10 Steps to Master the Art of Sales and Outsell Your CompetitionAug 03, 2022
If you are new to the sales profession or already working in it and want to hone your current skills, you need to master the art of sales.
The best way to do that is through a good understanding of how the art of sales actually works. The more knowledge and practice you have in keeping prospects engaged in sales conversations, the more deals you can close.
Many salespeople master the art of sales over time, but there are also new techniques that appear from time to time, as well. Because selling involves risk and reward for both parties involved, it can be a sometimes stressful but often extremely rewarding job.
What is the Art of Sales?
The art of sales involves working with prospects to sell to them and turn them into customers.
Essentially, you explain the services you provide and sell those services to prospects by showing them how your offerings can improve their life. When they see that you are giving them enough value for their money, they will be more likely to choose your product or service over a competitor.
As you master the art of sales, you are more likely to sell more frequently and convert additional prospects. That can increase the value of your business and help you search out new markets that might have interested customers.
How Do You Use the Art of Sales?
When you work in sales, you likely know that it becomes second nature to you over time. However, that is often not the case at first, when you are just getting started.
Finding prospects, getting them interested, and building up the importance of your services can all be learned through online courses that teach you about sales.
But it is important to note that the art of sales is not any type of course. It is the overarching principles and techniques that make good selling ability a reality. Practice is also necessary.
By collecting data on potential customers and using that information to help your company produce quality services, you can develop a plan of action for selling what you offer. You also want to make sure you handle sales more like a dance than an attack.
When done correctly, sales is a give-and-take experience that works for the salesperson and the prospects. When done poorly, though, it can cause problems for a company and mean salespeople develop a reputation for being pushy and aggressive that they do not want.
Who Uses the Art of Sales?
Nearly everyone who works in a sales role uses the art of sales, if they are successful in their career. That is because selling has some specifics that work for nearly every type of good and service offered.
By analyzing data and seeing what customers want regarding quality and value, it can be easier for any company to showcase its services in ways that appeal to the masses.
While some products and services a company offers may have a niche market, a wider appeal is usually better for selling.
When Should You Use the Art of Sales?
If you are in a sales career, you should always consider the art of sales when you sell to consumers. You can look at the data from past sales, as well, to get a better idea of the tips and tricks that work when selling in your particular niche area or market.
Online courses and videos can give you helpful information about selling. From that point, though, it becomes all about using data for your industry and talking to the individual customer to see what their needs are.
Does the Art of Sales Always Work?
Realistically, you cannot please every customer all the time. Data will not give you information that fits every instance. That is why selling is an art, because it is not only by the numbers, but also from the heart.
Many videos that salespeople watch when learning their craft help them understand selling, and go beyond data and search information. These videos can also teach how to talk to a customer from a more personal perspective. That helps develop a relationship, instead of just selling something.
But video lessons and online courses are not required to learn how to sell well. There are in-person options and training classes that make learning the sales process easier.
Remember That YOU Are Not for Sale
Making sales matters. But at the end of the day, how you talk to people you are selling to should be focused on the quality of the service you are offering. Sales is a personal job, and sometimes people begin to focus so much on their service that they lose who they are as a person.
You can sell your ideas, goods, and services for profit, but how you talk to a prospect is the most important thing to focus on. Accept that some people will simply not engage with you when you are prospecting, and hone in on talking to someone who shows interest, to help increase your revenue.
Sales is an Art and a Science
Prospecting and selling are art forms, but to get something sold, there is also some data involved. For example, you want to deliver on your promises and meet or exceed client expectations.
If you can show potential clients an example of how your offering will help them on their present project or how they can bring in more money or become more successful, you can move toward gaining new interest from your prospecting.
Coupling what you can deliver on a project with the feelings you want your prospect to have about your visit is a great way to bring art and science together for increased success.
10 Steps to Master the Art of Sales
Mastering the art of selling takes effort and time, but there are some key steps to follow when you want to convince a prospect to make a purchase.
By following these steps, you will be more likely to master the art of sales and feel confident when you gain a new lead and reach out to them.
1. Provide a solution to the customer's problem
When prospecting, you need to deliver what the customer needs. If you cannot do that, they likely will not accept your potential solution.
Part of the goal is showcasing your expertise, but you also need to ensure the prospect understands how your offering can really help them.
2. Convince them they are getting a good deal
If a prospect feels like millions of people already use your product or service, or you are offering it to them for less, and they can easily afford it, they are much more likely to respond to your visit in a positive way.
Even if your offering is more expensive than your competition's, it can still be a good deal. If you are not competing on price, compete on the tools offered, the sense of quality provided, or your confidence in your company and its products.
3. Show customers that you offer value
When you deliver on what you have promised during your initial visit, your prospects are much more likely to accept what you are offering.
The price of your solution matters, but you are making a big mistake if you think that is all someone cares about. Showcase your ability to provide true benefit to your buyers and address their specific concerns.
4. Just say no to generic email marketing
You may have heard tips that say to spam out marketing to nearly the entire world via the web. That should definitely be avoided. It is a mistake to send the same generic email to everyone or offer all prospects the same video to watch.
Respecting and acknowledging consumer differences is very important and one of the best ways to help prospects feel like you are really seeing them and the pain points they are experiencing.
5. Take an authoritative tone during the process
You should have no fear when selling to others. Confidence is one of the biggest tips in most sales classes. When you have confidence in your product or service and your abilities, that will shine through, and your prospects will see it easily. Being confident is different from trying to push people, though.
You can take the lead in the conversation and steer it in the direction you want it to go without pushing too hard to try to close a quick sale. Take time to work with the person you are talking to, and accept that they may have questions or concerns.
6. Develop and showcase your expertise
Being an expert in what you are offering is a good thing. It does not instill confidence in your prospects if you struggle with the settings on the product you are showing them.
You do not have to know everything the product can ever do, but all the basic settings, adjustments, and information should be second nature to you. Salespeople who project knowledge and awareness are more likely to convert prospects to buyers.
7. Sell with empathy and have a personal touch
Convincing people to buy things is about more than just facts and figures. It is also about developing relationships, acknowledging their pain points, and helping them feel seen.
When you sell with empathy and compassion, and you can provide a personal touch that goes beyond the settings on the software application or appliance you are offering, people will feel more comfortable buying from you as opposed to your competition.
8. Never stop learning and growing as a salesperson
There is always something to learn. No matter how long you may have worked as a salesperson, things change over time. The basic art of how to sell something may stay the same, but the nuances of it are not the same as they were at the beginning.
Just like you adjust the settings on your product, you need to adjust the settings on your own learning, plans, and goals, too. Explore what you already know, and consider what you can do differently to learn more. Your knowledge is for you, but also for your buyers.
9. Manage your expectations for success
The expectations you have are extremely important because they are a big part of what makes up how you view success. If you do not feel like you are getting anywhere in your career, looking back at where you started can help.
You may also want to consider your demographics and how you compare to other salespeople in those same categories. If you are ranking in the top half, you are likely performing better than you think.
There is no reason not to try to do better if that is what makes you happy, as striving for greatness is rarely a problem. But understanding what is realistic can help you adjust any expectations you may have that do not actually fit with reality.
10. Employ the '1-10' sales closing technique
Using the 1-10 technique is the best way to find the right people to reach out to and discover which of those people are actually interested in learning more. Then you know where to focus your time and energy, making your job easier and potentially more successful.
You can also get a better feel for when it might be time to walk away from a deal or when you may be putting in more effort than you will get back in rewards. While it is not foolproof, it goes a long way toward increasing your chances of a successfully closed sale.
The Art of Sales Key Takeaways
The bottom line for mastering the art and understanding how to sell successfully involves these takeaways:
- Empathize with the buyer
- Know your product
- Be the voice of authority
- Close firmly and with conviction
By doing all of those things and following the steps above, you can expand your chances of a successful career in your industry.