Whether you’re trying to find a hot fashion accessory, hunting for your next vehicle or searching for a company to bring your app idea to life, we have all had our fair share of run-ins with sales professionals. Naturally, some have been better than others. We all know what makes a bad salesman, but what differentiates those who are simply good at selling and those who are great at selling?
The key is simple enough: good salespeople sell a product, but great sales people, well, they sell a brand. True, selling the product is important, but it is just a piece of the overall puzzle. In my 10-plus years of selling experience, I have seen firsthand what it takes to sell a brand.
1. You must have a stellar product
A strong salesperson can truly sell just about anything, regardless of quality (which is my way of saying be careful out there!). However, in order to sell someone on a brand, they must feel that having your product is necessary. A great salesperson always highlights not only the value of the product, but also the necessity of the product.
2. You must create brand awareness
Companies like Coca-Cola and Kleenex have accomplished this with such unparalleled success that their brands have become the industry standards. We call all facial tissues by the name Kleenex and in many regions, all sodas are simply known as Coke regardless of the actual brand (“What Cokes do you have?” “Oh, Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite…”). A great sales person does not stop at promoting the brand…they seek to make their brand the industry standard.
3. You must build relationships
Time and time again, I have encountered sales professionals who do not understand the importance of building a relationship with their clients and customers. The customer must feel that you are relatable and approachable. Even if you only speak to that customer once, they must walk away knowing that you’re trustworthy and on-the-level (you must be a good person for this to work, but you’re a Tapsauce reader, so surely you are!). One of your greatest assets will be the strong recommendation from a current or previous customer.
4. You must keep it real
This is the most important component in great selling. We all know that uncomfortable feeling you get when dealing with a pushy telemarketer or a cheesy car salesman. Sales are often made by playing the “yes” man, omitting information or straight-up lying. While this might earn a sale in the short term, it destroys any chance of selling or expanding the brand in the long-term.