Whatever your notion of sales and sales people, the reality is it’s impossible to survive in business without making sales. But all sales tactics don’t have to be pushy, or take advantage of the gullibility or ignorance of others. In fact, the best ones do neither.
Sales, at its core, is all about connecting to those who need what you offer, and building mutually beneficial relationships. You can do this without being sleazy or unethical; you just have to find sales techniques that are comfortable for you. Here are some you can start putting into practice today.
1. Believe in the Benefits
You can be an honest evangelist for your business if you truly believe that it benefits others. Familiarize yourself with the features of your product or service, and think about exactly what benefits they provide to your customers. Better yet, talk to your customers yourself about exactly how they’ve benefited from what your business provides.
When you believe in what you’re doing, you can have an honest conversation about what you do and how you can help, instead of using pushy sales techniques.
2. Nurture Relationships
Sales is all about relationships. Set goals for yourself to keep in touch with contacts you’ve made or acquaintances you’ve met. For example, you could connect with a new person on LinkedIn every day, or meet a different person for coffee once a week. If the conversation naturally turns to business, talk honestly about what you do and how you’ve helped your customers.
The goal of these meetings isn’t to push your product, but to build those relationships. Stay in touch, and when they have a need for your product, you’ll be at the top of their mind.
3. Listen and Empathize
When you’re talking to a potential lead, don’t feel the need to talk about benefits or throw out a price right away. Instead, ask questions about their business and what problems they need to solve.
Once you’ve taken the time to understand exactly what their needs are, you’ll be able to see if your business is a good fit, and know how to present it as a solution to their problem. You’ll also understand the value of that solution, and have the information and confidence you need to quote the right price.
4. Go the Extra Mile
Existing customers are much easier to sell to, because they’re more likely to already trust you and understand the value of what you have to offer. That’s why offering top-notch customer service is such a powerful sales technique: the happier your customers are, the more likely they are to return. Satisfied customers are also more likely to give your business great reviews and recommend your services to others.
You don’t have to compromise yourself or your integrity to sell. If you’re passionate about what you do, connecting with others and building mutually beneficial relationships is an easy way to sell more and build your business.