No matter how your view sales, it is something that you must not only do – but master – if you are going to stay in business for any length of time. The good news is that sales is one of those things that can be learned – even if it does not comes naturally to you.
Here then are six proven sales tips and techniques that work. Try and few and see if they don’t help you, too.
1. Build rapport. People do business with – and buy from – people with whom they like and are comfortable. And that means building rapport. To build rapport, the best thing is an easy thing - simply be friendly, curious, and authentic. This may mean talking about your family, asking about theirs, chatting about sports, movies, COVID-19, whatever. By creating a common bond, you build trust, and trust is the first key to any sale.
Ultimately, the No. 1 way to build rapport is to ask questions. Everyone loves talking about themselves, so this is a great and easy place to start (even for the introvert!)
2. Ask lots of questions. Building on No. 1, asking questions is imperative, not only for building rapport but for actually gauging what it is a customer is looking for. By asking specific questions (that elicit more than a yes/no response) you will not only show the customer that you care and are genuinely listening, but you will also be able to better dial into their needs.
3. Listen. Master salesman Tom Hopkins says we have two ears and one mouth for a reason; and especially in sales, it is vital to listen more than you speak. Doing all the talking can make you come across as pushy and impersonal. If you truly want to nail the sale, you need to attentively listen, period. As always, make sure to nod and make eye contact, too.
4. Use testimonials. Salespeople aren’t always perceived as being trustworthy. This is where testimonials come in handy. Having real reviews from real people can make a huge difference in a prospective customer’s decision to purchase from you or not, especially these days and especially online.
5. Follow up. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, for a reason: it works. After you’ve already met with a potential customer, follow up and express your gratitude and eagerness. And also, in this digital age, remember that the physical works – give them a call or drop them a note.
6. Go the extra mile. While winning over new customers is fantastic, the backbone of your business is existing customers. Most of us know that creating new customers is more expensive than keeping old ones, so make sure to keep your loyal clientele happy and cared for.
Back when I practiced law, I once opened a new practice area and wrote a letter to about 100 old clients, letting them know what I was doing and offering a discount on my new service. That letter created six figures in income over the next couple of years.
Marcus Lemonis, investor, businessman and longtime host of CNBC’s "The Profit," is launching a fun, unconventional new podcast distributed by Wondery, called "One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis."
The show is billed as a mix of a masterclass, a cocktail party, and a Sunday drive all wrapped up into 30 minutes with a goal to reveal the secrets to success to listeners. You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. I bet you’ll love it.
Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker and the author of 17 books, including "The Small Business Bible." You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.com, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Small business: 6 ways introverts can become better salespeople