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Top 7 Principles Of Professional Salesmanship

By Jonathan Farrington

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I received a call from an ex-student this week, who is designing an induction programme for new recruits about to embark on a career in sales. He asked that if one had to create “twelve golden principles of selling”, what would I come up with.

I responded that I could do better than that - I could reduce my list to seven! Clearly this is a very subjective view but mindful of the fact that this exercise is designed to provide guidance to salespeople just starting on the first rung of the ladder, this is what I came up with.

  1. Always Sell To People

    • People are different

    • No two sales are the same

    • Aim at becoming a people expert

    • Professional salespeople actually like people

    • People buy from people - they always will

  2. You Have To Sell Yourself

    • Be interesting

    • Develop ‘intellect’

    • Never be arrogant - never talk ‘up’ or ‘down’

    • Respect the buyer and they will respect you

    • Develop your empathy levels

    • Learn to develop rapport

    • Control your ego levels

  3. You Must Ask Questions And Listen To The Answers

    • Develop your questioning techniques

    • Remember What? Where? When? Which? Why? Who? And How?

    • Continually ‘test your understanding’

    • Listen to understand

    • God has given us two ears and one mouth, we should use them in that order

    • Successful sales professionals talk for 20% of the time and listen for 80% of the time

    • Develop your active listening skills

  4. Features Must Be Linked To Benefits


    • Features are common - benefits are personal and specific

    • Use the ‘link phrases’ - ‘which means that......’

    • Be specific

    • Sell The Results – ‘Paint A Picture’

    • Discover ‘prime desires’

    • Personalise benefits

    • Describe end results

    • You Cannot Rely On Logic

    • 84% of all buying decisions are based upon emotion - not logic

    • What are the chief buying emotions? - Ego - Security - Pride Of Ownership - Greed - Health - Prestige – Status - Ambition - Fear Of Loss

  5. Aim To Be Unique – ‘Me First’ Rather Than ‘Me Too’

    • Every business, every company, every product has something that is unique

    • Look outside the square

    • Identify the uniqueness of: - your product - your service - your company - yourself

    • Buyers buy solutions and results they do not buy products or services

  6. Don’t Sell On Price

    • It is a ‘cop out’

    • Value your expertise - your products - your service and price accordingly

    • Always keep the ‘bottom line’ firmly in your mind

    • Anyone can give business away

    • Selling on price means we do not need sales people

  7. And Finally: Be Professional At all Times

    • The greatest compliment a customer can pay you is to describe you as “professional”

    • Don’t worry about being liked –be respected.

    • Being professional is not one thing it is three:

    • It is what you do, what you say and how you present yourself,

    “When I see a bird that swims like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck; then I call that bird, a duck” Rudyard Kipling

Jonathan Farrington is the Managing Partner of The jfa Group http://www.thejfagroup.com. [http://www.thejfagroup.com] To find out more about the author, read his latest articles or to subscribe to his newsletter, visit: http://www.jonathanfarrington.com You can now also read his weekly blog for dedicated sales professionals: http://www.thejfblogit.co.uk

Source: https://Top7Business.com/?expert=Jonathan_Farrington

Article Submitted On: December 18, 2006