The word salesperson can have many different meanings to different people. But primarily it is associated with a particular person who sells products or services as an occupation. However, the number of people involved in the selling process stretches far beyond a particular individual who sells a product or service for a living. In this week's lesson we'll discuss the why I believe we are all salespeople in some way!
For instance, aren't people who do fund-raising selling? Aren't politicians selling their abilities and promises to govern, when they run for office? How about the elected politicians who are trying to get legislation passed in Congress. Aren't they selling to get their bills passed?
When you are raising children, aren't you selling them values that you believe in? Aren't your children trying to sell you on their needs and wants every day? When a scientist is trying to convince the scientific community on his breakthrough discovery, isn't he trying to sell his theories and concepts?
I think by now you are starting to see that we are all salespeople in some way. We may not all get a paycheck from selling a product or service, but most of us are an integral part of some type of selling process.
Selling is no more than effective communication. It can also be considered an art of persuasion. To be effective, it should be a planned process. The most important part of the process is that you should first be knowledgeable about your ideas, concepts or products. How can you convince someone of something if you don't know what you're talking about? You have to know your stuff inside and out. Due to the fact that humans usually resist change, you're going to have all types of questions and objections thrown at you. If you can't answer them, then that's all that a person will need to say NO.
Second you must be prepared, so that your presentation is thought out and appeals to the person you are trying to convince. You're not going to sell very much sand in Saudi Arabia. You're better off selling water. I used to subscribe to a popular business newspaper online. I then got a call from a salesman from the company who kept trying to talk me into buying the print edition as well. I kept telling him, over and over, that I used the online edition and did not want it in print as well. Because his proposal was so unappealing, he wasted my time, his time, and the company's time.
Third, you have to RESPECT the opinion of the person that you are talking to, even if it is the polar opposite of yours. You're not going to convince another person of something by telling them that they are WRONG. If anything, they'll defend themselves out of spite. In other words, you just made your job that much harder. People like to have their opinions respected. Show them your respect and you've got a shot.
You must also be passionate, as well as committed to help others take full advantage of what you are offering. If you're selling Ford trucks, but you drive a Toyota, you're not showing your passion. If you're a doctor who happens to be very overweight, your passion will appear weak when you tell your patient that he or she should watch their diet. Why should I buy from you if you don't even use what you're selling? Why should I listen to you if you don't practice what you preach?
Next, be honest. Don't try to pull the wool over someone's eyes. Don't use shady words or language. Politicians are experts at this. Turn on any talk show, and they're always saying, "The American people want this or The American People want that" These are their choice words of persuasion. But there are 300 million Americans, all with different and constantly changing desires. If you REALLY want to know what the American people want, look to where the profits are in the marketplace. Right now Americans want i-Pods, Reality-TV, and all things Google. High profits are the PROOF that this is what the American people want. The lesson: don't stoop to shady language to make the sale.
Finally, you must recognize and accept the fact that your timing is not right. The present may not be right for an individual to buy into your ideas, products or services. Learn to accept this fact. If this is the case, then leave a good impression. Make sure that if they may ever have a need for whatever you provide, you are the FIRST person that they will think of. In essence, your salesmanship will be turned into a futures contract. They'll just take delivery of your services at a later date. That's the mark of a true professional. Hone your skills and be "The Best" you can!