Entrepreneurial Selling

The Psychology Behind Sales

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

Why do most people view Sales as the toughest job in the world? Probably because most people don't realize that Sales has nothing to do with selling.

The sales industry continues to produce some of the wealthiest men and women in the workforce year to year, even with all the stigmas that are usually associated with the industry.

Most people write-off sales as a probable profession because of the horror stories they hear from people who attempted a sales career and were not successful. The reality is that most people that fail in sales do so for one reason: they try to sell, instead of helping to solve.

Sales is by far one of the most psychological-based professions in the world and yet it amazes me how many people who consider themselves sales professionals have actually taken some time to study the psychology behind it. A lot of sales training involves a lot of script rehearsing, phone call simulations, a lot of repetition and practice, none of which shed light on the single most important reason why people buy anything: because they NEED it.

Whether you are brand new in sales or have a couple of years under your belt, there a couple of key concepts you need to understand if you want to make the remainder of your sales career a productive one, filled with happy clients and customers and endless referrals.

Don't sell, solve!

Remember that almost every person you meet that falls into the demographic of your client base is a potential customer. What moves them from being a potential customer to a happy and loyal customer is that you identify a problem that they have and help them to solve it. Inexperienced sales professionals sell features while experienced more seasoned sales professionals sell benefits. They talk about all the benefits available to that person if they purchase the product or service, but they only start to talk about these benefits AFTER they have identified the specific need the person has. It does not matter how good your food is if the person you are offering it to is not hungry. So the big question is: did you ask them if they were?

Never take the first no but always take the second

It is a known sales statistic that most purchases usually happen after the first rebuttal or push-back by the customer. The initial excuse for not wanting to purchase is usually just a smoke screen for what the underlying issue is. Most sales people do not ask enough questions in the beginning to figure out exactly what the prospect is looking for. As a result they do not foresee the possible concerns the person may have early enough. It is vital that if the person is not ready to buy right there on the spot and initially rejects your offer that you acknowledge that they did say no, ask them why, address the concern they have and offer them the product again now they are better informed. You will have a much higher success rate this way. However if they say no a second time at this point pull back and stop pushing. A no today does not imply a no forever. But a lack of discernment on your part may cost you a really good customer down the road.

Always under-promise and over-deliver

Most customers do not want to be sold on something. They want to feel connected with, and most times will buy, simply because they trust the person they are working with first and foremost. They have to buy into you as a person before they even begin considering your product. A trained customer will seek out a relationship first to feel you out before even getting into any talks regarding purchase. A safe rule of thumb is to not exaggerate what you have even if you think it is the best thing since sliced bread. Sales professionals are known for being overly enthusiastic which does not go well with already hesitant potential customers. The more you play down how good your product is and focus on communicating the value it can give to potential customers the better your chances. People naturally want what they cannot have, so talking about your product with the right amount of realness and posture will always yield more positive results than overselling.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.

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