Selling oneself is something everybody must do in order to get along better with others, to influence others and to be more successful. This holds true, as I’ve pointed out many times, regardless of who you are or what you do. You may be a secretary or you may work on an assembly line. You may be a homemaker or you may be retired. Professions, vocations, jobs, relationships are as varied, it often seems, as there are people.
You may sell at wholesale or you may sell at retail. You may sell through the mail or you may sell over the counter. In almost every line of selling a product you come in contact with people, with the possible exception of direct-mail selling, where advertising pre-sells for you and you fill the orders. But even then the principles still apply.
Selling yourself and your product does not consist of magic, or showing off or luck. It consists of homework and hard work and rewarding work. Let’s talk about unchanging principles, how to use them and how to give them that little extra Girard touch which might just get you the order. As salespeople, I’m assuming you know that selling strategy consists basically of these seven steps.
Basic Selling Strategy
- Prospecting. Finding people or organizations you wish to sell your products to.
- Qualifying. Learning what people really need versus what they think they need or want—and learning their ability to pay.
- Presenting. Showing your product off to its best advantage, wherever you sell it, and creating the desire to own it.
- Demonstrating. A first cousin to presenting, but now putting the product through its paces, showing what it does and further creating the desire to buy.
- Answering Objections. Overcoming any real or imagined resistance to the sale.
- Closing. The moment of truth when you ask for the order.
- Follow-up. Keeping the customer in the fold and servicing them if any problems arise after the sale.
Following these seven steps is what it takes to turn prospects into customers and keep them as customers. Of course, the effectiveness of the selling strategies depends upon homework. I am assuming that you know your product well and know all of its features. Make sure you get aboard your product and learn all about it top to bottom, inside and out. Product knowledge is worth little without a selling strategy, and a sales strategy is almost worthless if you lack product knowledge.