Selling is a skill, and like any skill, it comes naturally to some people, while others have to work long and hard to master it. We all know someone who is a great salesperson and great with people. On the other side of the spectrum, some fail miserably and are intimidated, sometimes paralyzed by the idea of selling. Whether you find yourself on the far right of that spectrum, somewhere in the middle, or miserable at it, this article teach you ways to sell anything to anyone.
There are five main techniques that you can master to improve your ability to sell. Keep in mind that with any skill you choose to learn, you won’t master this overnight. It’s going to take time, commitment, and consistent practice, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be ready to sell anything to anyone in no time.
The first step to selling anything is to develop common ground with the person you’re hoping to sell to; this is what truly sets apart the amateurs from the professionals. You’ll need to be a “people person” and build relationships and rapport with your prospects. Once you’ve established this common ground, it is much easier to understand their needs. This step is not the time to talk about your product or service. You want to listen and understand their problems first and ask in-depth questions to try to solve their problem.
The second step to selling anything to anyone is to know your product. You can’t sell something that you don’t honestly know or understand. If you want to be successful in matching your product or service with your target customers’ problems, you’ll need to know everything there is to know about your product—all the ways it can get used to solving different types of issues. Product knowledge isn’t just about being able to answer the prospects’ questions. Having a complete understanding of what you’re selling will also give you a level of confidence when talking about it. That confidence won’t go unnoticed, and can sometimes be the deciding factor in someone choosing to buy from you.
The third step to selling anything to anyone is to show them the benefits of the product. The key here is to show, not tell. By now, you’ve gained a good understanding of what their problem is. With your intimate knowledge of your product, you can appropriately match your product to the problem your prospect has. Now it’s time to show exactly how your product or service solves their problem. I recommend using case studies that show how you’ve solved problems in the past. Why? As this serves as proof of your ability to solve their problem and the benefits they may gain through the use of your solution. Following this method will be more valuable than merely telling them the benefits.
The fourth step to selling anything to anyone is to maintain the relationship you’ve built. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll close a sale on the first meeting. Or even the second. Remember, you’re looking to create a mutually beneficial relationship. Just as with any relationship, you don’t want to rush things as it sends the wrong message. You’ll want to show that you’re consistent in communications, dependable, trustworthy and this takes time. That’s why in sales, it’s important to have as many prospects in your pipeline as you can manage. So you can take your time building relationships with each, rather than working on only 1 or 2 and feeling the pressure to make a sale.
The fifth and most important step to selling anything to anyone, is to actually ask for the close. This is where most people struggle in sales because of the fear of rejection. There’s the saying “Ask and you shall receive.” You’ve built trust and rapport with your prospect. You’ve built and nurtured a relationship and you’ve confidently shown how you can solve their problem. You’ve shown how their lives would be better with your solution. This has all been part of guiding them toward committing to work with you. Now it’s time to ask for that commitment.
Being able to sell anything to anyone is a skill that takes time to learn. These five techniques we covered can be used in almost any aspect of your life. You can apply these methods to your job search, where you have to sell yourself, your ability to do the job and the benefits they’d have by hiring you. Or, you can apply these to relationships, where you want to build trust and show the benefits you can offer as a partner.
Now that you understand what it takes to sell anything to anyone, there is one last area where people struggle and that is with pricing. If you’re selling a high-ticket item, not only do you have to apply these techniques in your sales process, but you have to be strategic in how you position the product you’re selling.