Sales is a versatile skill and one that can help you regardless of your career. While no two people sell the same, there are some general sales training tips that can help you succeed at selling. Here are 6 essential sales tips for beginners.

Tip 1: Benefits over Features

The art of sales has evolved substantially through the years. Decades ago, there were less businesses, lower competition for attention, and fewer ways to access information as a customer. This allowed businesses to focus their sales strategy on the features of their good/service. This feature-centric sales strategy is obsolete now that the barrier of entry for most industries is low, the dissemination of information high, and the battle for customer attention nearly impossible. Now, in order for companies to succeed at selling, they have to highlight the benefits that their good/service offers customers. Focus on the “Why” and not the “What” for your good/service.

Tip 2: Know Who Your Target Customers Are

Another critical tip for succeeding at sales is to understand who your target customers are. This may seem obvious, but there are still a lot of companies who have not taken the time, or invested the resources to learn who is actually purchasing their good/service. Even if you “think” you know who you are targeting, there is a chance that you may be missing your optimal audience and wasting resources talking to the wrong people. If you collect the demographic, psychographic, and geographic information for your current clientele there is a good chance that you’ll uncover some telling trends as to the profile of your potential clients.

Tip 3: Know What You Are Selling

Knowing who you are selling to is important, but knowing what you are selling is more important. You should familiarize yourself with all aspects of your good/service. Immerse yourself into your brand, use the product, experience the service, and understand the workflow associated with producing it. Only once you have fully educated yourself, can you truly be prepared to sell your good/service to anyone.

Tip 4: Ask a Lot of Questions

While knowing your target audience is great from a broad sense, on a granular level it is important to learn as much as you can about that particular customer so that you can customize sales (as much as possible) to each individual. This requires asking questions and learning about their, unique needs. You’ll come to find that most customers have similar problems that drive them to talking with you, but it’s better to let them bring it up first. You can do this by asking questions and listening.

Tip 5: Actively Listen

One of the biggest mistakes that is made when trying to close a sell, is over-selling and talking too much. You can help avoid this by following step 3, but just asking questions is not enough – you have to make sure you listen. Beginners often focus a lot of their energy thinking about the next question, or trying to steer the conversation. Don’t do this! Think of it like a conversation with a friend, if they tell you something is bothering them, ask “what is going on?” “how does this make you feel?” and really focus on tailoring the conversation based on things they say, not what you want to talk about.

Tip 6: Confirm Information

During the sales process, information is extremely valuable. If you are ever unsure, ask for clarification. Building a sales strategy with misinformation can be detrimental to that sale and future ones. Once you have confirmed information, make sure that you properly document and save that information on the correct customer.

Learning to sell is a critical skill to have, regardless of your career. The 6 sales tips above will get you on the right track, but there is still a lot to learn. If you’d like to learn more about sales then join The Unexpected Salesman’s eLearning center.

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