to hearing what you are saying. To get a prospect to open up, ask genuine questions and then actively listen to their response. This will help attune you to their underlying thoughts and feelings, making it easier to know how to shape your approach. For example, are they genuinely interested in what you’re selling? Or are they just being polite? Maybe they’re hiding their enthusiasm so you’ll lower your price or give better terms.
Consider asking multiple questions in a “listen sandwich”: listen, ask, listen, ask, etc. By listening and asking and listening, you can delve deeper into the true meaning behind their words, making it much easier to communicate the value of your product in a way they can truly appreciate.
Ask questions that point to their problem. By asking questions about their concerns and challenges, you’ll more capably connect the value of your product to their need for relief.