Every person, at some time or another, must know how to sell.
“I am not a salesperson,” you may say, “I am _____________.”
You can fill in the blank with any number of roles – a business owner, mother/father, assistant, accountant, attorney, or quality control manager, for example. The roles are endless.
But every single role requires that you be able to sell.
Maybe you don’t make your living selling cars or real estate, but somewhere in your life (often daily), you must elicit someone’s buy-in to your service, idea, process, logical argument, or directive.
Whether in the courtroom, the boardroom, or the children’s playroom, you must be a person of influence.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell talks about the “Law of the Buy-in.” It states that “people buy into the leader, then the vision.”
Before you can successfully sell someone on your product, service, idea, or way of thinking; they must buy into you as the leader.
What does this mean?
It means that the root of selling, no matter the role, is trust. Trust is bedrock to leadership.
- If your employees don’t trust you, they will not buy in to your vision and directives.
- If your customers don’t trust you, they will not purchase your product or service, even at deep discounts.
- If your family doesn’t trust you, they will not be open to listening to your thoughts and ideas, and they certainly won’t help you do those things that are important to you.
How do you earn TRUST?
Treat everyone respectfully.
Each person comes to the table with different strengths and weaknesses, experiences, and skills. These combinations provide unique and diverse perspectives. While these differing perspectives have great value, they can also be a source of conflict. The key is to understand the communication style of your team members and discuss the issues and ideas, while being respectful of them as the individuals they are.
This approach also works with customers. If you understand and communicate with them according to their unique style, they will feel respected; and you will earn their trust.
Recognize their needs.
In the vintage movie, Miracle on 34th Street, “Santa Claus” got in trouble for referring customers to a competing store for things that were not available at the store where he worked. This, of course, caused quite a stir in the management suite; but customers were thrilled that he cared enough about their needs to help them find a solution, even if it wasn’t at his store. While this act of referral was enough to get him fired; ultimately, upper management realized the genius of what he had done.
By simply meeting their needs, their loyalty and appreciation went off the charts. Instead of losing customers, they had more sales than ever.
If you want to earn trust (and thus increase buy-in), focus on recognizing and fulfilling needs…even if it means referring a customer to someone else.
Understand what is important to them.
Different personality styles value different aspects of a product or service. For some, it’s all about speed, efficiency, and simplicity. For others, it is about details and quality. It may be about people and entertainment (the more, the merrier) or about solitude.
If you are a realtor, for example, your goal should never be to sell a house. It should be to help your clients find a home that addresses what is most important to them. When you match their needs with a listing that meets those needs, the house will essentially sell itself.
For anyone who sells (and this, again, is everyone) one of your best assets is being able to “read” the personality styles of your people. The Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report is a valuable resource for helping you recognize these styles and communicate effectively.
People will run from a self-serving salesperson. There was a budding entrepreneur who made the rookie mistake of creating a sales page that talked all about the product with a bright yellow “Buy Now” button. They posted the link to social media, expecting to start creating passive income right away. But there was silence.
A wise coach asked them a question that turned that silence into success. That question was, “How do you serve?”
When you sell your product, service, or idea with this question in mind, it changes everything. How does your offering help others? What problem does it solve? What experience does it create?
You are not ready to create a sales page or promotion until you can answer the question: “How do you serve?”
How do you earn the trust of even the most reticent team member, client, or family member?
You give them time…time to answer their questions, time to think about what you are proposing, time to prove yourself consistent regarding delivery and follow-up, time to develop trust.
Just about every sales training program will focus on the aspects of closing the deal. And it is good advice to a degree. But if you have not earned the trust of the person yet, no amount of pressure will force the close. For some, you must simply give them time.
Time is also important after the sale. This is all about follow-up. You can’t afford to let this part fall by the wayside, as your best referral partner and potential next customer is a happy current customer.
Take a little time to keep in touch with those you serve. In a world of automation, busy-ness, and focus on the front end; you will stand out if you also keep in touch after the sale. It is the difference between a one-time customer and a lifetime, loyal customer.
For more resources on how you can sell in a way that is genuine and effective to both you and your client, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Sales Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.