I have been involved in sales in one way or another for what feels like my entire life. I got my first sales position working in a chemist, when I was only ten years old. The wily old pharmacy owner knew that the people, who came in to his pharmacy, were there to buy prescription drugs or other pharmacy related products only. To improve sales of other higher margin products, he incentivised all the staff in the chemist, including me, to try to up sell anyone who came into the pharmacy and to remind them to buy all the other products on sale there. I very quickly became the best sales person in the pharmacy, by keenly observing all the clients who came to the pharmacy and identifying a specific need, which I could help them satisfy with one of the other products in the pharmacy.

Become Observant and Find innovative ways to Help
This skill has stood me in good stead and over the years I have honed my powers of observation, to the point that noticing any possible upsell to my clients has become instinctive and second nature. Noticing needs or observing areas where you can support your prospects or clients, does not only give you better opportunity to sell more products or services to them, but it also shows your clients and prospects that you have their best interests at heart. You become someone they feel they can depend upon and obviously someone they can trust.

Develop an Effective Sales Presentation
The second skill I learned, when I was working at the pharmacy, was how to turn my observant eye into an effective sales presentation. Once I had observed a need in one of the clients in the pharmacy, I would approach them and carefully present them with a value proposition. For example: If a single parent would come into the pharmacy with a sick child, I would offer to mind the child while the parent was getting the prescription filled. I would strategically take the child over to the toy section and distract the child with a colourful toy. The very thankful parent would come over to collect their, now happy child. They would see a much happier child, eagerly playing with a new toy and without exception leave the pharmacy, with a new toy for their child.

I was the top sales person in the pharmacy and outsold every other sales person by almost ten to one. Since then I have been the no. 1 sales person in every sales position I have ever held. To this day I still have an internal competition with myself, where I challenge myself every day to do my best. I do this to stop myself from stagnating and to keep me inspired to sell. Healthy competition can be a great motivator.

Be prepared
The no one secret I have learned as a sales person is to always be prepared. Buying is an emotional decision, so the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to influence someone on an emotional level, to see that your product or service will remove some of their pain or satisfy a need they have. You must research your prospects and clients, getting to know as much about them as possible. Using this information, you then carefully craft a sales presentation. You must be crystal clear on exactly what you are going to say, what questions you will ask, even how long your sales presentation will take to complete.

Average Sales People Wing-it
If you are like most average sales people you will tell people that you had no idea what you were going to say when you arrived at the meeting with your new prospect. These average sales people almost have arrogance in their voices when they say that their knowledge is so good that they can arrive at a prospect and they just know what to talk about, when the right moment comes up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Preparation before any sales call is crucial and it is certainly the one skill, which separates the average sales person from the great sales professional. You can never be over prepared for any sales call, but you can most certainly be under prepared.

Commit to be a Top Producer
There are no shortcuts to sales success. If you want to be a top producer, then you must invest time to be as prepared as possible before every sales call. Work on understanding your prospects business and specific needs. Craft thought provoking questions, which will get your prospecting thinking in the direction you, need them to think, so that they will see the value your product or service offers them. When your prospect is engaged and thinking, it is easy to positively influence them to see the value you bring to their business. An unprepared sales person, who is just sprouting information, will never get their prospect to become engaged and as such it will be difficult or even impossible to get them to see the value they have to offer.

Buying is an Emotional Decision
When I was working in the pharmacy as a young man, I never realised why I was as successful as I was. I never realised that the people who bought from me were making their purchase decisions, by using their emotions. The mother who left with a new toy for her sick child was happy to see her sick and very unhappy child smiling and was really grateful that I had managed to cheer her child up. Sales professionals must always remember that people never use logic to make purchase decisions. So when preparing any sales presentation, think about how you can evoke the right emotions in the buyer, to guide them to see the value you bring to the table. When you learn the art of speaking to buyer’s emotions, you give them permission to identify your product or service as the ideal fit for their needs.

Get the Buyer to Visualise how your Product or Service will Help them
Design your sales presentation to help the buyer visualise how your product or service will help them improve their business, remove some pain they are experiencing or satisfy a need they have. This allows them to use their emotions more effectively and allows them to see the value you offer. The more you are able to show the value you offer and express these in terms of your potential buyer’s emotions, the greater the chances you have of making the sale. Selling is never about telling, it is about connection, speaking to people’s emotions, showing value and how this will help the buyer.

Author's Bio: 

Hi my name is Andrew Horton; I am an inspirational Speaker, Master Teacher, Radio and TV Host, Global Traveler and Author. My area of focus is in the field of human behavior, expanded awareness and enlightenment. I travel the planet constantly researching, learning and seeking ways to unlock the mysteries of the human mind. I delve into the inner workings of the universe, always looking for ways to understand my role in making things better and contributing to the improvement of the human experience. Please visit my website to sign up for a daily inspirational message, by following this link Daily Inspirational Message. This is your daily call to action, a reminder to do things better each day. Visit my website at http://www.andrewhorton.co.za