An often over looked aspect of making money is the art of selling. Sales skills are invaluable and should be trained and practiced by everyone. No matter what your line of work, or how you make your money, you are selling something.
Even if you are not directly selling a product, you are selling your time, your skills, or something. What is a resume if not a sales pitch for your product (you)? And the effectiveness with which you do this can be improved with the same skills that would help you sell anything else.
Once you are able to make the transition to working for yourself you will be even more directly involved in selling – affiliate sales, direct sales of your products, advertising, etc.
Some important principles to keep in mind with regards to selling:
Be able to identify the need / fear / desire:
Too often people try to rely on WHAT they are selling, without identifying the needs of their prospective buyer. It should go without saying, but no matter how great your product is, not everybody is going to buy it. You can be the greatest doctor in the world, but that isn’t going to get your hired by a guy who needs a welder. Sometimes you can create that need, but regardless it has to be there before the sale can take place. Also keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a literal ‘need’ in the way that we need air to survive; desires and fears can make people ‘need’ a product.
Once you have identified the needs that exist in your arena, cater to those, or your product isn’t going to sell. If dealing with an individual prospective buyer, don’t just attempt to educate them on your product by rambling on about all the facts, but instead try to nail down exactly what their needs are and focus on the facts that address those needs.
If you identify that a potential buyer just doesn’t have a need that can be addressed with what you are selling, then move on. If you have a good product then you don’t have to resort to pushy overbearing sales tactics or antics to sell. If you find yourself relying on such things then you need to re-evaluate your business.
Don’t attempt to hide potential issues
Whether you are selling a used car or in a job interview, you should not attempt to cover up or hide any potential issues and hope they don’t come up. That will only make it seem much worse when they do, and reflect badly on you as well since you will appear deceptive, and the potential buyer will assume you would not mention any issues unless you are forced too. Address any issues preemptively and explain why they will not impact how the product meets the needs (see above). If the issue does have an impact, then you need to adjust your price.
There is a great book on sales called “Go for No” by Richard Fenton, and I highly recommend you check it out. I won’t give away all his material, but just make sure you push for actual rejection, don’t assume it. This is a powerful mentality that applies in many aspects of life, whether you are trying to sell a used filing cabinet, or working to get a girl’s phone number.