The Art of Selling: The simple shift to transform your results

By: Mitch Tidman, Co-founder, salestratus.com and Managing Director, Palladium Marketing

Sales is a fascinating, challenging, sometimes elusive, but mostly enriching occupation. People have traded, sold, negotiated, and closed deals since the dawn of time, and yet, the art of selling and its success factors are not particularly intuitive.

The Professional Edge

Like so many worthwhile endeavors, with sales, there is agency, skill, expertise, and learned practice, which all lead to a critical success factor called the professional edge. Without this powerful ingredient, lackluster results will continue to plague the “average” salesperson.

A shift in attitude needs to take place that sets the salesperson on a path towards success and freedom.

And that subtle shift is this: The salesperson with the professional edge stops trying to be everyone’s friend, stops groveling for business and putting her or himself in a submissive role in the prospective dance, and starts moving forward in a confident, assertive fashion.

It means switching from the Labrador puppy, who seeks to please, to the respected and confident German Shepherd, who stands its ground, attentive and alert. Forget the niceties, the “Dear so and so,” the “how was your weekend?,” the “let me buy your lunch.” Get down to business!

A salesperson’s time is valuable, and worth as much as anybody else’s. Her or his expertise has value, the products and services provided are solving problems and meeting needs, and all of this needs to be compensated. Don’t give it away.

It’s All About Trust

The truth is, people want to buy from people or companies they trust. They want serious insights to help them solve their problems – no sugarcoating. They want to deal with confident, knowledgeable experts who will help them, even more than they want a cheap price.

Different emotions will surface throughout the buying process. In some cases, feelings of tension or even awkwardness in a sales conversation are good because they are indications that both parties are confronting the real issues, the differences and objections that need to be addressed before a deal can be made. Both sides have put their cards are on the table.

To accomplish this, both the salesperson and the prospect need to work to create an environment of open and constructive expression. Again, it all goes back to trust.

It’s also important for the salesperson to know how to identify triggers that lead to the next phase in the selling process, as well as roadblocks and indicators that the process needs to conclude. In some cases, walking away when the fundamentals of a deal are not there is the best outcome for both parties. The customer may not ready to buy or have access to the budget and it’s better to realize this as quickly as possible.

Even with all the experience, the knowledge, and competitive prices, a salesperson will continue to struggle if he or she hasn’t adopted the professional edge mindset. Adopting the professional edge mindset can have a dramatic impact on sales results and is one of those life lessons that brings about self-improvement in more than just sales. It’s about being confident, authentic, and answering to no one but yourself, which is always good business.

Happy selling!


3/19: The Fine Art and Process of Sales

On Tuesday, March 19, our CX and Sales Enablement Community presents a special 2.5-hour event: Sales 101 Bootcamp – The Fine Art and Process of Sales.

This Sales 101 Bootcamp will feature four speakers with segments on the psychology of sales, targeting and reaching the right prospects, qualifying leads and understanding the buying process, and building value and closing a deal. There will also be opportunities for networking and Q&A with the speakers and fellow attendees.

Register today to receive additional insight and practical applications on sales effectiveness!

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