Sales Foundations, Part 1

Mark CichowskismartPRENEUR Blog Series

These are a few of the most common, proven and useful professional techniques you can use in sales. To use a corny phrase, it is not rocket science… Let’s look at some.

Be a Human

Getting to know your buyer prospect, not just sell to them, is a crucial component of the sales process. We’ll get into personalities in other blogs, but regardless of their communication style, take the time to get to know them a bit. Make sure that you are sincere if you are complimentary about something in their home, gush over their cute kids or pet the family dog.

People see through bull turds… Well, not literally.

Also remember that you get one chance to make a first impression.

One Mouth, Two Ears, and Qualifying

One of the largest mistakes that salespeople make is that they talk too much. The best salespeople are usually ones that ask great questions. This involves the potential buyer in the process, uncovers wants and needs, and leads them down a path to “yes.”

Ask good questions and shut up for a while. Let the customer talk, take notes (shows you are truly listening). Listen to understand, not just to take your turn to talk.

Do you ever find yourself straining to hold back a comment while the other person is talking?

Yep, very common. Take the time to truly listen to the other person, especially if you asked them a qualifying question. If you are prepared, you should have a series of questions to ask a potential client so you can pause, listen, do follow up questions based on what the buyer says, then continue.

This happens in life too – co-workers, spouse, kids, friends, etc. Come on, admit it, you’ve done this.

Open Ended Questions

Simply put, open ended questions are ones that can’t be answered with yes or no or a one word response. In sales, these are often discovery questions. Some examples are below.

  • Tell me about…?
  • What do you see as…?
  • How do you feel about…?
  • If we could, would you consider…?

Think about questions that you can use that are open ended.

About the Author

Mark Cichowski

Mark Cichowski is CEO of Clarity AV International, Inc. and brings over 41 years to the custom installation channel.  Mark is currently working on various projects such as training programs and general business development.