Business Workshop: How to succeed in sales without selling

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It's OK to lie to salespeople in our society. That's because most of us in business, as it turns out, aren't very good salespeople.

Think of your own experience. As buyers, we are more and more aware of sales tactics and we find ways to work around them. Many of us probably have our own anti-sales system. Maybe we don't tell the truth. Maybe we milk the salesperson for unpaid consulting. If that doesn't work, we might commit to nothing, explaining that we "need to think it over," hoping the salesperson will disappear.

Yet business leaders need to sell if businesses are to succeed. If these sales scenarios sound familiar, here are a few steps you can take to succeed when it's your turn to sell, without acting like a salesperson:

· Establish equal business stature. Make a potential buyer feel comfortable. Seek to understand their situation. Maintain this attitude and approach throughout the sales process.

· Set mutual expectations. This means agreeing on ground rules about your mutual purpose, next steps and necessary actions that could lead to a sale.

· Help your prospective buyer understand their real pain and present a solution that will solve it. Show how your product or service will help solve the problem. It's human nature for us to buy ways to avoid or overcome pain. We are not interested in features or benefits.

· Maintain your relationship after the sale -- something we call the post-sell. How many of us have can recall being left high and dry after a sale? Don't be that salesperson.

Salespeople fail all the time. If you're in business and you need to sell, it's up to you to recognize ways to avoid failure and adapt your sales process to grow your bottom line.

-- Sean Coyle
Sandler Training by Peak Performance Management


Business Workshop is a weekly feature from local experts offering tidbits on matters affecting business. To contribute, contact Business Editor Brian Hyslop:


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