Cartoon of Words Good Deal and HandshakeSelling is no easy feat, no matter if you’re selling cookies or corporations. In my 3 years working at CorpNet, I’ve picked up a tip or two that have improved my sales skills. Let me share what I’ve learned with you!

1. Be a Good Listener

This is relevant if you sell face-to-face (or ear-to-ear if you make sales over the phone), since you interact with customers a lot more than a business would, say, selling candles online. Once you stop pushing your sales agenda and just sit back and listen, the interaction between you and the potential customer becomes human-driven. The customer feels heard, and if you pay attention, you can learn valuable things that can actually help you close the sale.

Here’s an example: I was on the phone with a contact that had questions about starting a business. In between us talking about LLCs and corporations, I found out she has a daughter that was headed to a big dance competition that weekend. At the end of our call, I wished her daughter good luck in the competition. She seemed a bit surprised that I’d said it. Not 10 minutes later, I had an online order from her. It’s the little details that can really pay off!

2. Be a Resource, Not a Seller

This is where sales and marketing really align. If you’re doing a good job in marketing your small business through your blog, social media, email, and the rest, people will buy from you. But it’s not about blasting a “buy our product now!” message, but rather becoming an industry thought leader and giving people valuable information about your field. If what you provide is genuinely helpful, they’ll connect the dots and buy from you because they trust you.

3. Keep the Relationship Going

Once a customer has incorporated a business with CorpNet, the relationship doesn’t end for me. I follow customers on social media, and am happy to retweet or share their content. I check in once in a while to make sure their businesses are thriving. If they start another business or need other services that we offer, I’m already on their mind, simply by being engaging and present. The repeat sale is easy.

4. Sharpen Your Skills

I read a lot of content about selling so that I’m well-versed for my job. There are books, blogs, magazines, seminars, and continuing education courses that can help you stay on top of selling trends and tools. Take advantage of them! You’ll never be a 100% expert at selling, and there’s always room for more knowledge.

5. Learn from the “No’s”

I wish I had a 100% close rate, but that’s pretty much impossible in the world of sales. Some people find they need something different than we offer. Some aren’t ready to buy. Whatever the reason they don’t buy from us, I do my best to take a lesson from that and use it to make the next sale an easy “yes.”

Simply by making an effort to improve your sales skills, you will get better at it!