I attended a meeting recently where the attendees were female small business owners. As soon as they heard I had spent 21 years in professional sales, I was bombarded with questions. There are unlimited products for the new business owner that show them how to effectively market their business, but who is teaching you how to sell? What I heard at the meeting was a concern about selling. How do you do it? I told them what I tell all new sales people, “It’s all about having conversations”.

The success of your business not only depends on good marketing, but also the ability to close sales. Marketing brings people to your door. It’s sales skills that makes them customers.

I find myself wondering how anyone expects to succeed in a sales position without any sales training. I spent 21 years in sales, and during that time the companies I worked for spent over $ 100,000 in sales training. They knew the value of understanding how to sell.

It’s not just about face-to face selling. How about approaching someone with a joint venture opportunity, or trying to recruit affiliates for your product or service. It all requires basic sales skills. It’s sales skills that allow you to create value for yourself and the service you provide.

There are a few skills that will be a must for your future success:

1. Create value for your services.

2. Understand how to effectively prospect in your territory.

3. Know how to sell features and benefits.

4. Learn how to qualify prospects the first time you talk to them.

5. Know how to recognize the ‘tire kickers’.

It’s ‘knowing what you don’t know’ that will help you succeed. The sales process is a big mystery to many people. If you can position yourself with a potential prospect as someone who is interested in their business, you’ll have a good chance of success. Very few people want to be ‘SOLD’ a product. They want ‘SOLUTIONS’ for their most pressing problems. Once you’re able to have effective conversations with your prospects, you’ll find many prospects closing with very little effort. I don’t even talk about closing, I talk about Gaining Agreement. Isn’t that really what you’re doing? Gaining agreement for someone to hire you or purchase your service?

Most of the people I speak with just want to have some confidence when they meet with someone. Once you understand the basics of the sales process, you’ll know why you’re asking the questions you’re asking. It’s the answers to those questions that lead you down the path of the sales call.

It’s been my experience, that if you have some basic skills, a good product/service that’s priced fairly, you’ll gain agreement without cutting your price. That’s how your business will grow. By learning a few sales skills, you can get the maximum price. Isn’t that what you need to do for your business to succeed?

Copyright 2006 Susan Adams

Former Learjet Sales Star, Susan Adams, has sold products and services for some of the world’s most respected companies…..General Electric, Pitney Bowes and Bombardier Aerospace.

She takes a ‘real world’ approach


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