Five Concepts to Improve Your SalesmanshipAmong all your various responsibilities as a direct seller, don’t forget that the life blood of your business comes down to sales. A product or service has to be sold in order for you to make money. Improving your salesmanship can take your business to the next level, whether you just signed on the dotted line yesterday, or have been doing this for years while creating a large downline. The list below will help strengthen your salesmanship.

1. Imagine yourself as the customer. By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, you can avoid doing anything that might cause a rejection. You’ll also be able to tap into what a potential customer truly needs from you. If you were the customer, what would you need to know before making a purchase? What problem do you have that can be solved? How can you be sure the product is of high quality and value? Considering a different perspective of a sale will allow you to address concerns and emphasize relevant information.

2. Don’t shy away from talking about money. Most people, understandably so, feel uncomfortable talking about money in any specific way. Avoid giving the impression that you are one of them. Discuss any financial talk in a straightforward, matter-of-fact way, and answer any questions honestly, thoroughly, and without hesitation. Potential customers are always wary of being taken advantage of, so demonstrate that you have nothing to hide and truly want to provide a valuable product or service to them. Talking about money is a necessary step toward closing a sale.

3. Take your time and be overly prepared. Do some research ahead of time to prepare for a sale. Who is the potential customer? Find out some background information to incorporate into your presentation. For example, your hostess has told you that most of her guests are her colleagues, mostly teachers and teachers’ aides. Ask some questions about the school, what subjects/ grade levels the guests teach, and what they might be looking for at that night’s party. Your customers will appreciate your attentiveness and interest in their lives and will be in tune to your desire to fulfill a need. Think of the time spent preparing as an investment in your business.

4. Be truly curious about your customer. If you aren’t genuine about helping others, it won’t take long for the customer to figure that out. Accept that truly caring about what a customer wants or needs is the key to earning trust and respect. Ask questions, listen carefully, and respond appropriately to the individual. No one is interested in a generic pitch, so adopt a curiosity that will benefit both you and the customer.

5. Always follow up promptly and thoroughly. Whether the sale is made or not, follow up with the customer in a timely manner. If the sale was made, find out if the person is satisfied with the purchase and what you can do if there is a complaint. If the sale wasn’t made, contact the person anyway to thank him or her for taking the time to speak with you. Following up consistently is a skill that will serve you well both personally and professionally.

It’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable playing the “salesperson” role, but adopting the concepts mentioned above will greatly improve your selling ability. What would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below.