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The Business of Selling

by Mark Deavall, November 2013

Over the past few month's I have been the target, so to speak, of various people trying to sell me services, products or both. I have had telesales people calling me and asking if "I can handle my debt", insurance people trying to convince me their product is the best, insurance companies offering to pay me if I can find cheaper insurance and car salesman trying hard to sell me their particular brand of car - and not one of them was successful. I walked into a well-known computer chain store and asked for the best wireless ADSL router that they had. I was immediately shown the most expensive one. When I asked why this one is the best, the salesman had no answer for me.

I have seen this ineptness in more "professional" sales as well. And it seems as if the Business of Selling has been forgotten and ignored. There seems to be little if any focus on professionalism, and the skill of selling.

It never ceases to amaze me how we pay salaries to inept and incompetent salespeople that actually do us more damage than good. Salespeople that are supposed to be ambassadors for our companies and yet exhibit such a lack of professionalism, that the potential customer earnestly doubts if they can put their trust in your company or product.

So I thought that for this Couch Talk article, I would explore what REAL selling is all about. Sales is after all the life blood of any business and therefore needs to receive careful management and attention.

But before we get into that, let's have a look at what selling is not. Selling is not marketing. Marketing is the creation and/or manipulation of people's perceptions. Selling is delivering on that perception. In other words, the reality has to fulfil the promise. So if I am in the market for a 4X4 and I go to a dealer to buy a 4X4, and your advert (marketing) shows this vehicle tackling Mount Everest with ease, the test drive had better take me to an area where I can have that same experience. Your marketing message needs to be in line with the customer's sales experience, otherwise you are wasting your marketing money.

Ok so now that's out of the way, let's look at the rules of sales:

Rule 1) Never sell to a client. Always let them buy from you - there is a difference. If you sell to a client, it is seen as pressure and any small problem with the article that has been sold will come back on you. When a client buys something, they tend to take responsibility for that decision.

Rule 2) Help the client to understand his/her need - convert likes and wants to needs.

Rule 3) Always emphasise the benefits - the fact that this computer has "Wham bam's, Gigs, Zippo's and Gizmo's" means nothing. What is important is what all those things mean to me!

Rule 4) Keep a "live" list of people that you can sell to. Keep adding to that list daily. In sales we call this the Sales Pipeline

Rule 5) Build trust by keeping promises - deliver what you said you will deliver and when you promised it. If you cant, contact the client BEFOREHAND to inform them of the problems and changes. Calling after the due time to tell the client the delivery will be late, just makes the client mad! It's already late!

Rule 6) Work toward becoming a Trusted Advisor - your client should see you as their "Go-To Person" for anything related to your field of expertise.

Rule 7) Use objections to close the sale - an objection is not a signal that the client does not want to buy, its a signal that they DO want to buy!

Rule 8) Get off your butt! - if you are not in contact with your client, either by phone or face to face, you are not selling!

So there you have it - the rules of selling. Simple isn't it? But selling is a numbers game - the more prospects you can get in front of, the more sales you will make. There are no short cuts!

There are customers aplenty! You just have to find them and let them buy from you! Get out there, follow the success steps and make sales!

Warm regards
Mark Deavall

I trust that you have found benefit in this article. If you would like to contact me or have me talk to the people in your company, please call me on 27 11 609-1264, or
E-mail me

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