Articles providing practical, field-tested advice to sales professionals.

Location: Houston, Texas, United States

Monday, March 14, 2005


You may have heard that selling is a "talent" that you are "born with". This is persistent myth. Dispel the idea that you don't have such a "gift" or you just can learn the know-how to sell yourself and your ideas.

Professional selling is a matter of learning a "process"—the knowledge of what to do and a set of skills that will help you know how to do it. This professional process and your many acquired persuasive skills will add a new dimension to your self-confidence level and improve your inter-personal communication effectiveness. Learning this start of the art knowledge and skill will be useful to you every day for the rest of your professional and personal life!


Have you ever bought something from a professional salesperson? You may never have, since truly professional salespeople are in short supply and because of this earn large incomes. If you did buy from a true professional, you may not have realized it. The truly professional salesperson was so smooth, relaxed and skillful that you merely felt you were working with someone who was well informed and friendly. It probably didn't occur to you that you were being sold.

Think back, have you ever been surprised at how freely you've talked to certain salespeople before buying from them? Recalling those conversations, was the salesperson alert? Interested? Did you feel comfortable with that person? Did you think you were leading the conversation and the salesperson was following? On the surface, that was true initially, but under the surface, that professional salesperson was leading all the way and you were following.

You may ask how that happened. The professional salesperson encourages you to start off. Once you set the direction, the professional salesperson takes over and begins to lead you toward any of several paths to purchase. When using artful questioning reveals which path is best, the professional salesperson guides you smoothly, warmly and genuinely to that path.

To become a professional salesperson, your first lesson is not to overwhelm your prospect with words. You encourage them to talk. By not talking all the time, by listening most of the time, by asking artful questions, you will be able to lead your prospects from initial contact to happy involvement in owning your product or service. Through alert and pointed questioning, you must maintain a friendly attitude, empathy, interest and understanding that encourages the prospect to open up and give the desired information freely.


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