Increasing your sales skills – perfecting your technique – is the single most valuable resource you will have throughout your life. The best sales people work regularly to improve themselves in this area. I’m reminded of a quote here by the man who changed the face of retail selling forever…
“Salesmanship, too, is an art. Sales skills – perfecting your technique requires study and practice.” ~ James Cash Penney
Have you ever heard the term “You’re a natural-born sales person?” Someone born with a natural style of selling that isn’t annoying or pushy? But is being a likable salesperson something you are born with or is it something you can learn?
Personally, I believe it’s a mixture of both.
It’s true that some people can naturally sell ice to a Polar bear. But for most of us selling brings to mind the days of going to buy a used car and being pressed into buying a certain one by an annoying, pushy salesman.
Does the Very Idea of Improving Your Sales Skills and Perfecting Them Make You Feel Dirty?
Does the idea of putting a smile on your face, pretending strangers are your best friends and sweet-talking them into spending money on your products or services make you want to hide? If the answer is yes, then how can you sell your products or services or books then, without feeling like you have to become some else to do it? What does it take to develop your salesmanship skills so that people will like you?
Salesmanship is both an art and a science. It’s a human activity that involves human interaction. Although a natural affinity to selling is helpful, it can also be learned. Here are some surprising statistics:
• 75% of buyers want marketers to curb the sales-speak in their content. (Source: DemandGen Report)
• Only 2% of sales occur at a first meeting. (Source: Marketing Donut)
• Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
• 63% of people requesting information today won’t buy for at least three months. (Source: Marketing Donut)
• Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured leads. (Source: Forrester Research)
NOTE: You’ll want to nurture your leads in your online business as well, using an email autoresponder sequence.
These statistics show that selling takes a lot more than being pushy and aggressive. It takes time to build a relationship with your potential client and repeated exposure in a good way. Learning more about what it takes to be a natural salesperson without being pushy and aggressive.
What is a Natural, Likeable Salesperson?
Let’s first decide what a natural born sales person actually is. You’ve no doubt said to someone they were a natural born salesperson, often using it as a dig. It implies you either have it or you don’t, like being born left-handed or short or double-jointed. In this instance, it means that selling is a talent the person doesn’t have to work at. But in reality, a good salesperson works very hard at being natural. They are constantly developing their ability to read people, their storytelling and conversational habits and how they interact with others. A natural born salesperson isn’t pushy. They are confident and have a lot of enthusiasm but they are not aggressive when getting people to listen to them. A skilled, natural born salesperson has traits that include:
- Conscientiousness: Top salespeople carry a strong sense of duty, making them reliable and committed to the products they sell.
- Humility: All humble salespeople gets the support of their team and other company members.
- Confidence: Good salespeople don’t worry about what others think of them. They are confident and not easily embarrassed. They can laugh at themselves and also make others feel better.
- Curiosity: Willing to absorb information and having inquisitiveness improves the salesperson’s knowledge of the product and company they represent.
Master salesman and sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Sales Answers says here that a great salesperson is someone with characteristics like: Has a positive attitude. Is hungry. Can communicate well. Is self-motivated. Takes criticism well. Has a good track record. Is solution-oriented. Looks professional. Is persistent. Can take rejection. I like these characteristics very much.
A salesperson that is likeable and naturally likes people is less likely to be pushy and aggressive to the people they are trying to convince to buy their product. They are confident with a natural curiosity that prevents them from being brash. Selling is what makes the world of business go ’round and improving your skills in this area is crucial to your success.
Be sure to read my article called “Serendipity at the Used Car Lot” where I wrote about my experience with an incredible salesman named Angel. I believe it’s relevant to what I’m sharing with you here.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.