3 Things Great Sales People Know

20 years ago, I interviewed for a position of sales representative somewhere in France. In the middle of the conversation, the recruiter gave me an apple and said: “Sell me this apple”. I stared at it for ages and could not come up with any arguments. Needless to mention that I did not land the job.

You're not born a sales person, you become one. You could design the industry's best product in the world, if you don't sell it, you have 0 business.

Selling is a person-to-person business. There're always are minimum 2 human parties in any sales transaction: the buyer and the seller. Otherwise it's called something else, e.g. advertising.

I see 3 implications to this definition:

  1. Where there are people, there are emotions. People tend to make their purchase decisions based on their feelings, and try to rationalize it. Why would people buy a very expensive mobile phone from Brand A, when another device, from a different brand, not only has the same technical specs but is 3 to 4 times cheaper? Because Brand A somehow resonated with who they are and what they stand for. The device's technical features played a minimal role. Great sales people focus on their interlocutors, understand what move them, instead of talking about how great their products or services are.

  2. Robots cannot sell for you. Stop hiding behind your computer, email, social media and advertising. Go out, call and meet people. It can easily be done remotely nowadays. Talking to other human beings can be scary but here is the trick: People love talking about themselves. Great sales people ask questions, and deeply listen to the answers.

  3. Focus on building relationships rather than selling. People crave for great relationships. The better your relations, the higher the chance to sell. Be authentic, be genuinely interested in your prospective clients, their stories, and more importantly their needs. Great sales person are the opposite of being pushy, because they know that developing relationships is a long-term game.

That is precisely what I did not know when I was asked to sell the apple. The answers I was looking for were not written on the fruit. I forgot to switch my attention to the person in front of me.

Sales is never about how great you and your products or services are. It is about how great your customers' needs are.  I designed a live mentoring program to show you how you can put your customers at the center of everything you do, and ultimately generate more revenue. 

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