It cannot be disputed that certain people have specific strengths, which will certainly support them to be better at what we would traditionally call sales, than other people. I do however believe that, as we are all in sales, from the moment we utter our first cry, where by crying, we are attempting to influence someone to act in a certain way towards us or to perform a task for us, like change our nappy etc. We all have an innate ability to sell or should I say influence people to do things.

We are all born in Sales
Asking your mother to buy you a sweet when you are five and nagging her until she relents, is a form of influence, granted not one that will work with a million dollar deal, but it is sales and influence all the same. As you grow up your natural ability to negotiate with or influence those around improves and so for example, when you are standing outside a cinema negotiating with your wife, trying to sell her on going to see the movie of your choice, instead of the romance she wants to go and see. Both of you have honed your negotiating skills throughout your lives and are pretty adept at putting your point of view across, trying to influence the other to person to see your point of view and thus go to see the movie you want to see. This is nothing more than sales or positive influence.

Any natural talent can be improved
As the ability to influence the people around you is a crucial survival and life skill and one we all possess to varying degrees. Selling or the ability to positively influence the people around you is a natural ability present in everyone and thus one of the easiest skills to teach anyone.

The hardest part in this process is to get people to stop only thinking of themselves, when they are attempting to influence people and instead to focus on discovering a mutually beneficial solution, which sees both parties win. Once you make this crucial shift, learning the art of selling or positively influencing people, becomes merely a process of gradually learning a few new skills and developing a few daily routines or success habits to support you to make the sale.

Sustainable Sales Success starts with Fair Exchange
I am sure that you have read a number of sales books or attended sales seminars, where you have been told the importance of being of service to your customers and always looking for ways to support them and satisfy their needs or help them to solve any challenges they may be facing. All the books and seminars you have read are all absolutely correct and all these elements are crucial, because this is how you connect with your customers and prospects, so that you can reach a point where both parties feel that they are winners.

The secret to become successful at sales requires you to always look for ways to ensure that a modality of fair exchange exists. Where your customers or prospects, feel that the value you bring, is equivalent to or exceeds the value or money they will need to pay to you in exchange for your product or service. Once you can consistently show your customers that the value you bring or your value proposition exceeds the price you expect them to pay, you will effortlessly close every sale.

How do you do this?
There are two crucial elements necessary to make this work for you and your customer:

What does your Product or Service do?
You must firstly know what you product or service actually does. People don’t buy drill bits, what they are really buying are holes, people who buy houses are not buying a house, they are buying a place to rest, rejuvenate and be fulfilled, people who are buying a car are not buying a car, they are buying status and a means to comfortably and conveniently get from one point to another, people who buy a front end loader are not buying construction equipment, they are buying a hole in the ground and someone buying a camera is buying a means of recording memories.

Action Idea: Based on the previous example, explore your value proposition and uncover exactly what it is that you sell? Look beyond the obvious here and discover what your product and service actually provides to your customer.

Who needs what you sell?
Once you are absolutely clear on what it is your value proposition offers, the next step is to look around your world and discover people and businesses, who need exactly what you offer. The better the fit, the easier it will be for you to find ways to create a modality of fair exchange, where your customers and prospects understand that the value you bring, exceeds the price you expect them to pay for it.

If you want to excel at sales, start by getting the two elements I have described above in place and then approach every sale or potential sale from a perspective of “WIN – WIN” and closing sales will become effortless.

Now all that is left for you to do once you have all of this in place, is for you to hone your ability to understand and clearly communicate your value proposition to your customers and prospects and for you to learn the art of finding better ways of discovering and connecting with your ideal clients or prospects.

Selling or the ability to influence people comes naturally to all of us; it is a crucial life and necessary survival skill. Make the shift away from your own self-interest and instead find ways to be of service to others and selling will feel as natural as negotiating with your wife or child.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Horton is one of South Africa's top sales training experts. He will support, uplift and inspire sales professionals to explore the limits of their potential and awaken the sales giants, which resides within all of them. His sales training presentation is aimed at inspiring sales professionals, helping them to become re-energised and eager to achieve their sales targets. The sales tools and powerful tried and tested practical sales techniques, they will be introduced to during his presentation, will help any sales professional to immediately up their game and to become a real sales giant, within their markets. Visit my website at