The first documented use of the word ‘selling’ was “Snake Oil Selling” in 1790, a phrase which refers to the practice of fraudulent selling, or selling goods other than advertised. So even from the beginning, selling as a profession has been seen as inherently dishonest and deceptive.
Despite this, selling remains a core component of many businesses today. Without it, customers would not have as readily available information about and access to products, and businesses would be unable to make a profit. Building a successful relationship between seller and customer is crucial to success.
There are various tested techniques to successful selling. Below is a quick look at some of them.
Engage in Storytelling
One of the easiest ways to have a potential customer remember you and your product is by mastering storytelling. The seller usually has plenty of data and facts as to why the person they are speaking with should buy their product. But if that is all they share, odds are the potential customer won’t remember much after the visit.
A study published in 2021 had participants read both an essay and a story and then recall what they could about each. The results were not shocking. The stories were not only better remembered, but the information they contained was better understood by those participating in the study. This still remains true in the world of selling. If you want consumers to remember your product, present your facts in a story.
Listen to the Customer
This tactic might sound like a no-brainer, but listening goes a long way to building a trusting relationship between seller and customer. And it goes beyond listening to what the customer says. Pay attention to visual clues such as body language, and also read in-between the lines to figure out what the customer isn’t saying as well.
The better you listen, the more able you become to meet the customer’s needs. If you can notice, acknowledge, and address those needs, the customer will be more likely to trust you, and by extension, the product you are selling.
Don’t forget, following up and listening after a sale is just as important. Doing so can turn a one-time buyer into a loyal, lifelong customer.
Set Goals and Write Them Down
Goals give the directionless purpose and the unmotivated drive. Goals likely come in from the company, but setting personal goals that align with those the company has can make them all the more meaningful.
While setting goals aloud can be useful, they become far more driving when they are written down. A study done by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California, showed that those who wrote down their goals were up to 42% more likely to achieve them over those who simply stated their goals out loud.
Take a Class or Seminar
Of course, one of the most effective ways to improve your selling skills is to learn from experts in the field. Taking a class or seminar can teach you new tactics and strategies in a risk and stress free environment.
Beginning in September, CEWT has partnered up with the Walter P. Brown Center for Sales Excellence in Idaho State University's College of Business to bring such a class to you. Coursework is broken up into an introductory Zoom session, followed by an in-person two-day boot camp and five half-day clinics, which runs from September until December.
This class is a great opportunity to improve your selling skills and work on building better relationships with your customers and potential clients. To learn more about it, you can visit the registration page or contact CEWT at (208) 282-3372.
Selling has been around a long time and its influence over the world of business is likely to remain for a long time to come. Mastering the art of selling can lead to more profits and happier customers.