The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible, by Brian Tracy
The success of all of our businesses will hinge on our ability to sell. This can mean selling a product or service or even just ourselves as we go through the process of engaging business partners or bringing in investors. Improving your ability to sell is a topic that you must study and practice. My go to book for ways in which I can and have become a better salesperson is The Psychology of Selling. This book is jam-packed with tips that you can start applying today to become more comfortable and effective at sales.
I’ve pulled from the book the ten ways that the author most emphasizes as the keys to your sales success. The devil, of course, is in the details. You should definitely buy the book to fill in the details of my more higher-level summary below.
1 – Product or Service of Undeniable Value
Make your job much easier by only selling products and services with undeniable value. Look below at the other items on this 10-point list. Take confidence, enthusiasm and overcoming objections, for example. How much easier will it be for you to be confident, demonstrate enthusiasm about the product or service and to not back down at the first objection to purchase if you know that what you are selling is truly special? It all starts with believing in what you are selling (if you are going to be the honest sales type, which of course is highly recommended). That belief will foster naturally if you just know that the product or service is something that, once people understand it, they will be unable to live without. If you are the entrepreneur and creator, make sure that you are arming your sales team and yourself with only products or services that meet this test of undeniable value.
2 – Focus on Client Needs
In most cases, at the start, your sales targets are not interested in what your product does or what your service is. No, instead, they are interested in what the product or service could for them. The first step in your sales process should be to understand the needs of your potential client. Only then does it make sense to explain how the product or service can meet those needs.
You expose these needs when you ask great questions. The book contains some exploratory questions that you can ask clients to get them to reveal what their true needs are. Things like “What would you have to feel comfortable with before going forward with a purchase like this?” can expose the exact gap in their business or lives that they need your product to fill. Then just make that link. “Oh, that is perfect, because . . .” Start with their needs then get the client to see you as their personal problem-solver.
3 – Confidence
Confidence sells. Not to be confused with arrogance, but nobody wants to buy from someone who does not also believe in what they are selling. Allow your confidence to come across in your dress, a strong tone of voice, passion, your body language and posture. Also, do your homework. Know the value of what you are selling inside and out. Hesitation will cost you sales.
4 – Ignore the Fear of Failure
“Some will, some won´t, so what . . . next.” What an awesome mental approach to sales that I myself adopted as soon as I read it. Rejection is not personal and some failure is inevitable. Who cares? For most of us as entrepreneurs and business owners, we know this, have been kicked around plenty and have the bruises to show for it. What is one more?
5 – Reduce Customer Barriers
Customers are “always thinking, so what?” Sales is knocking down barriers. Most people’s initial reaction to being sold something is to put up their guard of mistrust. It is your job to break through that barrier. I won’t detail all the techniques the author shared, which you will love and are sprinkled throughout the book. That said, one particular technique that I have seen success with, particularly for attracting investor capital, is asking and then being ready with a response to the question “what other concerns do you have that may be preventing you from joining us in our exciting future?” I´ve seen this work because you can, again, turn the whole conversation back to the needs of the client, and they all often have different motivations.
6 – Persistence
The book notes the stats here. On average, a sale does not occur until the provider has engaged the client on at least five occasions. Patience and persistence are crucial. Never stop just three feet from gold.
7 – Look the Part
People are more likely to buy from those who they view as being more successful than themselves. Make a strong impression through the clothes you wear. Maybe this is a suit or other business dress, maybe it is wearing high-end brands more appropriate in your business sector. Look the part of the person that your client would inevitably like to become. Taking care of your body and being physically fit are also critical. Have you ever seen a salesperson who is selling a product whose messaging is likely completely inconsistent with the lifestyle of the salesperson? Running shoes sold by someone who may not be able to run a mile? People just simply are not going to buy.
8 – Transfer Enthusiasm
Who does not love to be around a person who is genuinely excited about what they are doing? Enthusiasm is contagious. Most people drift through life only wishing they had the kind of passion that you should bring to every meeting with customers, investors and those that will be the springboard to your own success. This all starts with knowing that whatever product or service you are selling, they actually should be thanking you for giving them the opportunity to purchase because of the benefits they will derive. You know the kind of enthusiasm that I am talking about. The kind of enthusiasm that is undeniable and can fill a room. The book has amazing advice for priming yourself before each of these sales and business meetings so that drawing on that internal enthusiasm will become second nature to you!
9 – Connect Product to Client´s Goal
Maybe it is saving time and money. Or security. Or maybe the client is buying because of status and prestige, recognition or praise, power or influence. Is love and companionship their goal? Personal growth, transformation or improvement, perhaps? Leave no ambiguity as to the basic human need that your clients will be able to satisfy when they join you as a client or investor.
10 – Overcome Objection
The best way to overcome objection is to give social proof. What do I mean by that? “That’s alright, many other folks had the same concern. Now they have become some of our very best customers/investors because . . .” and just keep going with it.
Many investors and clients do not want to be early adopters. Keep a portfolio of other client successes and even a list of testimonials you have on-hand. Did you know that 85% of sales are a result of word of mouth?
This article is not long enough to pull every piece of value out of this book or give each of these 10 tips the full exploration they deserve. No matter who your “client” is, you can always be a better salesperson. Give yourself the best chance of sales success and make the investment in this incredible read!