You may have heard a lot of thoughts on what makes a successful salesperson. I really got into selling in about 1994, and I still remember the quote from Zig Ziglar that still guides all my core values when it comes to selling:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
In my career I’ve done over 20,000 security installs and I’ve met so many people along the way. I’ve met people who have helped me greatly and I’ve met people I’d like to strangle, but I’ve learned that successful people are just trying to help each other. I’ve learned that the people who ask “what’s in it for me?” are normally the people who are not very successful.
In addition to the Zig Ziglar quote, I do have some core values when it comes to selling.
I think the biggest key is listening; if you talk too much you’re not going to get deals done. If you’re a good inquisitive person and ask a lot of questions, you’re going to be more successful. When I talk to people I ask questions like “how does that sound?” and “are you with me so far?” “How would you use that?” “Would it work for you?” “Do you have any questions so far?” Always listen more than you talk and end the conversation by asking for the sale. It’s a simple question: “Do you want to get this started?”
In addition to listening skills, here are some of my other core values that highlight the changes from aggressive traditional selling.
- It’s not all about the pressure of the sale. It has to a mutually beneficial to both parties.
- If the customer doesn’t like you, they’re not buying anything.
- Your customer is smarter than you. They are getting a lot of information online, price shopping and looking at competitors. Don’t underestimate their ability to research.
- Customers care about their objectives, not your objectives.
- Your customer has to win. You don’t win. They need to feel like they got more than their money’s worth for what they bought. When they feel like they’ve won, they’ll tell everybody about you.
- They don’t want sales pitches anymore. Customers don’t care about your sales quota.
- Perceived value is huge for your customers when you’re trying to build trust.
- Your social presence and reputation proves your trustworthiness. Our social presence is so important to my organization. It’s the key in everything we do.
I hope these core values help you in your sales career moving forward, but I hope you’ll most remember that if you help enough people it’s going to come back to you.