Broker/Owner of Commercial Professionals in Las Vegas for over 25 years, professional speaker and author of The Successful Woman’s Mindset.
The word “sales” has developed a negative connotation over the years, bringing to mind aggressive cold calls and pushy salespeople who won’t take no for an answer. But sales is the lifeblood of any business. You have to know how to sell the right thing to the right people at the right time to thrive.
Sales success isn’t selfish or predatory — quite the opposite. I define sales success as a mutually beneficial transaction between your company and your customer. You provide exactly the product or service they need, and you both win.
Here are three simple strategies for sales success that I’ve refined through my work as a sales success expert and commercial real estate broker for over 25 years.
1. Adopt A Successful Sales Mindset
I can teach you all the tools you need to be successful, but if you don’t have the mindset to match, you won’t be able to reach your goals. Cultivate confidence in what you do and the value you offer clients.
Think about the image you project to others, through your words, voice, mannerisms and body language. How are you demonstrating that you’re confident in your own knowledge and skills, as well as what you’re selling? How might you be undermining your sales message in small ways without realizing it (for example, nervous laughter or fidgeting during a meeting)?
When I sold my first commercial property for $1.5 million, I hadn’t even purchased my first home yet. I was in my 20s and immensely aware of how potential investors might misjudge me: an inexperienced young woman who didn’t know what she was talking about. I knew I had to be completely confident in my abilities and area of expertise to be taken seriously. I did extensive research on my local commercial real estate market and the building I wanted to sell, and when it was time to explain the benefits of purchasing the property to the buyer, I came to the table prepared — and left with a sale.
2. Use Effective Communication
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in sales is that they talk without listening first. They lead with their sales pitch, trying to convince someone to buy a product or service, not paying attention to what a buyer wants and needs.
Do less talking and more listening. Before you start selling, ask your potential client open-ended questions that will help you learn more about what they are looking for, such as:
• How can my area of expertise benefit you?
• What is your end goal?
• What do you hope to gain from this purchase?
Make sure you understand what they want before you try to sell them something. Once it is clear what they want, you can suggest your products or services that will directly meet that desire and help them achieve their objectives.
A potential client once called me about a commercial piece of land I had listed. I answered his questions and told him I would email him more information about the property, but instead of ending the call there, I took the time to ask, “What is it specifically you’re looking for?” That one question led to a detailed conversation about what he really wanted. Because I took the time to ask questions and listen to his answers, I later sold him a $10 million property that fit his precise needs, instead of the $4 million property he called about.
3. Build Relationships
Sales success ultimately depends on building relationships with people while focusing on how you can benefit them, not the other way around. Connect with people, ask how you can be of service, then see if you can find opportunities to work together in the future.
I regularly make connections with potential new clients on LinkedIn, but I make sure to reach out to them in a way that isn’t salesy. I genuinely want to find common ground, so I will send a short message to a new contact, saying: Hi Jane, I appreciate the opportunity to connect with like-minded people. Please let me know if there’s any introduction that I can make from my LinkedIn connections.
People almost always accept my requests, and once we’ve made a connection, we can have conversations that are more sales-focused but still all about them: How can my area of expertise benefit you? Is there anything you’re looking for that I might be able to help with?
Sales success is, first and foremost, about your clients. What goals do they want to achieve? What are their objectives in wanting to purchase your product or services? Start there, and then look for solutions that will benefit you both in the end.
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