How to Be a Good Salesperson

Lately, it seems as if everyone is selling something, either themselves (via online dating) or a certain product that will enhance your life. But why are some salespeople effective while others just give you the creeps? The difference can be found in their motivation. Some have only themselves in mind, and have a fear-based mindset geared towards self-preservation. They will sell you anything, even your own clothes back to you, just to make a profit and protect themselves from perceived annihilation / poverty / loneliness. For those who love being in sales, the greatest joy comes from seeing a satisfied customer. Remember this.

Here are some helpful tidbits that I have gleaned for those who dabble in the field.


DO: Listen to the customer. What are their wants and needs? What are their concerns? If you are really good, you can pick up on what they are saying beyond their words.

DON'T: Put down the competition. Arrogance and disrespect and expose inner insecurities.

DO: Let the customer feel as if they thought of the solution (or picked the correct product) themselves. In the words of my friend, this requires a smooth Jedi mind trick.

DON'T: Talk about yourself the whole time. I'm sure you love the product, but the sale isn't about you, silly. It's about the person in front of you. Shift the focus.

DO: Read your customer. How do they sound? How is their body posture? How are they walking? The customer is telling you what they need when they walk in the door. People respond when you pay attention to them. It makes them feel special.

DON'T: Sell too hard. If someone is coming on too strong, it is a red flag. Buyer, beware!

DO: Know your product and alternative products. Could it be that the best product for your customer is at another store? Be honest and send them to the right place. Perhaps this alone will keep them coming back.

DON'T: Manipulate. Using guilt, fear tactics and threats to persuade customers to buy a particular product is manipulative and immoral. It will come back to you. 

DO: Value yourself. Selling too high drives away business, while selling too low reflects low-self worth. What feels right? What is the market value for your product? What discounts are you honestly able to give? Adjust.

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