The Mark of Great Salesmanship

Two for one peso
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Have you listened to someone defend that they are selling? How pathetic is that? It’s not that they are wrong, the entire economy moves on financial transactions, for profit and not. We are all salespeople at some point in our lives, even if we’re trying to get a job. What’s pathetic is that their defense deflects the real issue, which is shoddy sales skills.

The mark of a great salesman is simply that they don’t make you feel sold to; rather, the transaction is so natural it seems like an obvious action. You feel good about buying, because you needed or wanted the product or service. Opening your wallet was easy!

When a real salesperson hears an objection, they listen, ask questions, and try to meet their customer’s needs. If they can’t, they refer them somewhere else. To them a relationship between buyer and seller is built on trust and value. Salespeople foster that rather than simply garner transactions.

What they don’t do is defend themselves, or when their call to action is questioned, go into a hard sell. In essence, this is forcing the sale, the terrain of used car salesmen.

There is nothing wrong with asking. A great call to action is a specific ask. But when you get no, then keep asking, and people start complaining, pay attention. It has nothing to do with sales, per say. It has everything to do with the salesmanship. Don’t be a sales puke.

What do you think about salesmanship?

13 Replies to “The Mark of Great Salesmanship”

    1. I’d say it begins there, but I think it goes further into helping people and resolving needs.  With and for are almost the service side of it…

  1. Geoff – Very insightful here! When sales people get defensive, they automatically make the prospect question the product or service. The most effective way to sell is to sincerely put the prospects agenda before your own. It’s all about headset, not tactics. 

    1. Some of my best deals have been the ones where I was willing to break the deal because the customer wasn’t sure. Walking away until someone is ready is a sign that you believe in your product enough to let it ride on its own merits.

  2. One of the best salesman I have ever met was a blue-collar guy selling Christmas trees. He was great at selling because he wasn’t trying to sell. He talked about his personal life, asked about other’s lives, in short…he had conversations with people. By the end of the conversation you would buy anything from the guy without even looking at the product, because you liked HIM.

  3. Geoff,
    Only the crappy salespeople take the approach you describe here; these people usually don’t last very long in sales. The successful salespeople know better. Nuff said on that…

  4. I agree with this sentiment. A true salesman is one who listens to the prospect, makes sure he understands the need, communicates the features and benefits, why the ownership of the product/service will positively impact the customer’s life, how it will do so, and what steps need taken to realize that potential. If he’s lucky, he represents an organization equally dedicated to delivering a product/service which legitimately benefits the customer, society, and the planet.

    ABC. Always Be Closing.

  5. Hold on a second. I worked at a Chevy dealership for 10 years,in every sales department position from liner to GM assistant. Witnessed very good salesmen in other fields switch to trying to sell cars. How hard can it be, huh? Most didn’t last two months.

    Love ’em or hate ’em, the best car salesmen are a special breed with unique instincts, needing to adapt quickly to every form of humanity and their quirks, fears, likes and dislikes. The cliche image of a used car salesman is so far off as to be laughable. Only the worst fit that image, and those people jump from dealership to dealership every six months. Saw my share of those folk, too.

    It’s likely more than 98% of you couldn’t do the job, but if you could last a couple years, you would get one heck of an education about the psychology of salesmanship.

    Haven’t worked for a car dealership in more than 20 years, hated the time spent selling cars but wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else.

  6. It is much better to educate your potential client on the product. This will develop in their mind that they need the product. Trying to convince someone that they can’t live without it is a lost cause.

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