Sales is my favorite language on planet Earth. It’s universal. Whether you realize it or not you are selling every single day. Trying to get your friends to try out that new restaurant? Sales. Want your kids to clean up more after themselves and walk the dog? Sales. Want that chick you gawk at every time you go to the gym and even changed the time you go to the gym to just so you can see her and tell yourself “next time I’ll talk to her”? Sales. Do you sell stuff for a living? Not sales. Ha-ha just kidding, definitely sales. Whether you like it or not we are all in sales and the more you can learn about selling the more you can get out of life. Period. Great salesman make great money, an impact on the world and are generally well received by the public. Though there is a negative connotation placed on many “sales” professionals, chances are the person you look up to or follow is also a great salesman. There are a ton of skills a well-rounded sales person needs and the list could go on for days. There is no such thing as a “perfect” salesman which is pretty awesome in my opinion because it’s a skill that absolutely can not be mastered. While there are no perfect sales people, there are some pretty damn great ones and ALL of them share these three traits:
1.) All great salespeople are assertive. The definition of assertive is: having or showing a confident and forceful personality. In sales the whole goal is the close. That’s the end game and that’s what you’re aiming for every single time. It doesn’t matter what the close is but you have to understand you always have the right to ask for the close. There are a ton of different types of salespeople and I see them every day; the passive ones who accept the first “no” without even trying to overcome any objections. Passive salespeople rarely get what they want and more often than not it’s because they don’t even ask, no one likes a passive little bitch so don’t be one. It’s how you get taken advantage of and bullied around. Then there’s the aggressive one’s who tell you if you can’t make up your mind right here right now, the deal is off the table and you will have to suffer the consequences. They use their “superior” position as a means of forcing you into a decision, whether the superiority is a parent telling their children they’re grounded, a teacher threatening a student with the principals office or an actual salesperson rushing you to buy a product or service so they can get paid and you can have a bad experience. Passive and aggressive salespeople are the sole reasons why “sales” is a dirty word to so many of us. The assertive salesman is not afraid to ask for a decision, though they don’t take the first objection or force someone into something they aren’t fully bought in to. By being assertive you can let the other party know your end game, whether it’s getting their phone number to ask them out and get to know them or getting a raise at their job. They don’t apply an obscene amount of pressure and they don’t give up, they simply imply that we move on to the next step of the process or to reconvene in the future when the other party is ready to move on to the next step in the process.
Don’t be pushy. Don’t be rude. Don’t use leverage against other people. It’s wrong and even though it might work that one time, It’s almost guaranteed you’ve lost your trust and reputation with the other person. Don’t be a pushover either. People won’t let you influence them if you don’t seem confident in yourself or your skills. No one wants to be influenced by a passive little bitch. Assert yourself. Be confident in yourself and your position and you will gain a tremendous amount of influence over others.
2.) You must be a problem solver. This one seems so simple yet so many salespeople forget it. Your job is to solve problems, that is the only reason you are in business. Literally. If you don’t have a solution to a problem you should not be offering one and you need to find someone who does because they are the true salesman. We all have problems and guess what we all want them solved. Think of the last time someone solved a problem for you, whether it was simple or extremely difficult doesn’t matter. Chances are they solved your problem and you were not only grateful for it but deep down a little more fond of that person because they added value to your life. The best sales pitch is one that solves someone’s problem. Period. If you are actually in sales chances are you have a product or service that is made to solve someone’s problem, therefore the discovery process is rather simple. They need to communicate with their families, browse the internet and navigate through unknown territories, you work at AT&T and have these magic metal and glass contraptions called iPhones that do all the above: boom, problem solved. Discovering problems to be solved in personal relationships can be a little harder, typically the solution is as well. Let’s say you have a friend who recently went through a divorce or experienced a death in the family. They have a problem: they are probably extremely upset or depressed, their whole world was just flipped upside down and they need someone they can count on. There’s the problem. It’s your job as an influential person to find the solution. For some people it’s a simple phone call and letting them know you’re there if you need them and for others it’s a trip to Vegas getting wasted and being a degenerate at the casino living it up. The solution will always be different but it’s your job to find one for the problem someone else is having.
We all have problems. We all hate problems. When someone can solve our problem we are instantly more fond of them and they gain more influence over us. Be a problem solver. Not a problem creator.
3.) Empathy. Too many people today completely lack empathy. We live in a narcissistic era and we all fall prey to thinking of ourselves too much. We are engulfed in our Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook world’s and only concerned about how many likes we get or what benefits our own greater good. It’s very rare to find someone who is thinking of others and trying to put his or herself in another persons shoes. When we do meet someone like this they usually leave a great impression and are easily like-able. Empathy is a catch 22. It means having the ability to step in the shoes of another person and see things from their perspective. It let’s you put the spotlight on the other person and see things their way, while also improving the quality of your life and your relationships. It’s completely selfless and completely selfish at the same time. It gives you a whole new perspective on whatever the situation is and increases your influence over the other person literally 10x. Seeing something from someone else’s point of view and communicate with them that you’re on the same page is extremely powerful and the beginning of a cradle to grave relationship.
Empathy is king. We all want and need to be understood. If you can be empathetic you can literally connect with anyone on the planet.