A career in sales can be a rewarding one. It is an opportunity to harness your enthusiasm and excitement for a great product line, and embrace all that lies ahead. If you’re new to selling, however, there are some basics you’ll need to master in order to get in the right mindset and reach your professional goals. Read on for some tips on how to get started.

  • Ask questions to quickly find out what the problem is and/or what the customer needs. The product or service you’re selling is secondary. No one wants to feel like they’re being “sold to.” Your objective should be to find out what problem the customer has that needs solving. Do this right away, and as soon as you identify it, quickly explain the solution that your product provides. Your customers will be more open to what you have to say once they realize that they could benefit from what you’re selling.
  • Use language that is simple to understand. Don’t make the mistake of using business jargon or uncommon words in hopes of impressing the customer. Speak to them in a natural, conversational tone just as you would a friend. Remember that you’re building a relationship, so choose your words carefully and make a connection with the customer. Perhaps you both follow the same NFL team, or maybe you both have a child the same age. Use easy-to-understand language when describing your product just as you would while talking about the Broncos or your 2-year-old.
  • Create and describe a picture for the customer. Tapping into your customer’s imagination can be a very effective way to demonstrate his or her need for your product or service. For example, you’ve identified that the customer’s problem that needs solving is that the family dog constantly sheds year-round. Encourage your customer to visualize the dog hair on the couch that’s nearly impossible to vacuum, the daily morning ritual of de-linting his suits before leaving for work, and the feeling that the house is never truly clean because of dog hair dust bunnies that always appear even after the floor has just been swept. Now, when you propose your solution of more consistent grooming and a complementary de-shedding tool, you can create a different picture of a hair-free couch, clean suits, and shiny wood floors. By creating pictures, you’ve helped the customer compare their lives with the problem to what their lives could be with the solution you offer.
  • Ask more questions and listen carefully to their answers. This is especially true when you’re faced with objections or hesitation from the customer. Ask specific questions that get to the heart of the skepticism and truly listen to the answers. Some salespeople call this “getting to the no.” Instead of being afraid to hear the word “no,” get right to it so you can begin to address the customer’s concerns and overcome objections. Careful listening will help you focus your discussion to the customer’s specific needs.
  • Think of yourself as a guide. As a guide, it’s your job to lead the customer to the solution. Help him or her navigate the roadblocks such as price points, time commitments, or value. Don’t get your prospect lost by losing your focus and going off on tangents about irrelevant topics. Address each concern and demonstrate the effectiveness of your proposed solution. Putting yourself in the role of guide will give you a more personable approach to sales.

The art of selling is one that is developed over time. The more experience you gather, the more confident and capable you will become.

What else do you think should be added to our list? Please share your ideas below!