The sales world is littered with all manner of “sure-fire” systems for selling. The problem is, selling cannot and should not ever be reduced to a fad system.
The other day I invited two clients to have lunch in the hopes that they would refer business to each other. They wound up hitting it off from the start. When I informed one party that the other party liked him very much and wanted to do business immediately, he responded with genuine surprise.
“Are you sure?” he asked, “because I’m not a salesman.”
What he didn’t realise is that he was selling by being himself. This is the antidote to the silly, “let’s-put-one-by-them” sales tricks that masquerade as wonders of the sales world. The problem with so many sales systems is not only that they don’t work, but worse yet, that they encourage salespeople to jump from one cheap stunt to another. Time after time, I see salespeople zig-zagging from one charade to another. They stumble onto a new gimmick touted as the wonder closer of all wonder closers, only to find that in the real world it’s no panacea. So they move on to the next dud.
What works for you?
One of the keys to successful selling is to identify an approach that works for you and to stick with it. Identify what makes it work and look for ways to enhance those parts. Make it so much a part of you that it’s less about a system – but instead a natural extension of yourself.
These are the elements of timeless salesmanship:
- A genuine interest in the other party
- A self-honesty and integrity others can perceive and believe in
- True interest in understanding the other party’s challenges and opportunities and in seeking solutions to them (as opposed to simply moving products and services off the shelf)
- A steely determination to reject gimmicks of all kinds
If you don’t possess the resolve to avoid gimmicks, you become one yourself – a transparent product hawker looking to wheel and deal even when there’s no value in it for the client.
Don’t be a salesperson. Be a person who happens to make sales because you do all of the other stuff well.