Selling is a learned skill


No matter what you’ve heard, there’s no such thing as a natural born salesperson.

Top salespeople become that way by applying themselves with drive and determination to learn everything they can about their chosen career.

The idea that a person should do well in sales simply because he or she has the “gift of the gab” or could “talk the leg off a chair” is just not true.

Success in selling is more about listening than it is about talking.

During my journey I’ve completed many sales and marketing and professional development courses and attended countless seminars and workshops.

I have read with enthusiasm every self-help book and listened to every tape and CD I could lay my hands on.

These days I gain inspiration from top leadership gurus through electronic versions of their best sellers, private coaching, mentoring programs, and webinars.

But nothing beats real life experience, and I have had and still get plenty of that!


A sales star’s toolkit


To be successful at selling it helps to be a people person and someone who enjoys the art of conversation.

To have an optimistic outlook and be able to withstand and recover quickly from difficult conditions.

That being said, all normal functioning and productive members of society should fit the bill!

The most useful tools in an effective salesperson’s kit should include:


  • being solutions orientated – always focus on how your offering best solves the customer’s problem and/or best satisfies their want/need;
  • asking the right sorts of questions – painstaking inquiries will uncover any objections the customer may have for not moving forward;
  • being an exceptionally good listener – truly empathise with your customer’s point of view, encourage them to consider their objections and help them find the answers they need;
  • possessing good powers of persuasion – keep in mind that few people are capable of being convinced, the majority of us allow ourselves to be persuaded!


The winning traits of a sales star


What separates a fairly good salesperson from a sales star?

It’s their exceptional ability at overcoming objections.

Salespeople who have yet to perfect their skills manage to get through their presentation OK but they tend to freeze when confronted with an objection from the customer.

Mistakenly they might take it personally, fell deflated and go on the defensive.

A sales star simply acknowledges that an objection is merely a request for more information.

The sales star will quiz the customer to ferret out any objections or roadblocks they expect to encounter that could stand between a sale or a no sale in an effort to steer the meeting to its desired outcome.

It makes sense that every customer wants to have any concerns cleared up before they make a decision to purchase.

A lot of times if you craft your questions carefully you may have the customer answering their own objections, allowing the sales process to naturally move forward.

Personally I have encountered as many as eight objections before hearing my first “yes”.

I welcome the no’s because each “no” brings me closer to the “yes”!

And in the process I get to better understand my client’s needs.

Sure, I have to work harder for the sale.

But in my experience having to work hard for the sale results in a better customer relationship than a lay down misère.

Interplay with a prospective customer is fun!

Interplay involves asking lots of questions.

Questions create involvement.

Involvement leads to a deeper association.

And a deeper association creates customer loyalty, quality referrals, and outstanding testimonials.