Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exellent tips on how to use selling skills as a way of life

I remember my sales trainer days like they were yesterday. Whenever I think about the anatomy of a sale I think about how it has application value for all aspects of life. Using salesmanship and selling skills in all areas makes a lot of sense and, it can get buy in for projects, goals and relationships. It can be used at work or home in all types of settings. The anatomy of sales is as follows: 
  • Establishing Rapport (building relationship)
  • Needs Probe (discovering motivation, wants needs and desires)
  • Presentation (presenting the features and benefits with the emphasis on the benefits)
  • Trial Closing (asking for a commitment)
  • Overcoming Objections (refining rephrasing and offering new information)
  • Reaching Agreement

Each of these stages can be modified to work in almost all situations.

Establishing Rapport

Whether you are meeting someone new or dealing with a person familiar to you developing rapport and relationship is an important skill to hone and use. Social media marketing shows the importance of building relationship and rapport. In fact, nothing is ever accomplished between co-operating parties without first establishing some kind of rapport. The old cliché that you get more flies with honey than with vinegar is a testimony of the utility of establishing and building rapport.  Therefore, in all things you do keep this in mind and keep your demeanor words and, actions geared toward building rapport and relationship. Think about how you are appearing to others and gauge the effect that you have on building relationship.

Needs Probe

I am full of clichés today so forgive me…smile. I have heard it said that we have two ears and one mouth for a specific reason. It is to make it possible to listen twice as much as we talk. In using selling skills as a way of life this step is important indeed. The more you can know about what makes others the way they are, the more you are armed to appeal to them to get the compromises you want. As I think back to the dating days, I remember that the needs probe, discovery or, whatever you call it was a very important part of the relationship process. Understand that the more you can know about the needs, wants and, desires of other people the more able you are to relate to them and the more you can relate to them the greater are the chances of getting them to do what you want or to compromise in ways beneficial for each of you.

Presenting the Benefits

Only after you have established rapport, relationship and, have done a thorough job of discovery can you begin to present ideas and benefits that will elicit a desired response and action. Whenever you are presenting an idea or asking for a person to do something, it is important to stress the benefits. In other words explain the benefit to the person. I think that it is wise to use the word benefit in the presentation. I can remember as a sales manager for Color Tile, I would ask my sales force to use the word benefit in their presentation. They were making fairly high dollar complicated sales and a lot of selling skills went into a successful sale. It was important to convince the prospect of the benefits they would receive from making a purchase. This can be translated into day to day interaction and will work very well in all situations. Whether you are trying to get an employee, loved one, friend to do something, it makes sense to point out the benefit. It may be a benefit to them or it could be a benefit to someone else or even yourself but, explaining the benefit is important.

Trial Closing

After steps one, two and three have been utilized it is time to ask a closing question. It may be that you are asking your teenager to do something. You have already established rapport, you understand the motivation, wants needs and desires of your teenage child, and you have presented the benefits as best you can. You still may find that you get push back. Whenever you get push back in any situation it is time to try overcoming objection techniques.

Overcoming Objections

Once you have push back now is the time to refine, rephrase and offer new information. Many times it just means that you have not done one of the other steps correctly or thoroughly. So when you get push back ask a question. “You don’t want to do this?”…”can I ask why?”

Once you get the answer rephrase it. Show that you are listening. In the teenager example it could go like this.
“So you don’t want to go with us to grandmas because you will miss Sean’s
Christmas party is that right?”
“Well, what about if we don’t leave until the next day would you be willing to go then?”
The answer will likely be yes and you have overcome the objection through compromise. If that is impossible it may be that you have to explain that leaving before Sean’s party will benefit the family and ask them to make a sacrifice for the good of the family and offer a benefit for doing that. It is just good negotiations. The overcoming objection stage should always have a closing question attached to the new information stage. In the above case the new information was postponing the trip a day but it could be anything. The new information answers the objection.

I hope this will give some food for thought and as always I appreciate feed back so feel free to comment. 


  1. Life : sales. Sales : life. Yep, it's all the same and as you say, the same principles apply in both... in all areas.

    Kids, prospects, clients, sports coaching... everywhere.

    Good post


  2. Hi Joe,

    from the comments you make you obviously know quite a bit about selling.

    Applying it to life, now there's a thought.