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The 3 Best-Kept Secrets of Sales Superstars

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Why You Need to Ask More and Tell Less

When someone comes to me asking what they should do in order to be better prepared to start a business, I always tell them the same thing: “Get a job with a company that will train you in sales.”

My rich dad gave me that exact advice when I wanted to start my business. Like most people though, I hated sales. I had the same fears that everyone has about selling. Like most people I feared hearing “no.” I eventually got a job selling at Xerox. This was the best thing—as an aspiring entrepreneur—I could have done for myself.

Selling is an art. For many it takes years to master. And there are many people who will never be successful at selling. If you want to own a business, you have to master the art of selling.

Blair Singer, my Rich Dad Advisor, says, “Greatness doesn’t happen by chance, nor does it occur in a vacuum. Greatness comes from, first, a passion for what you do; and second, a clear understanding of what you can and want to be best at.”

Here are three of the most valuable things we both learned as salesmen with decades of experience between us:

1. Find out what the other person wants, and help them get it

Too many salespeople—even experienced salespeople—focus entirely on selling a specific product or set of services. Not many people try to figure out what a lead actually wants before going into the sale full bore.

Put another way, there’s always a reason why someone says “No” when you try to sell them. They may be the most qualified lead in the world, but once you hear that first “No”, your job is to figure out what’s holding them back. And that means developing your listening skills.

Instead of asking yourself, “Why is my lead rejecting me?” ask yourself, “Why is my lead rejecting my approach?” It’s likely that you do have the perfect solution, but they need a bit more convincing.

Sometimes, it’s because the lead has a “hidden agenda” that you might not know about. Other times, it could be because the package you’re offering is only a 90% fit, and the remaining 10% needs a little tweaking. Whatever the case: listen well, and ask the right questions.

2. Meet objections with questions

The most important question you can ask a hesitant lead is “Why?” Because when you say that one, simple word, you’re reframing the conversation. Instead of putting the pressure on you, you keep your prospect talking.

Try it out. The next time a lead says “No” to you, instead of offering a discount or another product, just say “Why isn’t this a good fit for you?” 9 times out of 10, the answer will be “I can’t afford this right now.” It’s a kind of token resistance that is all too common, even if the solution is perfect. So what do you do? Try asking “Why?” again, in different contexts. For example, “Why is it too expensive? Compared to what?”

By shining the spotlight back on your lead, sometimes they’ll end up answering their own objections. In the best-case scenario, asking “Why?” helps you get one step closer to a sale. In the worst-case scenario, at least you’ll have a solid answer for why your offer isn’t working (so that you can tweak it as needed).

3. Overcome your timidity and fear of talking to strangers

Over the years, I’ve realized two things about introverts and extroverts when it comes to selling:

  • Introverts are often far better salespeople than they realize because they take the time to prepare.
  • Extroverts are often just as shy and timid when it comes to selling because of the fear of rejection.

In other words, it isn’t necessarily true that extroverts are always better salespeople. There certainly seems to be a large number of extroverts in the selling business, but that’s not to say that they didn’t have to jump the same hurdles we all did.

The truth is that everyone is afraid of rejection. Everyone. You can be the most confident person in the world, but in the back of your head the fear of rejection will never go away. So stop making excuses like “I’m just not good at selling” or “I’m worried about being rejected.” We all are.

The best salespeople look that fear in the eye, deal with it, and overcome it every single day.

Imagine yourself selling 10x more

If you’re making six figures today, imagine what your life would look like if you could make 10x more. You’d be a multi-millionaire in no time. Think about how much you could grow your business, how much more time you could spend with your loved ones, and how much better your life would be.

I strongly encourage you to tune into Blair’s Podcast, The Art of Sales and the Inner Game of Business. He’ll share with you the invaluable skills that will help you overcome the fear of selling like I did.

Everything in business—success or failure—hinges on your ability to sell. You have to sell your ideas, your message, your products, and most importantly yourself. If sales equals income, why wouldn’t you want to master selling?

You can also listen to Blair’s Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
Original publish date: September 28, 2016

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