I have been in sales for over 20 years and have had a very successful career. I have set up sales departments, created sales processes, been a Sales Manager and never missed a target.
When someone asked me about my sales technique, I didn’t really have a defined answer. I was never really very salesy, I wasn’t always closing but I did always truly believe in what I was selling. If I didn’t, I moved on to a business or found a product that I did believe in. Maybe that was it.
Customers are savvy, well informed and rarely impressed by the trickery and jargon of a pushy sale, so just don’t. Be honest, be enthusiastic and be mindful that even though you may have sold over 2000 cars that month (true story) every single sale means so much to the person on the end of the phone. I never forgot that. Every person was made to feel like speaking to me was all part of the experience. I genuinely cared that the fit was right. If I didn’t have the right product to fit the customer I was talking to, I would send them to a competitor who did. No bother. It always ended up with the customer referring others to me so I was happy.
Persuasion is a funny thing, people can often mistake it for trickery. It really isn’t, so long as it is used in an ethical way and I used it a lot. I spent a lot of time getting to know my clients and if the product they wanted was so wrong for them I would try to persuade them of this and to try something else. If I had the PERFECT product and needed my customer to know about it, I would persuade them to give me the chance to educate them on it. This way the customer has the information they need without the overload of too much choice!
My method of persuasion was usually based from a position of authority. I had so many years experience in the product I was selling so was seen as credible. There are other forms of persuasion which when used ethically can help with a number of different things.
So it is here I will refer you to the authority in all things Persuasion, Dr Robert Cialdini. This is an insightful video and definitely worth a watch if you think persuasion is something you could benefit from learning.