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Communication in Sales

All of us sell things all the time. From a child selling the idea of a new bike to their father, to the CEO of a major corporation trying to ink a million dollar order, each of us sells. We sell our ideas and beliefs and desires to co-workers, bosses and family. We sell products, services, and concepts.

Here are three surprisingly simple ways to sell anything. You can use them in person, on the telephone, or with email. And you already know all about them!

1: Start a conversation. I never realized how effective this super-simple method was until I met Paul. He is able to get an order nearly every time.

How does he do it? "Simple. I just talk to people," he says.

It all started early in Paul's career when he couldn't seem to sell anything. "I had recently gotten married and just when I really wanted to succeed, no one seemed interested in my sales pitches."

Sometimes our best ideas come when we're really discouraged. Paul got so down on his sales technique he forgot about it and just started talking with people. Amazingly, they bought. Sales started to trickle, then turned into a flood as Paul became the company's top sales person for his region.

This is how Paul does it. He starts up a conversation. As soon as you mention something about yourself, he shows a big interest. He talks about whatever you are interested in. He builds up understanding and empathy.

I immediately feel like Paul is a friend I've known all my life. After twenty to forty minutes, he casually says, "so can we get you set up with an order?" After such a good conversation, 98% of his prospects just say yes.

2: Ask questions. This is a very simple way to sell and it works for both products and services. Most customers don't know half as much about your product as you do. In fact, most probably don't know much at all. Yet it is a rare customer who starts off by saying 'I'm a complete idiot on this.'

Ask questions to help customers find the areas where they need more information. They may not even know what areas they want to know more about.

Let's say a customer comes into your computer store and starts looking for a new desktop. Ask questions to find out if the customer is mostly interested in processing speed, reliability, or a popular feature. Ask what frustrates them about their current computer or what they like that they fear losing with a new computer.

Find the customer's main concerns. Then give them as much information about those concerns as they seem interested in having.

This does three things: You eliminate doubts based on lack of information. You show you are an expert ready to help. The customer becomes convinced you are interested in the things that are important to her.

3: Explain how your product or service works. Again, most customers don't really know how the thing they want to buy does what it does. There is so much more you can tell them to enhance the value they get from your product or service. You're the expert so you know all the applications that the customer hasn't thought of. You have personal experiences to describe, illustrating unique features and benefits. Once you take time to fully explain how your product or service works, most people are far closer to making a purchase.

At the root of these three methods to sell anything is human contact. These days it is had to get a knowledgeable person on the phone. If you send an email inquiry, you'll probably get a form letter reply that has little to do with your question. But customers do respond positively when you give them good old-fashioned attention. Start a conversation, answer questions, and explain to get more customers. You will sell more products and services. Or your ideas, projects and goals!

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Continue to the next page, Awareness Exercises

Also see: How To Communicate Better In Relationships, at Work and at Home

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