Article by Michael Todd, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

It is amazing to still see people face to face, up on stage or over the phone do the hard sell, pressuring us into making a decision. If it does work occasionally, it is because the buyer is vulnerable and you can be sure that it won’t result in a repeat sale nor a referral.

Sales can get tricky at times. Customers get difficult. Deals don’t come off like they have before. No one is happy when there is no return on efforts. Sometimes even the assistance you get isn’t very helpful. With the amount of resources we have access to, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different sales training programs, buzzwords or strategies.

The truth is that selling is a lot simpler than we make it. You need to listen to potential customers about what they want or need, and then you introduce your product as the answer. You want people to think buying your services was their idea.

Forget hard selling. It doesn’t work well at all these days. Adopt a more passive or low-key selling approach and your product or service will nearly sell itself.

Rather than direct selling, you need to prove your value to potential clients. Ask potential customers to tell you about their businesses or lives and how it is all going. This will give you a great deal of useful information, including what motivates them as buyers.

By listening to your customers and getting to know what troubles them, leaves you able to provide a solution that involves your product. Rather than selling, the job is problem solving, which is a positive for everyone.

So it is important to remember:

  • If you care more about solving problems than selling products you’ll get fewer objections and close deals faster.
  • Relationships matter, but demonstrating value weighs more in importance.
  • Be willing to network and meet new people, but always have objectives which involve getting something out of it.
  • Sales strategies do take work. Make sure you always include honesty.
  • You’re more likely to fail because you’re not mentally, financially, and physically fit rather than because you don’t have the right sales skills.