Thursday, 21 August 2014
No matter what your role is in your company, you're also in sales. As a business leader, you sell your ideas, your products, and your company on a daily basis. All of us persuade, influence, or convince others to give us time, money, attention, or opportunity every single day.
Consumers have huge informational advantage nowadays. This means that they at times may also be even more informed than the seller. This requires a new way of thinking about how to sell your ideas or products - an approach that accommodates a culture that now expects customization.
Here are 4 tips from Entrepreneur, to re-shape your thinking to help sell your business ideas:
1. Rethink your pre-sale pep talk.
Interrogative self-talk actually prepares you for the sales encounter - Tweet This!
Before you pitch an idea to an important person or investor, how do you boost your confidence? If you're like most people, you tell yourself, "I can do this." That might make you feel better, but it does little to improve your performance.
Instead, ask yourself, can I do this? Even if you don't respond aloud, the question prompts an answer, reminding you of past experience and expertise.
2. Aim to understand the buyer's point of view.
To successfully sell an idea, you need to be attuned to the other person by making an effort to understand their perspective - Tweet This!
When we understand someone else's point of view, we're more effective. That insight empowers you to allay any concerns or frame the idea in a meaningful light.
"Empathy plus" is a term used to explain that you need to understand more than just how your audience feels. Consider what your customers are thinking and what their interests are. Addressing those thoughts and interests is the surest way to make a successful pitch.
3. Think of yourself as a curator.
Consumers have huge informational advantage nowadays - Tweet This!
With so much information at our fingertips, an effective pitch or sale is now about making sense of the chaos and limiting the options. The skills that matter now are not accessing information but curating it and making it clear. Show your audience that you understand who they are, what they need, and where to find it.
To tailor information appropriately, first identify any problems or needs. Start with questions rather than statements. That curiosity helps you understand their point of view so that you can identify a problem they didn't realize they had or tailor your pitch to address their specific needs. You're matching, not pushing.
4. Strive for the balance of an ambivert.
We often assume that extroverts make the best salespeople, but that's not the case - Tweet This!
Those best suited for selling are ambiverts, or people who have both outgoing and reserved qualities. While introverts talk too little and extroverts too much, ambiverts find the happy medium. They know when to speak up and shut up, push and hold back.
Most of us are already ambiverts, but we can all strive for more balance. If you tend to be extroverted, make an effort to talk less and listen more, and if you tend to be introverted, work on being assertive and speaking up.
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