6 Effective Ways to Become a Better Sales Person

sales pitch

  1. Walk into a sales meeting with your dick hanging out if you really know what you are talking about, then you should act like you are “the shit” and be confident. If you act nervous, it makes the buyer nervous about you and the product or service you are selling. If you act like you are the shit, then the buyer may feel that your product or service is the shit.
  2. Understand your buyer – before you pitch a potential customer, make sure you know the basics about them. Relating your sales pitch to them or even their business will help them better understand why they need to buy whatever you are selling. A great way to do this is to give examples of how your product or service can affect them. Or better yet, find stats how the product or service helped their competition.
  3. Don’t over sell – hopefully whatever you are selling is isn’t crap because you want it to sell itself. Overselling shows you are desperate and can cause the buyer to start negotiating. The last thing you want is for the potential customer to seem that he or she holds the power.
  4. Be honest – no one likes a sales person that lies or cherry coats things. Try to tell the truth even if the potential buyer doesn’t want to hear it. This will help build trust between both parties.
  5. Make your product or service seem limited – even if you are selling toilet paper, you can still make it seem limited. By reducing the price for a short period of time or saying that there is only a limited quantity available (even if there isn’t) you will create the perception that you are selling something that needs to be bought now.
  6. Hook a buyer up – buyers like to feel that they are getting a good deal. A good way to create this perception is through pricing. For example, when I was selling $1800 dollar vacuums, no one bought one because they felt they were too expensive. So I started selling them at $1799, which lead potential customers to feel that they were getting a better deal.

Anyone else have any sales experiences or advice they want to share?

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Comments

  1. #4 and #5 are contradicting each other. :) I get the point, but that is a bit like having your cake and eating it too.

    • Yea, they do contradict each other. With number 4, you don’t want to tell “big” lies, such as the product can do X, when in fact it can only do Y. With number 5, you can tell small lies such as we only have 2 left so that they purchase faster.

      • “limited time only” “once in a lifetime opportunity” etc… make the sell

      • What they are saying in 4 is be honest as possible about your product so later on the customer will not find out otherwise or that they might already know about your product and tell you that your a liar. Now in five they are stateing that if you make it seem as if your the only one who can do them the favor of getting what you have, then its going to get to them emotionally, a customer hates missing a great deal. So they would be a fool to miss such a great oppurtunity and close!!!

  2. They key is to be confident and honest at the same time. You need to stand behind a product you truly believe in and are passionate about because if you don’t it people will read through it and you will lose confidence.

    • Totally agree! For this reason it is best if a sales person is actually selling a good product or service, so that it makes it easier for them to believe in it.

  3. KISS keep it simple stupid :) I’ve seen highly educated people try and explain the engineering to a potential client and they DON’T care – they want to know how the problem is solved… Show them how you can solve a problem, and making a sale is easy – don’t forget to ask for the money! #1 problem w/ sales people that have worked for me in the past… They were all afraid to ask for the sale – YOU MUST it’s the important part of the sales process :)

    And most importantly – Make a friend first. I don’t care what your selling – if you don’t make a friend it’s going to be hard to extract that wallet. Read some Zig Ziglar that guy is THE ultimate salesman!

    .02
    db

    • 2 great points. I personally love the KISS philosophy so much, that my latest company is called “KISS Metrics”.

      And as for the friend advice, my best deals have came from knowing a friend inside a company. If someone can vouch for you, the deal is more likely to go through.

      • Brent Singh :

        Also very important don’t sell features, sell benefits. No one care that product XYZ has so so so.
        Tell them how So so so can make thier life much easier, save them money ect. That sells! Yes, and then most definatly ask for the sale.

  4. If you can’t walk into the meeting with SOMETHING hanging out, then you probably shouldn’t be in sales. But there’s a fine line between being confident and being a jackass. I’ve seen plenty of sales lost by men and women who can’t see what they’ve got hanging out because their head is too far up their arse. That’s where David’s point about being the FRIEND really can make or break the sale.

  5. The best way to handle it is to appear as a knowledgeable, interested salesperson whose mission is to help the prospect achieve his objectives. Respond to objectives positively and respect the prospect’s actions as legitimate concerns.

  6. I think that “knowing” your prospect and being a good listener are paramount to a successful sale. I say successful because not all sales are a good fit for your company. Especially if the client is “sold” something that they don’t need.

    • Listening is very important. I have seen way too many salesmen go into a meeting and start pitching without listening to what the client has to say. Doing that is a great way to lose a sale.

  7. People often tell me, “I can’t do a job in sales, I can’t talk enough, I can’t convince people.” This is a common misconception of the sales profession, sales champions don’t talk their heads off in a sales situation. You have to listen to the customer carefully, more then you talk. A more effective sales professional will ask the buyer questions based on the needs the customer explained during the conversation. Buyers love to buy, but they hate to be “sold”.

    Also going along with being confident, you have to know your products inside and out, otherwise the buyer will see right through you when you try to wing it. If you know your products and believe in the company and the passion is there, that positive energy can radiate onto the customer to help them feel comfortable about making a buying decision.

    On the point of being honest, its better to say, “thats a great question, I am not sure at this point, I’ll find out and contact you.” then trying to bullshit an anwser when you don’t know something about your product. Many sales people try to make up stuff, which catches them at the end of the sale when they are caught.

    Neil, when you dropped the price of the vacuum to $1799 did you sell any?

  8. I believe that the most critical aspect in selling anything is your personal brand. Most people believe that you should sell on product, price, or company and I STRONGLY disagree. People buy stuff from people that they like, bottom line. If you come across as an arrogant jackass people will be turned off (think used car salesman). If you communicate a clear value proposition with your personal brand, people will be eager to deal with you.

    Believe it or not, people are more concerned about the process than closing a sales, a there are many examples of just that…

    • James,

      Yes, people do buy from people they like, although I agree you should not sell on product, price or company, you’re personal brand won’t matter if you don’t have a product that meets their needs. In my experience, by listening to the customer and understanding what they need, recommend products that can help them reach the goals they set for themselves and help them make a decision is what creates your personal brand.

      This is true when meeting a prospect for the first time, you may have a great personal brand but the prospect will not realize until after they have became your customer.

      • I think it is a bit of both. They have to like the product, price, and the person. For example when I buy stuff, if I hate the person, I usually never buy anything from them.

  9. Ultimately I feel it’s about knowing the customer and being willing to go the long way to develop a relationship that offers value to their immediate and long-term needs.

    Great post!

    • I have also found that building relationships is effective. If you get to know someone on a personal level before you pitch, you are much more likely to close the deal.

  10. Get them to commit… to anything. Even if they tell you no, get them to commit to “possibly exploring your product in the future” then get them to commit to a follow up date.

    My position in my company gives me the unique opportunity to be both the seller and the buyer in many instances. The absolute #1 thing I hate in a salesperson is desperation. NEVER sound desperate for a sale, you will not get it. You can sense it on the other end of the phone. The #2 thing I hate is this phrase: “Let me ask you a question … do you want to get more business?” That is the lamest and most ineffective pitch ever. The second I hear that, I tune the salesperson out , I am done. No sale.

    The best salesperson is one that says pretty much this “Hey, here is my service, here is why I think it works for you. Do you think this fits your needs?” Not cocky but just honest and helpful. The best salespeople are not ones that people walkaway saying “that was a good salesperson” but “that was just a plain good person, I want to work with them.”

    Evaluate and use their needs to make them feel as if they shouldnt be living without your service.

    • I do agree that your approach works, but I feel that being cocky can get you more money out of the potential buyer. I could be wrong, but that is what I have experienced.

  11. Great advice, except we’re in the year 2008 and left the 80′s way back….but very amusing though, so thanks.

  12. It takes balls to be in sales. The problem with walking into a meeting with one’s “dick hanging out” is that many sales people tend to think they ARE the shit even though they just stink like one. Some are too arrogant to even notice that the buyers pointed and laughed.

    • Valid point. I think it only works if you really are “the shit”. If you aren’t the shit and are walking with your dick hanging out, it probably will not do much for you.

  13. I think this is equally important for an online shoppers too.

    • Not sure if you mean “seller” instead of buyer, but I don’t think all of the points work in an online world. You can’t go around walking with your dick out online, unless you want to be classified as an adult website.

  14. Neil, I like your style! Show them your genitals! It always works. Once they see your package they will certainly know who’s boss.

  15. Better sales person will talk less about his services and his expertise,
    He must be concentrate to convinces you the benefits which you are going to have after taking his services/products.

  16. I think your #1 piece of advice pretty much captures how to sell…and as some one who has sold everything from lawn mowers to debt to cocktails, I will add this: TELL people to buy it. Just tell them. You will be amazed at how often this works. Some people in life just need and like to be told what to do.

  17. I think confidence is the best thing. From landing pages in affiliate marketing that show cocky people who talk about how great everything is to the top salesmen in fortune 500 companies they are all confident in their product and make sure they tell you about how confident they are.

  18. I love confidence, provided I can tell the person has the knowledge to back it up. Don’t fake it…make sure you /are/ the shit if you’re going to act like it.

    • Sad part is, it is easier said than done. A lot of people aren’t confident in themselves… it takes time and practice before people feel confident in any situation.

      • Confidence is key. Both for you the salesperson and for the customer. Let me explain, if you feel unsure about being able to answer product questions, or if the price you have to ask seems unreasonably high to you, or if you don’t have confidence that your company will meet promised delivery dates etc, you will subtly reveal your lack of confidence with weak words and body language.

        Then the customer will not have confidence that he is making a good decision to give you the order and you’ll hear ‘I want to think about it’, and you won’t get the sale.

        To be confident yourself, you must like your product, have a very good knowledge about it, believe the price is fair, and trust your company.

        If you don’t have all of these factors right, you weaken your sales potential.

  19. Be friendly without being too casual. People like other people who make them feel comfortable. Comfortable people will usually put a lot more trust in you.

    • A good way to do that is to be honest with others. Even if it may not be what they want them to hear, it is a good way to make them comfortable around you and build some trust.

    • I teach the idea that you should present yourself as the ‘friendly, knowledgable expert’.

      It’s logical: if you aren’t friendly, you will put people off, if you aren’t knowledgable, you can’t answer their questions, and if you aren’t an expert, you won’t have their respect.

      Think ‘friendly, knowledgable expert’ and do what it takes to really be that, then you will find you hardly ever need to close a sale, because customers will trust what you tell them.

      • It depends on what you are selling. For some fields like the finance world that may not work.

        • Neil,

          I could not agree less. Who would you trust to invest your money. Someone who presents himself as a salesman, or someone who you see as a friendly, helpful expert?

          For me, no contest.

          • I get what you are saying, but being pushy sometimes works better. You don’t always want to be friendly.

            For example, I just bought a car from a rude car salesman. I loved him because he was to the point and didn’t waste any time.

            • Neil, think about how difficult and/or expensive it is to generate a lead. For most businesses if you divide all the costs of being in a market by the number of people you get to talk to per day / week or month you will find that it is a surprisingly large amount. In many cases $100 a lead, in some examples I know, $3000 per prospect.

              So tell me this, if that is what it costs to find them and have the opportunity to sell, do you want to have that chance once only, or would you like to be able to carry on selling to them for years?

              If it’s the latter, you’d better make sure that they are happy with what they buy and the person they are doing business with.

              Robert

              • I agree that you want to make sure they are happy with the product or service, but sometimes you have to tell people what to do or else they won’t move.

              • <>

                I quite agree. This is described as the ‘Call to Action’ and is a vital part of any sales dialogue.
                The most obvious example is when have have made a presentation to a prospect and at the end you say, ‘Do you want one?’.
                Of course, there are many variations on how you say that. But the point is, when you have concluded your presentation, you must ask for some sort of agreement or commitment from the client. If you don’t, there is a low probability that they will get back to you later and say, ‘I want to buy now’. So at this stage, you can make a ‘recomendation’ that they purchase. Dealing with any objections which they then give is the principal component of ‘closing’.

              • Good point. Without a call to action the deal may not close.

                I like the way you put it.

  20. Steve Chacon, Jr. :

    Hello everyone! I just wanted to tell all that I truly appreciate the constructive advice. It helps! If I may say something, keep it positive! Thanks :)

  21. #1 is true any way you look at it, even in real life… If you are confident, people won’t walk over you and will listen to you and think you rock.

    Which brings me to say,
    iRock. haha

    • In most cases that is true, but sometimes personalities collide. If there are too many alpha males in a room, they may all try and walk over each other.

      I haven’t had this happen to me too many times, but it happens every so often during sales meetings.

    • You must be confident because anything less inevitably makes the prospect uncertain too. The question is, how do you become confident? Faking confidence is not the way; there is no substitute for knowing your product, the industry that you supply, trusting your company to do a good job and knowing that past customers really like the product or service. If you can’t fulfill these conditions you won’t be truly confident. It won’t be easy but try and find a job where all the factors are right.

      • Over time you will naturally get more confident with yourself as you meet personal goals.

        Or you can look in the mirror and say to yourself, “you’re the shit”.

        Also keep in mind that the small things can make a big difference. Such as wearing new clothes.

  22. Change the title to: “6 Effective Ways to score that job interview” and a few changes in the post and you’ll get the basics on how to sell ourselves well, a basic key to our own success.

  23. Know your product(s). And not just the technical jargon, but how it can benefit your buyer. If they can see why it would be beneficial for them your more apt to make the sale.

    • Steve Chacon Jr :

      I agree with “Nick”. Product knowledge is essential.

      Know your product, technically and practically so that you may transfer a benefit to the proposed prospect. Educate the consumer/client. Always remain (confident) and enthusiastic. You should always aspire to lead.

      Be well informed. Knowlege, is POWER. -Cheers!

  24. Good advice.. I think I’ll pass on the first option :) but sage advice non-the-less. Scarcity I think works for some things, but the key to remember if you make it scarce (or seem scarce) then actually take it away when you say are.

    Doesn’t do much good to say for a limited time only, and if they come back next year, it’s still limited time only…

    It’s like driving past the Persian rug places that have “Been Going Out of Business” for the last 10 years… :)

    • The scarce route only works if you change up why it is scarce. For example you could say we only have 100 units left. Currently we are constructing more units, but they will not be ready for another 6 months.

  25. For point one, I literally recommend it, although, a fake plastic/rubber one, strapped to your head . We dont want the police involved. You would only do it temporarily, obviously, just as a confidence builder.
    Try approaching someone and “sell them” your product like that.
    If you can sell in that situation, you should be able to sell ice to eskimos.

  26. Vakfıkebir :

    That’s too funny! LOL. I like the confidence surrounding your statement. I get the point. Choice of words is essential, striking a nerve, priceless.

  27. They key is to be confident and honest at the same time. You need to stand behind a product you truly believe in and are passionate about because if you don’t it people will read through it and you will lose confidence.

  28. I couldn’t help laughing when I read the first tip – “Walk into a sales meeting with your dick hanging out”. But you are very right. If you want to sell, go ahead and sell, no apologies. That’s why I like the good old Clint Eastwood movie – “If you wanna shot, shot, don’t talk”. So, if you want to sell, go on and sell, no apologies. Thanks for sharing, Neil.

  29. I guess Listening is very important. I hve seen too many salesmen go and just start delivering without listening 2 wat the client has 2 say, this is a way to lose a sale.

  30. I sale 5,000 dollars beds and I use to be honest always, and most of the times my sales would fall, and started with little lies and made my product seem very limited, with special price (ej.$5,000 now!!! $4,999) with very little in stock!!! and now I’am a rockstar !!! my sales increase 200% little lies ej.(1.everybody is buying, 2.I sold 8 last week in this area, 3. I’m not going to charge you delivery and instalation charges which are $180.00 in your area, which it was a lies since my company give free delivery & instalation,

    • Cool! Glad to see that these tips worked for you.

    • Salesperson, do you really believe that it is ‘telling little lies’ which is the key to your improved sales? Maybe you are right, but there are many other factors which can explain why sometimes you sell well and other times you don’t. Here’s an example from my sales career: I started with a company and sold well for the first months, but then my performance slowly deteriorated. My boss said, ‘go out with Michelle, a young and very successful saleswoman, see how she does it’. I did and saw that she was much more enthusiastic than me when talking to clients. I had become tired of the product, but to her everything was new and exciting. So I tried to copy her manner, and very quickly my sales were up to a good level again.

      So I suggest not lying, but being more enthusiastic. Give it a try.

      • I will try being more enthusiastic. I don’t think lying is bad as long as they are white lies. I have seen how that has helped me first hand. I know this may sound bad, but it was small stuff that wasn’t related to the product or service, more so to make them feel good.

  31. I still remember my first failure as a salesman. I tried to sell some nail gels in a beauty salon. The woman there was so pretty I got nervous quickly and I sold nothing. Since then I’m rather staying with computers. It doesn’t mean I have troubles with women, not at all ;)

  32. Martin you had to do step# 1 , Walk into a sales meeting with your dick hanging out, now go back to that pretty women at the beauty salon and you will see that she’s the one that going to get nervous and going to buy you for sure !!!!

  33. Point # 4 about being honest needs to be understood properly. There are three advantages to honesty, the first is the obvious one that decent morality requires you to be honest. Secondly, if you tell a lie, it’s quite possible that you will be found out and have to deal with the consequences. Thirdly, you destroy a valuable element of your sales tool kit if you lie, because then you can’t have genuine enthusiasm in your presentation. Of course you can try to fake that, but there will be something about your words or manner that gives you away. Since genuine enthusiasm is contagious and convincing, stick to the truth and tell prospects about why you think the product or service you are selling is great. And if you can’t do that without lying, get another job.

  34. cash loans uk :

    Could not agree more to all your points. However, sometimes showing things to be limited baqckfires as I have noticed. People get irritated bcoz everyone these days does the same.

  35. The old ‘limited time’ trick always works by creating a sense of urgency amongst buyers.

  36. I have been sales for a while… everytime i plan what i would like to say to customer but get very unuasy feeling when i approach to the customer.. i still didn’t know how to solve this problem.. could u give me some solution? i always keep in mind that good points.

  37. Learn the art of persuasive communication. Write down a script and memorize it. You need confidence, and you learn confidence when you know what to say.

  38. My advice is to act naturally and to be kind of “friend” with the customer, they have feel good around and to feel safety. If you are owner of the product, you can make some kind of discounts to the regular customers, or offer them promotions like if you get a netbook, you’ll get a free 2gb memory card, or free shipping or something like this, most of the time it boosts the sales :)
    Best regards,
    Tommy

    • Well, being a friend is great, but your object is to be a sales person. Your clients aren’t looking for friends, they’re looking to buy products and services and then simply move on with their life.

  39. Yes,you are exactly correct in this post.I am not a salesman but I expect these habits from the salesmen.Esspecially,I liked “Be honest” because I hate the liar sellers.

  40. Build a list of people is a huge one after you have built a list you have a base after the foundation is layed out then your able to make even more money.

  41. The old ‘limited time’ trick always works by creating a sense of urgency amongst buyers.

  42. LOL just seem funny since the statement in #5 came right after the statment in #4 but sure everyone understood. lol

  43. What’s that about “try not to lie ” it should be don’t lie ever. you’ll eventually get caught if you do lie.

  44. There are only three reasons a person will not buy. No money, No interest, No trust. Eliminate Money and Interest with qualifying calls. Then establish the trust.

  45. A sales man trapped by the buyer when he try to be oversmart, Nowadays everyone knows the price and quality of goods so try to be honest to your buyer then you will be on top among other sales man.

  46. Neil,

    Do you have any specific suggestions for inbound sales calls? I work at a call center and mainly sell Qwest, Dish Network, DirecTV, and Hughesnet.

  47. Building a great rapport with your customers is the most important thing in my book. Like others have said, if people dont know or trust you, well, your not getting jack. Also, i wanted to add one thing. Say you are working a sales route or doing “warm” calls, try to trim the “junk” off of it. What i mean is, if you have a customer that hasn’t bought in 6-12 months, give it one last try and then get rid of them if you cant make a sale. Also, if you work for commission DO NOT BE AFRAID to tell your customers “Hey, my pay is commission based, you’d really be helping me out if you bought something.” sometimes honesty is your best bet.

  48. I love confidence, provided I can tell the person has the knowledge to back it up. Don’t fake it…make sure you /are/ the shit if you’re going to act like it.

  49. Always ask for the sale! If you never ask, the answer is always no!

  50. The 1st one made me laugh.

  51. Kevin Nowrouzi :

    No. 4 you are telling, be honest and No. 5 you are saying…Make your product or service seem limited – even if you are selling toilet paper, you can still make it seem limited. By reducing the price for a short period of time or saying that there is only a limited quantity available (even if there isn’t) you will create the perception that you are selling something that needs to be bought now.

    So……Should be honest or Not!?

  52. jody crellin :

    Interesting read……

    And i am a believer in honesty is the best policy. …

    If you do lie it will catch up with you.

    Jody

  53. Great post Neil. loved the way you stared the article. Walk to a sales meeting your dick hanging out! the way to blow the minds. I found this article few minutes back when I did a Google search for “How to Become a better salesmen” This post popped out on the first page and I ended up lading in this blog.

  54. LOL, I should have also added that within the post.

    Women especially work well in male dominated industries (or at least from what I can tell). If all of your potential clients are males, sometimes it is easier for a female to get through the door.

  55. Steve Chacon, Jr. :

    That’s too funny! LOL. I like the confidence surrounding your statement. I get the point. Choice of words is essential, striking a nerve, priceless.

  56. Good point and agree on that. At ASHM we normally take one of our females to join us on sales calls and meetings with corporate travel clients. this works very well to get through the door and make a great impression.

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