Be passionate, listen, and build rapport, say Hint Water founder Kara Goldin and other top entrepreneurs.
8 min read
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Nothing happens without a sale. Believe it or not, you’re a salesperson — whether you’re convincing your kids to do their homework, putting your best foot forward for a job interview, or running a business. We asked these sales ninjas and Advisors in The Oracles how to become the best salesperson alive. Here’s what they said.
1. Be passionate about what you’re selling.
I believe the best salespeople have a true passion for what they’re selling. It’s really on you to tap into and deliver an authentic and persuasive narrative that becomes second nature. If you can make an emotional connection with the buyer and take the time to know who they are and what they want, an initial sale becomes a long-term customer.
With Hint, for instance, I’m passionate about our mission to make it easy and enjoyable to lead a healthier lifestyle. Our water helps you fall in love with water — the taste is amazing and flavored with fruit essence, and it contains no sugar, diet sweeteners, or preservatives. It’s good for you and it makes you feel good. —Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Inc.; creator of The Kara Network, a digital resource for entrepreneurs; and host of the “Unstoppable” podcast; follow Kara on Twitter and Instagram
2. Sell with your ears, not your mouth.
The No. 1 mistake salespeople make? They talk too much. Don’t sell with your mouth — sell with your ears. It’s about listening, not talking. The less you talk, the more you make. Ask questions to begin a conversation that will help you discover your prospect’s needs. What are their motivations and pain points?
Many salespeople push things on you, but a master closer doesn’t push — they pull. They don’t sell; they make you want to buy. They uncover your problem and present the solution, so the sale is a natural conclusion. At the end of the conversation, your prospect should be thanking you. —Dan Lok, Chinese Canadian serial entrepreneur, global educator, and international bestselling author of “Unlock It!”; two-time TEDx opening speaker and founder of Closers.com, which connects companies to closers; follow Dan on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram
3. Focus on your mindset and beliefs.
In my experience building a business to multiple seven figures, success is 100 percent mindset and beliefs. You need strategy too, but that follows. Cultivate the belief that you can sell anything to anyone. Decide that you only sell with integrity, knowing that what you’re selling is of great service and value. Then do the work to bring that belief to life.
Messaging is my primary form of marketing. Your message should connect people to what they believe and what matters to them. When we hear something true from another person’s soul, we have an emotional response. So, believe that you can sell anything to anyone, that you should, and that it’s the right thing to do. Then follow through with aligned action. It’s more effective and fun this way! — Katrina Ruth, founder and CEO of “The Katrina Ruth Show,” a multimillion-dollar online coaching business for entrepreneurs; connect with Katrina on Facebook and YouTube
4. Practice affirmation and visualization.
When I first started in real estate sales, I would scribble messages on my palms. When driving to the office, I would look at my hands on the steering wheel and see “BS,” meaning “best salesperson.” I’d then repeat to myself, “I’m the best salesperson in Thailand.”
Think of all the things you do each day without conscious thought. Your mind is mostly a subconscious machine. Daily affirmations program your mind with the right thoughts and behaviors to achieve your goals. Create small cues to reaffirm those positive thoughts throughout your day.
It’s also important to visualize your goals in vivid detail using clear mental images. Picture your success in full-color detail with the people, things, and places. Tap into that feeling. Over time, you’ll create your best reality. —Andres Pira, real estate developer, founder and CEO of Blue Horizon Developments, and author of “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity”; read Andres’ story and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
5. Ask the right questions.
Being an exceptional salesperson is about asking the right questions, followed by more of the right questions. It’s that simple. You must care about how your potential customer feels about themselves and the world. Only then can you improve their lives with whatever you’re selling — and that’s what sales is all about. —Keri Shull, founder of the Keri Shull Team, which has sold over $2 billion in properties; co-founder of real estate coaching business HyperFast Agent; named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents by REAL Trends; connect with Keri on Facebook
6. Be the seller you would buy from.
The greatest salespeople aren’t born that way; they become great. They don’t just sell their product or service either; they sell themselves. If someone doesn’t like and trust you, they won’t buy from you. I secured a $7 million loan to buy my company with no money in the bank because others believed in me.
A great salesperson understands who they are selling to. They anticipate their client’s needs and do whatever it takes to meet them. They offer something of value, underpromise, and overdeliver. Be the seller you would buy from — flexible, accommodating, and tough but fair. Both the buyer and seller should walk away feeling good about the transaction. If you handle a sale professionally and with integrity, you’ll earn more than money; you will gain trust, friendship, and future business. —Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, a real estate brokerage empire with more than $27 billion in annual sales; connect with Dottie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
7. Take advantage of video.
You don’t always need to negotiate a million-dollar contract in person, but you shouldn’t do it over the phone. My secret: video calls. I’ve closed deals for more than $1 million over Skype. When you can see the other person’s demeanor, gestures, and facial expressions, you can be more open and clear than you could be over the phone. I can see if they’re taking notes, confused, or distracted; if so, I’ll pause and make sure they’re ready to continue. Video calls help build a relationship when you can’t meet face-to-face.
You have to win friends and influence people quickly, but don’t force it. If I resonate with the person, great. But if I don’t feel comfortable with them on a video chat, I won’t work with them. Visual contact and clear communication is key. It’s so simple, but so effective. —Patch Baker, founder and CEO of Mobius Media Solutions; former U.S. Marine, with a mission to help people leave the military today and not feel abandoned tomorrow
8. Build rapport.
Focusing on the buyer’s motivation is the key to sales. Invest in building rapport with them, then find their itch and scratch it. I started selling watches for 99 cents in a market stall, then sold amusement machines for thousands, then telecommunications contracts for tens of thousands, and small businesses for hundreds of thousands. Now I sell companies for tens of millions — and the process and rapport are basically the same. The effort required to sell a company isn’t so different from selling a telecommunications contract. —Jeremy Harbour, investor and mergers and acquisitions expert; founder and CEO of Unity Group and Harbour Club; author of “Go Do!” and “Agglomerate: From Idea to IPO in 12 Months”; follow Jeremy on Twitter and LinkedIn
9. Create urgency and practice daily.
To master any skill, you must practice it daily; so review your closing skills every chance you get. Learn how to legitimately convey or create a sense of urgency. The more urgency a buyer has, the more imperative it is that you close quickly.
When people believe they have time to act, they will almost always take it. Show them the downside of wasted time and that there is limited supply. Educate them on the demand in the market. Let the buyer know that their reluctance to act may cost them the value they seek if others act first. —Mark Bloom, president at NetWorth Realty, ranked by Glassdoor among the “Best Places to Work” for two consecutive years
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