Its Really Just Sales, Isn’t It?

Back in the day, my first job out of college was selling the lowest line of Xerox copy machines in California. I had to carry this Xerox machine to each appointment; business and consumer, and ‘selling-I-did.’

How did I sell back then? I created relationships with my prospects and gave them something to remember; in my case, my name was unique and I also donned big yellow rain boots because I couldn’t afford new shoes weekly from walking in the mud in a ranch-centric territory.

Jump forward two decades and not much has changed. I still believe that to foster strong relationships with media and analysts, we must first get to know them. I thought I might outline the steps of selling…well…anything; from copiers to networking and security PR pitches.

Get in the right mindset.
The first key to sell anything is about you and your mindset. If you are not fully confident (and calm), you won’t be able to convince anyone to listen to what you are offering. You must be ready to face a lot of NO’s, and know that, eventually, you will get to a YES.

Don’t rely solely on email.
Relationships of any kind can’t survive on email alone; pick up the phone. “Hello…”

Be Nice.
Is it a surprise that friendship sells. People like approachable people with whom they can make a connection. The ROI of positive word-of-mouth far outweighs what any sales army can do (and this is why social works).

You must know the product or service from the inside-out. If the technology or offering is complicated, take the time to understand it before you pitch it.

Let them ask questions.
The secret of any world-class salesperson is how little they actually talk. The top 1% of sellers ask a lot of questions and let the other person do the talking.

ABC: Always. Be. Closing.
As soon as you begin the conversation, you should be thinking about the end result. Not only will this keep you focused, but it will also improve your chances for repeat conversations.

In Close:
In the early days of any business, the ability to close can determine success in the long run. Whether selling a physical product or convincing the media and analyst world to take interest in an offering, understanding a few basic techniques can help you generate your desired outcome.

However, to be really good at selling, you must love it, and many won’t understand how fulfilling it can be until you close your first ‘anything.’ Time to put those tactics into action.