The Art of Sales
Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, we’re all engaged in selling at one point or another. This is because ultimately, selling is all about persuasion. How do you convince the other person to buy your product, accept your idea or agree with your suggestions? This is the art of persuasion or by extension, the art of the sale.
My firm belief is that if you genuinely care about your client or the person sitting across from you in the board room, you’re halfway there. Once you’re open to what the other person is saying, you can glean their true wants, needs and vision for their reasoning. This will allow you to frame your response in a way that is most appealing to the client, business partner or colleague. Always remember that persuasion is neither deception nor manipulation; rather, it is about ensuring that the other person is convinced enough to give your product or service a try. (And I would hope that what you’re offering is a good product or service!) However, to give a few pointers, I’ve compiled a list of tips when it comes to trying to persuade someone to buy your product or support your business:
- Try to establish some sort of common ground at the beginning of your interaction. Whether you talk about the recent sporadic weather or the fact that you both love chocolate, getting the other person to find something in common with you creates a warmer atmosphere, where the other person views you as what one of my favourite childhood literary characters, Anne of Green Gables would call, “a kindred spirit”.
- Ensure that your confidence level is high. Confidence is not arrogance. It is the self-assurance that you know what you’re offering is good and will benefit the other person. Preparation is therefore key. I remember coaching a client who wanted to do better at sales. When asked about her personal sales style, she said, “Veoma, I just wing it; I feel the other person’s vibe and go from there!” (Little wonder, she needed coaching) Research your client. Ensure you anticipate questions or even objections; and prepare on how to respond in a most intelligent and informative – but not forceful – manner.
- Body language is important. Always maintain comfortable eye contact with the other person. We all know what we think about that person who tries to avoid eye contact, right? That they’re not to be trusted, hiding something and so on….Even shifting your weight from side to side can be distracting and signal to the other person that you’re just that: shifty! And of course, nothing can ever beat a genuine, radiant smile.
While space doesn’t permit, there are a few more quick tips such as using a person’s name, never raising your voice at the other person and taking time to explain the real benefits to the customer are sure ways to go for the sale. As mentioned, we all sell; but some can do it better than others!
Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali
Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.