We often come across wizards in the sales and marketing world. These are people who have a high success rate when it comes to their sales numbers. They excel in communication, have tons of self-confidence, and have an amazing ability to persuade and convince customers.
How do they do it? Is it a matter of natural born talent?
Of course not! Anyone can be a good performer in sales. Just like any other skill, your ability to sell can be learned and improved.
Brian Tracy in The Psychology of Selling (2004) attributes it as simply a matter of continuous learning and practicing the following 10 psychology research-based techniques.
1. Activate The Subconscious
One might ask, ‘What does the subconscious have to do with selling?’
To be a successful salesperson, one can harness the power of the subconscious. Whatever we do consciously, our subconscious is always learning, analyzing, and working in the background. It functions even in our sleep.
An effective way of activating the subconscious is to make to-do lists. To-do lists give the subconscious mind a context to work with. The most successful to-do lists involve not just a list of mundane jobs to complete through the day, but an exhaustive list of goals that a salesperson wants to achieve in the next week, month, year, etc.; it is important to write down the reason why one wants to achieve those goals.
People who use goals and reason lists to activate their subconscious have been known to find greater motivation to fulfill goals. Simply because subconsciously, their brain is constantly focussed on achieving these goals in the background.
2. The Power of Positive Thoughts
The subconscious mind does more for us than we think. It is a known fact that negative thoughts cause negative actions. A good salesperson uses affirmation to derive good performance.
For example, a person who thinks negatively about their ability to drive numbers subconsciously makes a mental picture of not being good at their work. They end up making mistakes that reinforce their belief about not being a good performer.
3. Boost Your Self-Esteem
It is essential to create a positive mental picture of yourself through positive affirmations. This helps in boosting self-esteem. Simply saying, ‘I am the best at my work, and I can succeed’ does wonders. To boost self-esteem, think positively about past success. This imbibes confidence to perform in any given situation. A person with positive self-esteem will always look for ways to repeat their success.
4. Learning Constantly
Every experience is an opportunity to learn. Successful people constantly apply their learnings to practical experiences immediately and make it a habit. It soon becomes a subconscious, natural process taking them closer to their goals.
5. The Power Of Reference Groups
A person is judged by the company he keeps. This saying is especially true for successful people. They surround themselves with like-minded people, who have a high drive for success.
Peers, mentors, and friends can have a very big role in influencing the way you think. A good salesperson uses positive reference groups to learn, exchange ideas, and for support. Having a reference group of like-minded sales professionals can help you in learning best practices and techniques, and to understand trends, and most importantly to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
6. Customize Your Sales Pitch
Every customer is different. A successful salesperson knows how to tailor their sales pitch to reflect what the customer is looking for.
A good salesperson first reads (listens to) their customer and understands their requirements well. Their focus lies in tailoring their sales pitch to align the features of the product, with what their customer is looking for. This requires the skill of asking powerful questions and then listening.
Many people in sales hesitate to question their customers and focus on selling the product by emphasizing on its features and USPs. Questioning helps in getting a clearer understanding of the customer’s needs and thought process. The aim is to tell the customer how they will personally benefit from the product rather than telling what the product is all about.
7. The Impact of Social Recognition
It is common knowledge that people buy things to improve their social status. A good salesperson understands the customer’s need for social recognition and builds their pitch on it. A successful sale is a result of a successful connection between the product and the emotional value it will have for the customer. Great salespeople use this emotional value and align it with the social status of the customer.
8. Helping Customers Look Beyond Financial Consideration
We often hear of cases where the customer engages positively in a sale and then backs out. The author Brian Tracy says that this happens because every consumer is trading their financial safety with desire.
A good salesperson knows how to help the customer ease into their decision of buying. They need to help the customer convert their desire for the product into the need and prioritize their desire for the product over financial considerations.
9. Tapping Into Emotional Anticipation
It is indeed difficult to get a customer to look beyond financial considerations. A good salesperson uses the power of emotional anticipation to achieve their sale. Emotional anticipation can be tapped into by making a customer imagine themselves using the product.
The salesperson must create a feeling of anticipation in the customer’s mind, which creates a desire to own the product. This has been proven by various studies.
10. Building Trust
Both the ability to look beyond financial considerations and building emotional anticipation rely on trust. At the onset, a customer always doubts the motives of the salesperson. They know that the goal is to sell the product. However, a successful salesperson earns the trust of the customer, which results in the customer trusting the product. Trust is created when there is authenticity in the salesperson and their words. Once the customer starts to trust, they will not only become loyal customers but also recommend the product to others in the future.
To be successful in sales, one can keep the above learnings from the book close to their heart. Brian Tracy shows that winning in sales involves knowing these techniques well, and many sales and marketing gurus have been applying them to succeed consistently for a long time.