Many people throughout my career have told me that I missed my calling. They have said, “You need to be in sales”, or “You’re some sales person”. Well the truth be known I don’t really like to sell. Sure I worked in the retail industry part-time many years ago while I was going to college and it was fun, but to do it full time…no way. What I do know how to do and feel do fairly well is to be myself at all times and promote the things I enjoy and love in life.
Selling and promoting have more in common than you may think. Both take the ability to communicate, persuade and influence. Plus you must be passionate and believe in your product. As time goes on and you start feeling confident with promoting your product you’ll find that selling really isn’t so hard and you’ll start enjoying the process.
There are however several key steps to selling that have stood the test of time. They are prospecting, presenting, listening and closing. To prospect effectively you will need to determine who your customer is and what sets you apart from the competition. Ask yourself what would make a prospecting customer buy your product? Why would you buy your product over some other product?
Then you must have the ability to present well. All that really means is that you need to tell a good story. This is the fun part (the part I love…promoting). Everyone loves a good story especially an artisan story. Buyers love to hear what the inspiration was, what materials were used and how long it took to complete. They want to hear the features of your product that is relevant to them. Be honest and sincere with your story and be careful not to bore the customer with all the little details. A quick 30-60 second summary will do.
If you have told a good story now it’s time to listen. If you aren’t already, learn to be a good listener and remember that you will not sell anything if you don’t listen and understand the needs of your potential buyers.
Ok the final part…the closing. The best way to close a sale is to ask a simple question, “Can I answer any questions for you?” If the customer says no, you can ask for the sale, “Well, then why don’t you give it a try?” If the customer appears to be unsure you can say, “I really think this would be ideal for you.” You would be amazed at how many people just need an invitation to buy.
Understand that a sale is always being made, so either you will make the sale or your competition will. So promote yourself and be passionate about your product, even if you don’t make the sale that day, you have left a positive impression on them…they will remember you and will typically come back. - CT