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3 Classic Rules of Selling for Everyone

I remember I once asked one of my mentors who had spent his entire career in sales if he ever minded the bad reputation that seems to follow salesmen everywhere they go.

He never carried himself like the typical salesman, and remains to this day one of the most honest people I know.

Yet somehow in the world of sales, he thrived against all odds, well beyond those guys who gave others in his profession such a bad name.

One day, I decided to ask him the secret to his success. He said, “Sales is just a way of making sure somebody gets the product they need. If you’re not the one selling it to them, it’ll sure be someone else.”

With so many articles evangelizing the latest sales fads and selling techniques, every once in a while, it’s a good idea to revisit the tried and true classics.

Here are a few classic selling principles that apply no matter what the industry or product may be:

  1. Know the product like the back of your hand. There’s a false, yet pervasive idea that the best salesmen can sell anything to anybody (i.e. ice to an Eskimo). The truth is that great salesmen with strong and consistent conversion rates know their product inside out, and can accurately and effectively explain how it meets their customer’s needs. It’s not a magic trick or a myth. It’s possessing valuable knowledge of a product that is going to help someone else achieve something they wouldn’t be able to achieve without it.
  2. Listen. Ninety nine percent of selling advice focuses on the pitch. Yet, no matter how great your pitch is, it will never be as great as the one you can make when you really listen to your customer. In doing so, you’ll find out what they actually want instead of what you want them to want, and when you have that knowledge, you’ll be able to figure out the exact products in your arsenal that they’re really looking for.
  3. Sell to your customer’s needs. It may seem like a good idea to try and get the most you can out of your customer and equip them with the top of the line, state of the art of whatever it is you’re selling. But if they don’t actually need all the bells and whistles, they could easily feel cheated or oversold on something they have no use for. Sales fundamentally operates on trust. So, everything about the sales process should be designed to create and sustain a bond where one person needs something and the other person provides it. Nothing less and nothing more.

It doesn’t matter what business you run, when it comes to selling your product, these principles can be universally applied. However, in order to get those customers in the first place, you have to get your message out there. Marketing is its own form of sales that operates according to these exact same principles. It’s the opening line to any sales pitch.

In order to get point where you can discover your customer’s needs, it’s important to figure out exactly what marketing options will work best for your business.

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