We live in an age of countless sales resources. There are thousands of courses, apps, and software programs at our disposal. Because of this, it appears that anyone can be a sales superstar, right?
The truth is, sales success takes more than reading a few books or attending a few sales seminars. It all starts in the mind. Your mindset, much like a skill set, takes time to develop. As Gerhard Gschwandtner said, "The single most important element that will determine your success in sales and in life is your mindset."
Luckily, mindset is something you can create with optimism and openness to different perspectives or proven frameworks. One such framework is The 3 C's of Sales. Broadly speaking, there are only three ways to get more clients: cash, connections, or comfort.Cash
Nowadays, you can buy your way to the top. For example, you can use Google's pay-per-click ad system to get massive exposure. If you have a decent product, the more money you spend the more you get back. It's a useful, but expensive short-term marketing hack. None of that matters long term.
However, buying your customer's attention is like building a relationship upon a shaky foundation. Unless you have an endless marketing budget, I recommend that you discard the first C and just focus on the next two.Connections
You need to be the mayor of your city, but not in the literal sense. For example, if you sell computers, you need to be the mayor of "Computer City." Your name must be synonymous with the industry. That means being great at your craft, but also networking like a pro. It's important that you make a name for yourself beyond your own network. But how?
One tactic is mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point
. Gladwell recommends focusing on influencers – mavens, salesmen, and connectors – to spread the word like wildfire. LinkedIn makes this whole process easy.
But let's say you haven't built that impressive book of power influencers yet. The good news is that half your referrals already come from highly satisfied customers. Some folks just simply forget to ask.
If I didn't know you, I'd make an effort to get to know you. That's just my style even though I'm a textbook introvert. I just like to make people laugh and, for some reason, that's contagious. This wasn't always the case, but I think if you come across genuinely people will think you're an interesting person and want to get to know you. Humor is just one ice breaker: there are dozens of other ways to go about this. Over time, you just keep building comfort and being an asset to your clients' lives.Comfort
My strategy for building comfort isn't complicated. Be adventurous, listen well, and add value wherever you can.
So can anyone develop these selling machine skills? Yes, but it's not easy and it's not quick. There's no magic bullet to getting more sales. You have to be good with people and know your stuff. But, if you're willing to persist, keep the Three C's of Sales in mind and you'll be closing tons of sales in no time.
Arlie Peyton is a writer and coach who loves to help entrepreneurs and creatives lead remarkable lives through the power of story. Download his free 38-page business planner at arlie.peyton.com.
- Create a list of influential people you know.
- Contact 10 of these influencers just to touch base. Find a way to add value to their world. Because of the law of reciprocity, eventually they'll offer to help you out too.
- When you are out, learn what people do and briefly tell them what you do. Plant the seed and don't push it. Play the long game. Being an interesting, funny, and likable person is valuable in itself. If they don't do business with you sooner than you'd like, commit to building comfort over time.
- List your top clients. What are ways you can advance your relationship with them? Ask them, then do it.