Sales skills or better captioned “life skills” will always be in need regardless of what you do because we are always selling in one way or another. Selling or maybe better stated as “influencing”, comes down to being either good or bad at it. From a salesperson who is selling their first car, a consultant selling a health club membership, a manager trying to teach his team, or a Mother who is trying to sell her vision of what is right and wrong to her children. All these situations require the skill of influence which is essentially what sales are about. The ability to influence others through listening and feeding information back in a way that builds trust is what resonates with people.
Here are 3 things that you can do today that will help you to have a better influence on others:
Your grooming is probably the single most important thing you can do to create a positive first impression. We are constantly judging people for the way they look, it’s a natural human reaction! The first thing we judge people for is whether they are well-groomed, wearing clean clothes, and dressed appropriately for the occasion. Whether you are aware of it or not our subconscious automatically will judge others and gives us a feeling as to whether we can like/dislike coming straight from your appearance. If you are in a sales position and your customers choose to dislike or distrust, it then makes it very tough to change that first initial opinion.
If you are in a sales position and you have a uniform, you must wear it with pride. On the other hand, if you wear your own clothes, then you must choose wisely. The reason we have a uniform is it takes the self-selection process of clothing away from us. This is important because if we wear our own clothing it could potentially put us at risk. By choosing your clothes, it then allows your customers to “judge you” because of what you wear, and they may or may not like what you wear. By wearing a uniform selected by your employer, it takes away the judgment of your customers. If you are wearing your clothes choose clean, non-flashy articles.
Our body language is the most influential tool we possess when it comes to communicating with others regardless of in person or on the phone. Body language is 55% of communication, which means the speaker’s words are only 7% of your efforts. The pitch and tone of your voice is worth 38%. This means your gestures, posture (stand tall) and eye contact are crucial to your ability to create trust with another. Your handshake or greeting (dependent on different country traditions) is essential to creating trust. Trust starts from the second your prospect sees you and this either grows or decreases depending on your abilities from here forward.
Sales skills and the ability to influence are skills we must all hone. These skills are no different from riding a bike or learning a new language, meaning we have to practice them to become better. Spend time working on your greeting because a poor greeting can immediately place you in a position of dislike or distrust. Our prospects make a judgment in less than 3 seconds as to whether they like us or not. They will then spend the next minute trying to confirm they have made the right decision. Your job in sales is to ensure that your initial greeting is positive!
Make Your Own Luck.