The definition of sales can be tricky but here is the simplest answer. Sales is the exchange of goods, services, or ownership rights for money. The term “sales” also includes the process of convincing someone to buy a product or service, so sales is both a process and an event.
So sales is:
- the act of deciding what to purchase
- the exchange of money or something of value when you do buy something
- the skill of convincing someone to buy something
For some, the word “sales” evokes the thought of manipulative and high-pressure salespeople using questionable tactics to get people to buy things they may or may not need. These type of sales people puts buyers in a defensive and fearful posture. High-pressure sales can easily lead to customer remorse.
In reality, success in sales is about excellent communication and building relationships. It is about helping people understand the benefits you’re offering. The best sales consultants help clients make good buying decisions. They provide a solution to the buyer’s problem.
Effective sales requires expert knowledge of a product or service. It consists of a number of skills, including:
- Active listening. You are present with a customer, listen carefully to their words, and give feedback to what they told you. Active listening builds trust.
- Rapport building. Building verbal and non-verbal rapport makes you seem comfortable and friendly.
- Qualifying with questions. Until they learn to qualify buyers, new salespeople can waste valuable hours talking to people with no real need or desire to buy.
- Overcoming objections. Overcoming objections helps people resolve uncertainty and move forward.
- This a powerful skill for reaching agreements. Sometimes you have to give up something to get something.
- Time management. In sales, time is money. Learn to respect yours and other people’s time.
Capable salespeople listen carefully to their customers. Studies show perceived listening behavior links to customer trust, satisfaction, and repeat business. The buyer is looking for a solution. Understanding the problem and fulfilling the customer’s needs creates a positive experience for them.
As a sales consultant, you are the spokesperson for your product or service. Good sales start with product knowledge. It extends into a sincere desire to assist the customer, even if the best solution is not what you sell.