Many people complicate the sales process. We want to uncomplicate it. In order to increase sales, you have to give people a good reason to buy. That reason is personal and it is different for each potential customer you encounter. However, there are three primary things you can do that can give you an edge in sales. Dressing appropriately, having great communication skills, and having empathy convey professionalism in a sales situation. Wardrobe and physical appearance are about connecting with people visually. Communication is about connecting with people verbally. Empathy is about connecting with people emotionally. If you leverage all three of these appropriately, you can have many successful sales.
What is Persuasion?
Persuasion is the act of convincing someone to buy into a belief, product, or service. Persuasion requires you to do something. It is an action word. It also has a goal in mind. What are you selling? Why are you selling it? How does it help them? When you appropriately persuade someone, you encourage them to act.
Persuasion Through Physical Appearance
Physical appearance is the first thing someone notices. This is not about being a fitness model wearing a thousand dollars’ worth of clothing. It is about being approachable. Be bathed, groomed, and dressed for success. You want to look professional. This does not necessarily mean suit and tie. It depends on the industry you are in. As a good rule of thumb, you should be better dressed than most of your potential clients.
Persuasion Through Great Communication Skills
Communication is a learned behavior. Great communication takes time and practice. Communication is about both the verbal and non-verbal messages you send. Verbal messages are things like word choice, tone, and volume. You want to come across confident and capable. You want to sound intelligent and experienced to your customer. If your average customer finished high school, you need to use words most high school students would understand. If your typical customer is a doctor or lawyer, they would not be impressed if you cannot speak or write properly. Nonverbal messages are things like eye contact and body language. Have a firm handshake. Make direct eye contact. Look friendly and confident. Do not fidget or have your head lowered. Again, communication is learned, so learn it well.
Persuasion Through Empathy
Empathy is not learned behavior or a set of skills. It is something you have or something you don’t. You can only learn to use it better. Empathy is about being able to read people and connect with them emotionally. It is being able to sit next to someone with your eyes closed and know how they are feeling. Those who are great at persuasion typically have a great ability to sense emotions. You can tell if someone is engaged and listening. You can pick up little cues about topics that interest them in order to keep a conversation going.
Persuasion Through Conversation
You will have a much easier time in sales if people like you. People will buy things from people they like, even if they do not want the product or service. The best use of persuasion techniques is not to sell a product, but to sell you. People want to like you. People want to trust you. Just give them a reason. Open a conversation. Keep them talking about things they like and want. Guide the conversation toward finding their problems and offering viable solutions. Successful sales is not about a well-delivered 30 second rehearsed speech or a creative giveaway. It is about gaining their trust and offering viable solutions that they need or want.
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