It seems silly to have to point this out but:

The most important thing to do when selling is to have no thought that the prospect may not buy.

If you can do that, (and if they really are a genuine prospect) they will buy, always.

I have trained many people to sell. I have also straightened out many struggling salespeople. Probably THE most common source of lack of sales success is that the salesperson fails to assume that the prospect will buy the service or product. Time after time I have seen salespeople going through the motions of the sales process while they are holding firm to the idea that the prospect may not buy. There is a picture in their mind of the prospect failing to hand over money or refusing to sign the contract.

Looked at another way, the salesperson is sitting at “maybe”. “Maybe they will buy or maybe they won’t buy. Let’s just wait and see.” This is like driving down the road, behind a truck, thinking, “Maybe I’ll run into the back of that truck”. Now, if you were sitting in a car next to a driver who you knew was thinking that way you’d ask them stop so you could get out of the car.

Confidence has a lot to do with selling. Confident people can sell. What is the confident salesperson doing that the non-confident one doesn’t? The confident salesperson does not consider that the prospect may not buy. And it’s even simpler than that. They don’t even think about it. It just never enters their mind that the prospect won’t buy. That’s why the salesperson is confident.

How do you get to be confident and never think that the prospect may not buy from you? If I said to you, “Don’t think of a pink elephant”, you would almost certainly get a nice mental picture of a pink elephant. So it is no good to make yourself think, “I must be certain. I must not think he may not buy. I must be certain, I must not think he may not buy”, like some form of mantra. That only makes things worse.

The way to get to a state where you never think that the prospect may not buy is to calmly put all your attention onto the prospect and take it off yourself. Look at them and see them. Listen to them and hear what they are saying. Realise what they are saying is more important than what you may feel you have to say. Forget about “closing the deal” or “bringing home the bacon”. Place all your attention and interest on the prospect, not on yourself, and you won’t be able to think of anything else. And that is how it is supposed to be. People will like you when you are interested in them. They won’t like you when you are interested in yourself. That comes about when your attention is on you, not on them.

If you just do what it says in the last paragraph your attention will come off thoughts like, “He may not buy.” or “He will he not buy.” or “I must make this sale”. Just sit back, do what it says in the last paragraph, and watch your sales increase.

It helps if you really know everything there is to know about the product or service you are selling. It’s tough to sell if you really don’t know what you are selling and lying is never a good idea. Stay very interested in your product too. If you remain interested in your product or service the prospect will become interested in it too. So stay interested in them and interested in your product or service and it all becomes very easy.

A final note: Selling is not confined to the business world. Just about everything we do involves selling. You want to see the latest sci-fi movie and she wants to see a girlie flick. You want a raise from your boss. You are 5 years old and you want another serve of ice-cream. Your neighbour just watched you mangle your electric saw when you failed to notice a large metal bolt in the wood and now you want to borrow his saw. The data above works just as well in situations like these too.

Peter Simpson