Selling is often considered as a ‘gift of the gab’ and not a skill which can be acquired and transferred. Oddly as it may seem, a lot of people do not prefer calling their selling job as a profession and that is majorly because of the old unfortunate image this profession has been thrown under.
A common thought that comes to mind when we think about selling is t hat ‘ a good salesperson is born , not made’ and this statement in itself is far away from reality.
Certain attributes of selling can be inborn however when it comes to professional selling , just like any other skill it can be learned and mastered .
Many talk about the art of selling to direct users that is the consumers, i will talk about selling to businesses , corporate and industries.
The first step towards mastering the art of selling is to consider it as a professional calling, take it seriously and innovate ,because innovation is paramount when it comes to selling.
Now comes the part where you start defining a basic strategy which is unique to you or your product , which you can use with each and every client and provides a basic play for your pitch. This strategy is very fundamental and lays down the foundation of your pitch.
Clause 1: Your methods of selling today will become obsolete tomorrow
This art of selling is dynamic and has to be taken that way. There is no one standard way of selling and the methods needs to be improvised always. Instability is the only thing you can count on . If you refuse to let go of your time-tested methods to accommodate to this changing reality , you will be left behind because one plain fact is imperative : the environment you used to sell in has changed.
Clause 2: A good selling is successful only if it has a tactical plan backed up by a methodological strategy.
Tactics refers to the techniques used during a face to face sales prospect or a sales call. These include all the basics that you learned in your selling classes like questioning techniques, observation techniques, presentation, speaking . They are more of autonomous nature and require the wit of the salesperson. Also understanding the mood , the scenario of the pitch and the physical environment and using them to your advantage are a part of your tactics (- This will be explained in future blogs)
Strategy refers to the plan and techniques used to position yourself with the customer before the sales pitch begins. It includes understanding the macro environment for example knowing the details of the concerned person, availability of the person, knowing who the decision maker is. Your tactics will take you nowhere if you were presenting before a person who does not have the power to take decisions. Hence a strategy is imperative for a good sale.
For a successful sale, both these attributes are important and a creative synergy is required to be formed. Use both for a perfect pitch.
Clause 3 : Understanding and Defining your selling methodology
As i mentioned earlier , a salesperson need to define a method of approaching a customer and a rigorous methodology is imperative. Most of the salesperson attribute their success to external factors like luck, networking or hard work but very few talk about their method of selling as their reason for success. In fact most of the salesperson cannot even identify their methodology . Not that these factors are less important but when compared to the factor of your awareness about your working method and willingness to refine those methods these other factors seem trivial. It is fairly obvious to assume that the person with the best understanding of his or her methods of effective selling is more productive than a person who does not.
Without a properly defined methodology , every new sales pitch will become a totally new experience exposing the pitch to trials and errors. Every change in your business environment will be treated not as an opportunity that could be developed but as a hostile signal for you.