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Sales Techniques for Beginners

What advice would you offer to those in search of sales techniques for beginners? - by Community Mailbox
Hi,

Follow a simple and consistent sales technique. Fine-tune it along the way to suit your own style.

Learn to use the Rule of 80:20 effectively.

Try selling a very simple product/ service where your chances of success are high, even if the per sale value is low. It's not difficult to identify such items. This will help boost your self esteem that you're really cut out to be a salesperson.

Be systematic. Plan your sales calls, keep a record of all events (phone calls for appointments, sales calls, outcomes, sales, etc). Boring thought it may appear, it is the surest way to success. Do it in your own interest, not because you're required to do so.

Probe in a friendly way and understand the customer wants first.

Match with your products/ services and sell benefits (solutions to prospect problems), not products or features.

Close. If you fail to close, probe to understand the reasons and address the prospect attitudes (e.g., objections).

Regardless of whether you sell and the prospect's attitude, maintain a friendly attitude.

Be true, honest and a good human being. Don't lie to sell. Believe me, you won't lose in the long (and perhaps even in the short) run.

Enjoy selling.

Ganesan. :~) - by ezynes
One of the golden rules in selling is to have the right sales mindset. Without the proper sales mindset, possessing real-life sales techniques, skills and knowledge is not sufficient for you to do well in your sales career. It is important that you have the right mindset in addition to the sales techniques, skills and knowledge, so as to enable you to perform well in the long run.

So, what exactly is the right sales mindset? A salesperson with the right mindset is responsible to his job and is both mentally and physically prepared to deal with multiple rejections from prospects. With this way of thinking, one can easily obtain high sales results. Being ignorant of the right sales mindset and attitude will cause you to struggle in selling and get demoralized. You may make unnecessary and expensive mistakes that waste your resources, affecting your sales performance. Imagine planning to turn left at the road junction, but ending up turning right due to the inability to coordinate your hand and your mind. Eventually, your car may even collide with other vehicles at the junction. Learn how to apply your mindset in your actions; always stick to it to do your task well. - by bettersales
yes ! Yes ! bettersales.

To start with keep it simple and attitude is paramount.

I always had the attitude that I was there to help people. It gave me the feeling of wanting to make a difference. It made me immune to rejections and cold call reluctance.

Study your product / service so you know what it can DO for your prospect.

Always arrive at the call in a "sales mood". Learn how to turn on your enthusiasm and curiosity.

Listen.

And speak the truth.

That'll take you a long way. - by Greg Woodley
What advice would you offer to those in search of sales techniques for beginners?
I would refrain from techniques or trying to learn them. Understanding comes first. Learn your product inside out. Learn your market. Learn a simple presentation style. Then learn common points of resistance from prospects.

Practiced novices focus on tactics and techniques instead of understanding and strategy which should always come first. As a result, they rarely advance. Tactics or techniques as practiced by beginners almost always fall short and can hurt the new seller's cause.

You cannot learn selling overnight and practicing techniques at an early stage is putting the cart before the horse.

Greg's advice about speaking the truth is paramount. You will not always be taught that advice. That means no half truths or manipulative re-framing. AND--learn to LISTEN. - by Gary A Boye
I would refrain from techniques or trying to learn them. Understanding comes first. Learn your product inside out. Learn your market. Learn a simple presentation style. Then learn common points of resistance from prospects.

Practiced novices focus on tactics and techniques instead of understanding and strategy which should always come first. As a result, they rarely advance. Tactics or techniques as practiced by beginners almost always fall short and can hurt the new seller's cause.

You cannot learn selling overnight and practicing techniques at an early stage is putting the cart before the horse.

Greg's advice about speaking the truth is paramount. You will not always be taught that advice. That means no half truths or manipulative re-framing. AND--learn to LISTEN.
As usual Gary is "right-on" here. This is crucial advice that is almost always missed.

Here is an analogy:

The way my Dad taught me how to play pool, is first by understanding the natural path of the cue ball. I did this by hitting dead-center on the cue ball when I shot. I didn't care if I missed the object ball and failed to sink it. I simply watched the natural path of the cue ball after the hit, and began memorizing the power of the laws of geometry and physics.

(If you repeatedly place the object ball and cue ball in the same place, and hit in the center of the cue with the same speed, the cue is guaranteed to always follow the same path. This is a crucial understanding to set up for your next shot (getting position)).

I spent hours doing this until I could begin predicting the general path of the cue ball after the shot was made. That is, by first understanding the essential aspect of the table function and its inherent geometric patterns, did I then begin to apply "english" on the ball to alter this natural path.

As a consequence, I dramatically reduced the need to apply "english" on the ball, as well as reduce missing shots. I went on to win several tournaments.

Most other players began with using "english" failing to "get-position" on the next ball because they did not first understand the essential elements of the game. They also used techniques where they were never needed.

The same is true in sales. Learn the essentials then techniques follow, elevating your sales to levels to the envy of the rest.

Selling naturally is like playing pool naturally--much easier and with greater success. - by John Voris
Gary has sumarised what I would have like to have said perfectly. Product knowledge is crucial to developing sales confidence.

My advice would be to focus on creating a successful conversation before worrying about sales techniques. Once you start to master the art of conversation then add and refine your sales techniques. - by MrCharisma
Thank you for all of your comments. They are very helpful to me as I am still fairly new in sales. I know that on a personal level mindset is the most important factor for me. If I am able to monitor self-talk, I find that the world is mine. I do struggle, however, with keeping that mindset and maintaining my self-confidence. I wish I could maintain better consistency in this area. What are some of the things that you do to remain positive? - by AvonJenny
Gary Boye would agree that I am somewhat of a beginner. However I had a eureka moment today. Well it seemed to work for me. One appointment secured with a UK wide client with the chance of a global procurement deal and 2 smaller clients . 2 clients also asked me to call back in the new year with the view to bid for their business when their renewal is due.

The dialogue I used probably won't come up to scratch but it was solely around using open questions and prompting dialogue and information from the client around what challenges they face around the market my company works in. 10% input from me. 90% from the client.

An example was "can i understand how / how does carbon footprint reporting play a part in your business"

This isn't a major offering of my service but it's key to customers more than just trying to sell the benefits of our utility brokerage which most of our competitors do. I felt it was a different and more topical approach to begin conversation

We built rapport and the stage of the sales process has started.

What helped me was to totally relax and forget about the objective which was to gain the appointment.

I felt this allowed the conversation between myself and client to flow, was honest and transparent and I felt that the client didn't feel pressured with regard to being coaxed into a sale - by joeybside
Gary Boye would agree that I am somewhat of a beginner.
Actually I have no way of knowing.

I make that comment as a segue to stating my own beliefs about beginners, novices, intermediates, advanced, and any other arbitrary way of labeling where we are in our sales journey.

When a new member comes aboard, he/she is asked to check novice, intermediate, or advanced for profile information. I don't subscribe to "intermediate" because I think "practiced novice" would be more accurate. A true novice stage is more enviable because, frankly, they make less mistakes than the practiced novices aka intermediates. That's because the latter have had more exposure which gives them the opportunity to make more mistakes.

It's a quantum leap from novice to mastery because all it takes is one decision. The good news for us who made that decision is that the vast majority never makes it--and that includes most of our competition.

I can't always spot a beginner regardless of how they choose to label themselves. I can spot a practiced novice.

That said, I think your above example represents a step forward in learning best practices for selling. - by Gary A Boye
The biggest rule in sales to me is:

When you ask someone a questions stop talking!

Listening is one of the most valuable skills in the world. Practice and work on that. - by smurge
When we consider training a new salesperson, we test for several different behavioral factors. One of those factors is Process Orientation.

If trainees understand and consistently follow an effective sales process, they almost invariably become quite successful in a reasonably short time. The more frequently they utilize the process the more productive they become. - by JacquesWerth
Hello everyone! I'm very new to the forum and sales. I'm glad that such a thread exists, a lot of experienced sales people have been telling me that sales really is 90% listening.

Unfortunately, I entered sales thinking that I'd fit well being outgoing and sociable; and I'm still learning the art of subtlety. - by bobodog
Product knowledge for your self confidence, "ALWAYS" tell the truth because it is the right thing to do then, simply be yourself! Business folks have heard every line in the book and they can spot a phony a mile away...so be real! - by MPrince
Product knowledge for your self confidence, "ALWAYS" tell the truth because it is the right thing to do then, simply be yourself! Business folks have heard every line in the book and they can spot a phony a mile away...so be real!
Two fundamental messages that I like to impart to those seeking advice, usually in the area of cold calling:
  • Make the calls.
  • Always tell the truth.
- by Gary A Boye
What an exciting weekend for me. My daughter married on Friday and my granddaughter was dedicated in church yesterday. I have not had the time to visit in the past week. I like what Gary has stated very well and I love the capitals on LISTEN. I have found in the industry I serve that every sale is dictated by what the consumer and sales person have heard. When we (the sales person) listen and hear the true meaning the customer will tell us what he or she expects, wants, and will do. It is my responsibility as the sales person to ask for clarity so that I may understand the exact content and context of the consumers thoughts. - by rich34232
Sales is a number "Game", have fun play the "Game" you like.
Otherwise do something else.....!!!!!
1. Take action
2. Take more action
3. Remember the 1. & 2. Point.

Cheers, - by Jameswee
Read every sales book that you can. Don't settle on a particular sales method until you find one that supports your highest ethical standards. - by JacquesWerth
Don't fill your head with masses of information from dozens of books. Instead, learn and practise the basics. - by TonyB
When you are considering learning how to sell realize that there are tens of thousands of sales trainers listed on the Internet. Most of them are very convincing. Then, realize that the vast majority of new salespeople fail and most of them go into a different line of work.

I suggest that your best chance to succeed is to learn a sales process that meets your highest ethical standards and will enhance your dignity and self-respect. Those are some of the attributes of most top sales producers. - by JacquesWerth
.. the vast majority of new salespeople fail and most of them go into a different line of work.

I suggest that your best chance to succeed is to learn a sales process that meets your highest ethical standards and will enhance your dignity and self-respect. Those are some of the attributes of most top sales producers.
I've watched dozens of salespeople fail and it has nothing to do with ethics. You can be the most ethical salesperson in the world and still fail. Conversely, to succeed you don't have to be a con man.

You must understand and practise THE BASICS. Perhaps the best single factor is failing to ask the prospect relevant questions. I have some great examples that are so bad as to be funny. - by TonyB
I've watched dozens of salespeople fail and it has nothing to do with ethics.
Of course those dozens failed for other reasons. That doesn't discount the fact that low ethical standards in sales can be a cause of failure and often is. - by Gary A Boye
I've watched dozens of salespeople fail and it has nothing to do with ethics...
We have often heard that "All buyers are liars." We seldom hear it from trustworthy salespeople. We hear it a lot from losers that fail. - by JacquesWerth
We have often heard that "All buyers are liars." We seldom hear it from trustworthy salespeople. We hear it a lot from losers that fail.
That's something that it would pay to connect the dots on. - by Gary A Boye
Don't fill your head with masses of information from dozens of books. Instead, learn and practise the basics.
How does a newby like myself work out the 'basics' without looking at as much info as possible from various experts? If I was just to look at one persons version of the 'Basics' I could be setting myself up for a short career in Sales if they were wrong!

What is your version of the 'basics'? - by Bertthedragon
One way to start is reading, understanding and visualizing the concepts that are right here on this forum. Theres alot of good stuff posted right here from a lot of very experienced people in the industry. If your like me you will read everything you can find on sales and apply it to whatever industry your in.

Attitude and effort is so important to being successful. - by libbycop
How does a newby like myself work out the 'basics' without looking at as much info as possible from various experts? If I was just to look at one persons version of the 'Basics' I could be setting myself up for a short career in Sales if they were wrong!

What is your version of the 'basics'?
Hi Bertthedragon,

The simplest way to get a feeling of what most sales people do wrong and how most sales people don't practise the basics, is to go any trade show as a customer and see how sales folk treat you.

I recall vividly, one such show when I paused to look at a stand and a well dressed salesman approached me and started giving me his well rehearsed spiel. He was selling marine coatings for ships. I let him run on for about 10 minutes, then stopped him and said: "Look, I don't even own a rowboat. Your product is useless to me". The sad fellow had failed to ask questions and qualify.

A similar situation occured when I was buying my last car. Salespeople would prattle on about all the features they had learned about, without determining what was relevant to me.

My feeling is that the majority of sales people are similar. From our experience in hiring sales people, trying to find skilled salespeople who practise the basics, rather than being order takers, is like looking for hens teeth. I always found a good test was to ask a prospective sales person what his/her best sale was ... not his/her biggest, his best ... then to tell me the story of the sale. I usually got blank looks. - by TonyB
How does a newby like myself work out the 'basics' without looking at as much info as possible from various experts? If I was just to look at one persons version of the 'Basics' I could be setting myself up for a short career in Sales if they were wrong!

What is your version of the 'basics'?
That shows a discerning quality to your quest for sales education.

Common sense will be your best tool for deciding what can work and what can't.

"Basics" is a fleeting term. You will seldom get any examples when you push a person to provide one. Why not forget that word. I recommend you keep exploring sales texts and make it a primary objective to harness understanding. Without understanding, no so-called "basic" would have any value.

Here are THE Four Critical Understandings:
Every potential customer you meet is comparing the EXPERIENCE they have with you to the experiences they have with others. Your success in selling comes from making the other experiences pale by comparison.

INTRINSIC, HONEST, QUESTIONS are the building blocks of a sale.


PREPAREDNESS is the most important skill in selling.


CLOSING is a progression of consent.


If you can internalize those four understandings, the skill levels that follow will put you at the top among sales practitioners. - by Gary A Boye
Every potential customer you meet is comparing the EXPERIENCE they have with you to the experiences they have with others. Your success in selling comes from making the other experiences pale by comparison.

INTRINSIC, HONEST, QUESTIONS are the building blocks of a sale.

PREPAREDNESS is the most important skill in selling.

CLOSING is a progression of consent.
1. As a customer, you are interested in comparing products, not salespeople

2. "INTRINSIC, HONEST, QUESTIONS"are usless unless closed or open questions are asked at the correct time.

3. "PREPAREDNESS", sure if you mean knowing what the basics really are.


Here's some of the real basics:
Ask questions that encourage prospects to reveal their true needs.
Uncover and address hidden objections – often the only real objection.
Identify false objections
Use a “trial close” to overcome obstacles.
Identify the needs of all the “key buyers”.
... opening, questioning, listening, qualifying, defining needs, identifying all buyers, objection handling, closing.


Please email me for more details if you require.
- by TonyB
1. As a customer, you are interested in comparing products, not salespeople

2. "INTRINSIC, HONEST, QUESTIONS"are usless unless closed or open questions are asked at the correct time.

3. "PREPAREDNESS", sure if you mean knowing what the basics really are.


Here's some of the real basics:
Ask questions that encourage prospects to reveal their true needs.
Uncover and address hidden objections – often the only real objection.
Identify false objections
Use a “trial close” to overcome obstacles.
Identify the needs of all the “key buyers”.
... opening, questioning, listening, qualifying, defining needs, identifying all buyers, objection handling, closing.

Yeah, we can debate that.
1. As a customer, you are interested in comparing products, not salespeople

Customers are people. People compare experiences. In many cases the product is identical to the direct competitors'.

2. "INTRINSIC, HONEST, QUESTIONS"are usless (sic) unless closed or open questions are asked at the
correct time.

Regardless of timing, if your questions are not intrinsic and honest, you're selling like an amateur.

3. "PREPAREDNESS", sure if you mean knowing what the basics really are.

Sorry--no contingencies. PREPAREDNESS always. You never set aside that MOST IMPORTANT skill.

Here's some of the real basics:
Ask questions that encourage prospects to reveal their true needs.
Uncover and address hidden objections – often the only real objection.
Identify false objections
Use a “trial close” to overcome obstacles.
Identify the needs of all the “key buyers”.
... opening, questioning, listening, qualifying, defining needs, identifying all buyers, objection handling, closing.

Whether you consider those as "basics" or not, you clearly identify them and attribute them on YOUR very own web site as "the special skills used by outstanding sales professionals."

All of those tasks that you call basic, and for which you provide no "how to" examples, here or on your site, are far removed from fundamentals, because they would require clear understandings way beyond that which is inherent in a simple, vague "to do" list such as you've presented above.

Finally, I realize both the strengths and weaknesses of a forum venue with regard to the founders' of SalesPractice powerful intention to advance sales education. However, if you're here to counter what we've offered as The Four Critical Understandings for sales success, you're on the wrong site.

- by Gary A Boye
What advice would you offer to those in search of sales techniques for beginners?
That's like a recent graduate with a BS in Biology asking: "What advice would you offer to those in search of brain surgery techniques for beginners.

Sales has the highest failure rate of all major business functions.
Most people who are new to selling fail. Most of the rest work hard using obsolete sales techniques for a modest income.

Top sales producers are different. They typically earn as much or more than the CEO's they work for. Excellence selling skills account for that kind of success. - by JacquesWerth
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