Why a concise course of lessons in selling?


Learning this tutorial you can:

The communication skills taught in these lessons can enable you to do things. However, knowledge, even this knowledge, doesn't do anything. The printed page won't go out and influence. It all comes down to people. The way they really learn and understand this material. The way in which they employ it. The honesty and integrity with which  they deal with others.

It is necessary to learn this material, to mull over it, and practice it all the time, and think back and review how you have used it and how you might improve. It is necessary to understand it so it belongs in your heart.

You would not use these techniques to exploit the weak and the innocent. You would not lead another along a path, whether it be buying your product or following your will, unless you believed sincerely that this was the best thing for them.

In these pages we are concerned with influencing with integrity. You will find no cheap tricks here. Cheap tricks are for those who would win quickly, and lose just as fast even more thereafter, perhaps for ever. What we sow, we shall also reap. So sow the seeds of greater human betterment using the very woof and weft of the universe. And be glad to reap the great benefits of what you sow.

Who should study selling?

First, remember that

All are using some kind of sales method, and the degree to which they succeed depends on the degree to which they apply sales know-how! Whenever another tries to influence another, then they are using some kind of sales techniques.

The short answer is that everyone can benefit from studying selling. Not everyone will study it, however! Note the 90% of people employed as salesmen. Please do not mistake the way that they behave and talk for the practice of salesmanship!

Are salespeople born or made?

Actually neither. Usually they are self-trained.

Why should you study selling?

Getting others to understand your point of view is part of life, and many human tragedies are failures to communicate and understand each other.

Rational, intellectual communication does not work, even with rational and intellectual peoplee.

We ignore the wise words and make the most outrageous mistakes and errors of choice. The way of influence is not logical. With logic we can lead the proverbial horse to the water, but we can't make her drink!

We can never persuade another. They persuade themselves. We can only lead them to see things from another viewpoint.

Persuasion, if we take it in the sense of another persuading another, is simply communication using the way the mind works, not necessarily according to logic. We do not use 'tricks' or deception. We always act with integrity and professionalism.

There are many jobs and opportunities available, and great fortunes to be earned using these techniques.

The method

The techniques explained in these pages are not unique to me. They are based on the writing, speaking and practices of many people, and are a condensation of this knowledge. They are not everything there is to be learned and practiced - they are an essence of this spirit of sales.

How it works

In order to benefit from these lessons you would read, understand, learn and practice them. Remember, the printed page will never go out and influence another. And for you to do so, you need to apply yourself to the material.

Now what follows is the condensation of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of many people throughout history, who have contributed to this subject. Now you, too, can enjoy the benefits.


In order to play a game, you need to know and apply its rules. Break the rules and lose the game. Learn the rules of selling and win every time!

The Seven Classical Stages

These are the seven classical stages in making a sale. Selling is done in Stage 5 only:

  1. Building Rapport
  2. Creating Interest
  3. Asking Questions
  4. Check and pre-Close
  5. Bringing it all together
  6. The Final Check
  7. The Close

The following are not stages, but are part of the whole process:


1. How to build rapport - Making Friends and Influencing People!

Don't overdo this. Get down to business as soon as the prospect is ready.

If at any stage the customer is ready to buy, then do not go through the stages. Stop talking and take the order! Many sales people go on talking and persuading after the customer wants to place the order, and often lose the sale for this reason. So, listen to the customer, with your eyes and ears and feelings.

A rider here, in some sales, is that you might need to ensure that the customer fully understands the offer.

Learn to observe.

When you are at one, then you can begin to lead the other. You can use this hidden technique to fully be in rapport.

Agree!

  1. Agree with the fact.
    If you can't,
  2. Agree with the principle.
    If you can't,
  3. Agree with that person's right to hold that or those views.

By arguing you won't change the world, but you might lose the sale!


2. How to make what you say interesting

Get the future customer to think:

I am dying to hear what this person has to say.'

Get a positive response - a 'Yes', 'Mmm!', nod, etc.


'Ms Smith, we have some machinery that could increase the productivity of your new line dramatically, but I have no idea at this stage, so I need to find out a bit more about you and your operation.'


Never make a statement you cannot justify, or prove!

A desire statement is uttered, but modified to AVOID sounding arrogant or pompous.

'Mr Future Customer, we have a training course, that I believe will almost certainly increase your communication skills, but may I ask you a few questions first before telling you about it in detail?

'Mr Future Customer, we have some new products that would very  probably increase the value of  your home and make it more attractive , more comfortable, and be altogether very profitable for you. But may I ask you a few questions first of all?'

Tailor to the listener, as we all have different needs and wants.

Do NOT EMPHASISE profitability to a doctor who wants to care for his patients. You might emphasise being able to do more for the patients with cost effective techniques.

DO EMHASISE profitability to a doctor who wants to get rich quickly!

That is, do not emphasise the cocktail cabinet in the back of a luxury car to a teetotaller!

Set your seed according to the soil! 

3. Asking and Listening

Tips

Use the following sequence of questions:

Background questions give you basic information from which you can start to draw conclusions. For example,

'Do you meet your targets?'

Problem questions begin focus on their situation.

'Is this a problem?'

Effect questions help focus on what is happening as a result of the prevailing situation.

'What effect does this have on the rest of the business?'

Need questions get the person to state their needs in their own terms.

'What would you like to happen with your targets?'

For example:

How do you get on with other people? (Background question)

Is this a problem? (Problem question)

What effect does your relationships with others have on your life? (Effect question)

What would you like to happen with your personal relationships? (Needs question)

Remember, selling is about communication, not always about things!


4. Check and pre-Close - Have you got it right?

Procedure:

'Mr Smith, is there anything else we have not discussed that you may be looking for?

If Yes, then add this to the list and procede as with the following.

If No,
'Mr Smith, if our product or service will do all the things we have just discussed, will you be placing the business with me? Now, I am not saying that it WILL, or that I CAN provide the service. What I am asking is, if I can match up to what you are looking for, will you give me the order?'

If 'Yes',
proceed with the presentation.

If 'No', or uncommitted,
say: 'If that is so, Mr Smith, there must be something else we haven't discussed'. Find this something and dd it to your list and check and pre-close, or ask further questions to clarify, and check importance, etc..
'Is there anything else?'
If 'Yes',
Pre-close again - 'Mr Smith, if I can satisfy you on all these points, including those I have just written down, will you place the business with me?'    
If 'No', you might repeat the procedure, or tell the future customer (nicely) not to waste your time! If the product or service will meet all the future customer's requirements but he or she won't give you the order, then they are not ready to buy. And the sales presentation is a waste of time. Sales is often a numbers game where you meet many future customers, but sell to only a few. Do not waste time (which you could spend with someone who will buy) with someone who isn't ready.

When the customer has said she will give you the order if you can prove the product or service will meet their requirements, then procede with step 5.


5. Bringing it all together - Sell! Sell! Sell!

At this stage, and only at this stage, you should begin to sell.

Sell:-

Make only those points relevant to the client. Do not try to sell a pair of shoes to a legless man!

If the prospect indicates a willingness to proceed, stop selling and complete the paperwork. Don't talk yourself out of a sale.

You bring together your customer's wants and the product or service.

Provide proof by means of features, examples and references from others who approve

Check your progress by obtaining constant feedback.


6. Checking on Desire - The Final Check.

This is a repeat of the procedure  you used   in the pre-close check. There you were checking you understood the future customer's needs. Here you are checking that the customer agrees the benefits.

Mr Smith, how does that sound from what I have explained to you?'

'Mrs  Smith, are you satisfied with what we have discussed?'

'Miss  Smith, we seem to have covered all the points.

Is there anything else we haven't looked at yet?'

Tick all the points during stage 5 (The presentation) that are important to the customer who will, of course, see you doing this and you will have got agreement.

If the client says 'Yes', close!

If he or she says 'No', then you have either not asked the right questions in stage 3 or because you have not convinced him of the benefits in stage 5.

The price can be mentioned at any stage. If the sale is lost on price, then it is better lost earlier so that time won't be  wasted on the demo.

Most people are interested in price, but may not buy on price.


7. Closing - Getting to Action!

There are two closes:

The Assumption close

Fine, let's complete the paperwork.

The Alternative Close

Do you prefer to buy by cheque or cash?

Do you want it in red or green?

Do you want 10 or 12?

Will you be requiring 10 extra manuals or 12?

Do you want metallic paint on the car?

Would you like a tie to go with your new shirt?

Use the assumed close when everything has gone with full agreement, and it is natural. The alternatives close is a choice between two options, both of which presume that the future customer will buy.


Dealing with Objections

Dealing with objections is not one of the 7 stages. It is part of the sales process. It may not be necessary at all. However, objections can be a buying signal. If the future customer isn't going to buy, why raise objections?

If the customer raises an objection, ask:

If I can completely and fully answer you on that, Mrs. Future Customer, will you go ahead with the proposition?

If Yes, answer the objection.

If No, ask why and write down all the objections. Ask repeatedly:

Anything else?

If Yes, add it to the list. If No, then ask again:

If I can completely answer you on this, and I'm not saying I can, would you go ahead today?

The future customer should say 'Yes.' Answer the objections.

If not, ask 'Why?' and repeat the procedure, or terminate the interview.

Handle objections as follows:

  1. Listen and Clarify
  2. Agree and outweigh
  3. Check agreement and ask for the action.

First listen very carefully to the customers words and non-verbal signals. Find out what the objection really is. For example, someone might say, 'It's too expensive!' What does that mean exactly?

He or she:

Ask questions to find out what he or she really means - be specific.

Then agree, but outweigh.

It is new, but it is proved.

If I can show you how this has helped others, would you be convinced?

Our experience is that this isn't a problem.

I know how you feel. Many of our customers felt that way. Until they found...

Answer the objection fully, and check that you have. 'Have I satisfied you on that, Mr. Smith?'

Ask for the action



The Next Step

I have tried to cover the most important things in sales in a very condensed way, which will mean you have to think!
I shall add more information and detail in future, although the essence is here.

I would be very pleased if you realize that this site is not merely about selling things, but about relating to people in a decent and effective way.

Although I love business, my main interest is in personal development with a spiritual bias.

To quote physics, Goedel discovered that you cannot solve a problem in the same space as the problem. The generalization of this mathematics is that to understand the truth, you need to study rhetoric. And to understand rhetoric, you need to understand the truth.

If you do not know what it is like to be rejected, then how can you understand acceptance! Check out the sites on the left!

Er, click this first!
Ken