Life begins with hardcore selling and ends with hardcore selling. Face it.
Whether you believe it or not, revenue is the first skill that a child learns — he knows within a couple of days of his birth that it’s his charming smile and darling face which will make him fed and catered to from the grown-ups. And, if he’s with a group of infants, then perhaps a bawl will do just fine. The mathematics, sales strategies, and skills are perfected over the first couple of months and then polished throughout life.
These skills are applied on the job, as a small business owner, where it is of extreme importance. In the workplace, you do not just sell yourself (the private brand), but also the organization that you work for and its products. So, everything that you’ve acquired in life till today, and will get in the future — it all is a consequence of selling something — your abilities, organization’s brand, or product.
This brings us to the question — Why is selling so significant to an entrepreneur’s success and why does everyone need to learn to sell?
It’s the only way to allow the world know what you need to provide – A quiet but a highly skillful individual will find no attention, but one that can speak and explain his abilities (even limited) will catch the interest of his goal and win the deal.
It will help build relationships — Yes, if done without being too pushy, sales can and do help develop relationships both professional and personal. It’s the very best way of telling your story to the world and to connect with other people.
It will help build credibility — Earnings to an extent is all about commitment and delivery. When you commit and deliver according to the promise — you make credibility, which in turn gets you more business or connections or buddies.
These three reasons are the pillars of success – both organizational and individual. When efficiently harnessed, they direct you from success to success or more aptly – from one successful sale to another. No one, absolutely no one, no matter the location in the hierarchy of the business, at home, or at the society, can get by without selling.
For those who have something worth offering — you will need to sell. If you wish to know whether what you have is worth offering — then also, you will need to sell. It’s in a way, the most excellent feedback gaining mechanism to your brand and everything else that you associate yourself with.
What qualities do leaders possess which make them master salesmen?
1. Confidence — they’re convinced about their skill/product, know its value and are proud of being connected with it.
2. Commitment – Leaders are dedicated to their vision, goal or mission. They pursue it zealously, no shortcuts.
3. Integrity — Leaders exude strength of personality and preserve honesty with all stakeholders — business, employees, vendors, and clients.
4. Above par soft skills — Leaders understand how to treat people around them be it business partners, partners or clients — they treat everyone courteously with the utmost respect. Excellent leaders focus on building a connection first, then on closing the sale.
5. Continuous students — Leaders are continually looking to upgrade their knowledge and skill set, and they discuss it openly with their partners. Additionally, they also seek out feedback, and if real, they employ it.
6. Goal oriented — Leaders are extremely goal oriented — they plan and implement by the program.
7. Good listeners — they’re excellent listeners. They pick up on subtle cues and understand without explicit communication when a deal could be pursued further or whenever they should take a step back.
8. Excellent communicators — Along with being good listeners, leaders are well versed in the art of creating small talk. A leader efficiently employs the ‘you mindset’ to put people at ease and gets them to want to listen to what he has to say.
9. Problem solvers — Leaders by nature are problem solvers. Rather than letting a problem cultivate, they deal with it on a priority to sort it out.
10. Product and market knowledge — last but not the least, they’ve in-depth product knowledge, and they understand how the market where they operate performs and where it’s headed — i.e., and the current they also have an eye on the future.
This might make some people may believe — I also posses all of the aforementioned qualities- at least to some extent — then why am I not considered a pioneer? What is the difference?
There are two main differences —
- In a leader, all of the aforementioned qualities are fully cultivated.
2. It isn’t only the qualities, but also the way they use the techniques make all of the difference.
In addition to these success qualities, a leader also uses specific sales techniques that set him apart from the rest.
What are these techniques?
In all, there are four kinds of selling — transaction, relationship, diagnostic and conviction based selling. These types of salesmanship are based on both data followed by specific techniques, one-on-one relationships based on trust (gentle persuasion of emotions), or time. By using all of these factors to our benefit, we try to ‘push’ the product on the current market, which at times causes a forced sale. Leaders steer clear of all of these.
Instead, they utilize the conviction-based selling method, which is borne in their fire towards their field of expertise and the ecosystem therein. This makes a ‘pull’ effect; ‘attraction’ towards the chief, making a demand for his experience, skills, products, and services that he’s associated with.
This is easily explained with the following, e.g. — there are several high rise buildings in the Dubai, but when asked to remember their names, just one name — Burj Khalifa springs to mind. Why? Well, as it’s the tallest, and the most memorable. Same is true with leaders; we just remember the best — the people who know how to use their qualities with the perfect technique.
Using these techniques, leaders create a demand for what they must offer, demonstrate its use, convey its accessibility and offer a consistently excellent product or service, to obtain credibility, which results in word of mouth advertising and finally creates demand on the industry. No overt selling.
Leaders understand the importance of word of mouth reference, which in turn relies on long-term consistent and excellent performance. They focus on doing, on obtaining the deliverables right and leave the selling to the customers. Consumers sell their expertise of associating with the individual, the satisfaction of working with a product or service, to others who then based on this feedback ‘requirement’ for the individual’s time/skill, product or service.
This is how good leaders promote — not by selling, but by persuading people to need!
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