With just about everything you do in life, your ability to sell will play a huge role in your success.

Having sales skills will teach you about connecting with people, how to get them on board with an idea.

How to negotiate and how to close a deal.

I have put all these skills to very good use in my career and you can too.

There are some basic concepts you must come to grips with in order to succeed.

Once you’ve learned these methods you need to practice them.

Then integrate your newly acquired skills into your personality, into your speech pattern, so they become uniquely yours.


Do your homework


You need to know your customer as well as you possibly can.

Do your research and assemble as much information as possible about them, their needs, their expectations, and so on.

Get a feeling for where they fit in their particular market.

What makes them stand out from their competitors?

Make a list of all the possible questions and objections you think they may throw at you.

Be very well prepared in advance of your first meeting.

It is essential also to have some in-depth knowledge about your competitors and their product or service offering so you are at the ready for what you could be up against.

From experience I know how impressed a client can be with the fact that you know almost as much about their business as they do.

It’s a compliment to them.

It demonstrates you care.


Use good questioning and listening skills


At your face-to-face meeting or during your telephone conversation remember it is all about the client.

It’s not about you.

Be inquisitive.

Ask pertinent questions.

Encourage your client to open up.

Make sure you pay attention to the things that really and truly matter to them, the things that elicit a strong emotional response or reaction.

Gather together all the information you can to help you present your service offering in a fashion that they will find most appealing.


Make a genuine connection


The very best relationships involve a genuine connection between people.

Make an effort to connect with your prospective client in a deep and meaningful way.

Express yourself in a manner that resonates with them.

Where appropriate use humour and anecdotes to spark their interest.

My favourite way of interacting with another person is to “mirror” some of their movements, facial expressions, or words.

This creates a powerful sense of familiarity, comfort and trust.

It is particularly useful in face-to-face encounters, but over time I have managed to hone this skill in my other methods of communication.

Being in possession of all the necessary details about your prospective client’s business you should know precisely what they are looking for and how to overcome their concerns and meet their needs.

Describe the benefits you can provide by relating case studies that show off specific outcomes you have achieved for your other clients.

People like to hear about ideas, features and performance.

Their emotional connection to your stories and the people you have served is what they will remember most.

Ultimately that is what will motivate them to jump on board with you.


Partner with your client


Even though you may be sitting on opposite sides of the boardroom table you must, from the very outset, adopt the mindset that you are working alongside (not for) your prospective customer.

Take the approach that this is a partnership with a mutual objective.

A win/win proposition where you provide your expertise and in turn the client rewards you for having helped them achieve a common purpose.

It is essential for you to prove to your customer that you have a vested interest in producing outstanding results for them.

When you are able to convince your customer that you have a genuine desire and ability to do everything necessary to make them successful, you will win deals.