I recently ran across a list of 8 key sales skills by Allen Guy, author of Playing to Win: the Sport of Selling. Since every presenter sells an idea, service or product, I thought I’d share them and amplify on them.
- Understand yourself. Why do you really want to do this sale: for your sake or the buyer’s or both? Are you communicating, consciously and/or unconsciously, your desires more than the buyer’s benefits? Are you demonstrating mastery/competence of the subject? Are you relating at a level that generates trust in you? Are you projecting a Leader Presence? Are you anxieties and fears about presentations getting in the way of communicating or distracting the buyer from the value proposition?
- Understand the buyer. What motivates this buyer to buy now? Is he/she ready to hear your message, now? How does the history between the buyer and you and what you’re offering affect “readiness” to receive the message
- Know your product. Not just its features but also how it really helps this buyer. What does it give your buyer a competitive advantage – and is it sustainable?
- Position yourself for success. Increase trust by providing testimonials, third party endorsements, references from people you both know.
- Plan the sales call. Don’t be complacent; think through a complete plan. All of the above factors may mean you need to address time and place for the presentation (e.g., face-to-face in the morning vs. group setting after a heavy lunch).
- Implement the plan. Execution is key to success in sales as it is in operations!
- Ask for the business. Unfortunately, half of all sales people don’t go for the close!
- Follow-through to position yourself for repeat opportunities. It’s easier to get repeat sales, up-sell to related products/services and get referrals, if you’ve positioned yourself well.