The Art of Selling in 11 Words

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1. Understand.

To master the art of selling, we must first understand our prospects. This means going into sales conversations with as much understanding as possible about our prospects—who they are, what they do, and what they care about. Then, once we're in an active sales conversation, we must dig deeply enough to truly understand what's going on, from their perspective.

2. Personalize.

Not all prospects are the same. So much of the art of selling depends on simply personalizing the way that we sell. Today’s prospects are wary of automation and bots that make them feel like they’re being sold to at scale. The power of personalization is that it shows that you’re really focused on the individual prospect. When you personalize, your message is that you understand who they are and that you’re a real person. This alone will significantly increase the likelihood of prospects replying to an email, or being willing to hop on a call. The more you personalize your outreach, and your sales your conversations, to demonstrate that you know your prospects as individuals, the more likely you are to ultimately close sales.

3. Lead.

It's important to be a leader in selling situations. Unfortunately, I find that many salespeople are reactive instead. They get on a prospecting call and allow the prospect to lead the interaction. If you find yourself doing a lot of talking in your sales conversations, and answering questions that your prospect is throwing at you, then you’ve lost control of the sale. You’re not leading.

4. Insight.

Insight is critical to the art of selling because it’s the single best way to demonstrate that we know who the prospect is. Sharing insight with the prospect shows that we know what we're talking about, and we bring expertise to the conversation. That's the power of insight.

5. Discover.

Great salespeople are like great doctors or detectives: When they get in front of a prospect, their number one goal is to understand what's going on. They're not going in with preconceived notions about exactly what the problems are. They're digging to find out. They're trying to discover what's going on to get to the core issue. 

6. Dig.

This is similar to discovering, but it deserves it’s own point because it’s so important to the art of selling. Digging as deep as possible into the prospect’s world is absolutely key. Most salespeople immediately go into pitch mode when they get a surface-level challenge from a prospect. But top-performing salespeople dig deeper.

7. Slow.

The vast majority of salespeople move way too fast through the selling process. Even if they're using a systematic approach, they're often moving too fast—like they're checking a box for each part of the process as quickly as possible. It just happens so fast. Instead, slow down.

8. Engage.

Keep your prospects engaged in the conversation. Even when you’re in presentation mode, you want to keep your prospects engaged, bringing them back into the conversation all the time. Monologues have no place in sales. Never talk at the prospect for extended periods of time. And if you are in trouble, even when it's presentation time, you still want to pull them back into the conversation with what we call feedback loops. Say something like, "Does that make sense?” or “Can you see what I'm saying there?” or “Do you see how that would work in your world?" 

9. Peer.

Great salespeople see their prospects as peers. They don't put their prospects on a pedestal and look up to them like they’re deities. Instead, they see their prospects as peers. Not in a disrespectful way, but just simply as equals. The more you can see your prospects as peers, the more you're going to be respected by your prospects.

10. Next.

Sales is about next steps. Next steps are what you need to hold every part of the sale together. Without next steps, mastering the art of selling is impossible. When you’re talking to someone on a prospecting call, the next step is a discovery call. When you're on a discovery call and it goes well, the next step is some kind of presentation. By establishing next steps during the previous step, you're never in follow-up mode. Never follow up with prospects. Instead, just schedule next steps throughout the process.

11. Accountable.

Hold yourself accountable to doing the activities that you need to do. Hold yourself accountable, to do the prospecting that has to be done. Hold yourself accountable to using your system. The more you hold yourself accountable, the more likely you are to become a true sales superstar. Top-performing salespeople are no-BS about their accountability. They do it, they hold themselves accountable, and they don't give themselves excuses. Be accountable.

Creators and Guests

Marc Wayshak
Marc Wayshak
Founder of Sales Insight Labs | Host of Data Driven Selling Podcast | Sales Data Geek
Cameron Stack
Cameron Stack
Producer | Partner at Podcast Sins Production and Strategy Firm
The Art of Selling in 11 Words
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