Do you find sales uncomfortable? You’re not alone. Most people don’t like sales and tend to avoid it at all costs. However, learning effective selling tactics such as listening to your audience and practicing empathy and emotional intelligence can enhance your success as an entrepreneur and an individual.
Because door-to-door sales is becoming less common, sales has made its way into the online marketplace. The new “salespeople” of the online world are influencers, online businesses, realtors, etc. These people wouldn’t consider themselves salespeople. However, they are in the business of selling a product or service to their audience. Even politicians are salespeople trying to sell their policies to the public for a vote. The entire economy revolves around sales because the economy runs on making money.
In this article, I want to dispel any misconceptions about sales and why sales is the most critical skill you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Sales Develops Your Communication
Communication is the foundation of an effective salesperson. Sales develops your communication skills by allowing you to build a relationship with the potential customer. For example, communication consists of verbal and nonverbal communication. When trying to build a relationship with a potential customer, you want to have good body language, eye contact, tone, and reactions. If you’re selling over the phone, your tone and reactions will be even more important in landing a new customer.
In addition, communication is vital for explaining your product offer to a potential customer. This is where you “sell” the person on your product. The best way to sell your product or service is by communicating how the product or service will benefit the customer and make their lives easier.
Sales Builds Your Confidence
With sales comes rejection. Even if you’re not a salesperson, you will experience rejection when promoting a product or service that people just don’t want to buy. But with rejection comes confidence. As you experience rejection in sales, you learn how to become better, making your confidence stronger. In addition, if you’re more introverted, learning sales techniques will significantly improve your confidence in communicating with people both in-person and over the phone. As you practice, you’ll become more confident in developing relationships and communicating your offer in a non-salesy way.
Sales Teaches You How to Sell Your Product or Service Effectively
Sales is more than just selling a product or service. However, making the sale is the end goal in sales. So, make sure you know your product or service inside and out, the benefits, how it works, and how it will benefit your customers. If your product or service isn’t selling, that means you need to adjust your strategy to make it more compelling.
Sales Teaches You Empathy
People don’t want to be sold to. They want someone to listen to them. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of, control, and express your emotions as well as empathize with others and their emotions. Using emotional intelligence in sales helps you listen to and understand your customer’s problems and guide them toward a solution that fits their needs and betters their situation.
Even influencers use this strategy to sell to their audience. Most of them don’t say, “Here, buy this product because I love it and it’s great.” They usually say something relatable about their lives or a specific problem they’ve had recently. Then, they’ll mention the product and how if you’ve had the same experience, this product will change your life.
Sales Helps You Build Relationships
How good you are at sales depends on how good you are at building relationships. For example, no one wants to buy a product where they don’t know the seller. However, if a “friend” (salesperson) were to recommend a product that will help them, they’d be more likely to purchase it.
One of my favorite books about communication, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, teaches you how to frame your words effectively to make friends. The “influence” part comes after you’ve built the relationship and want or need something from that person. They’re more likely to give you what you want than if you asked for it before you built the relationship.
Sales Builds Your Negotiation Skills
Lastly, sales is highly effective at building your negotiation skills. Negotiation is the act of communicating with the intent of getting a result. So, when you’re selling something, and someone wants a lower price, you can use the power of negotiation to land a deal that benefits you and the customer. By negotiating instead of declining their proposition, you’re giving the customer more power, allowing them to feel in control of the situation.