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Practical sales tips (or "The psychology of selling" mini-summary)

Business Dec 5, 2021

There are many books on sales. But if you wanted to read the few most popular ones, "The pychology of selling" would probably be on top of that list.

This sales classic is full of practical advice, insights, and strategies on how to approach and excel in sales, no matter if you are a pro or just getting started.

Without further ado, let's see a super quick summary of the book.

Chapter 1: The inner game of selling

Mostly a "self-help" (but important) chapter.

  • Decide to do the small things consistently over time. Eventually, the results will accumulate into an extraordinary difference from the competition.
  • Do not be afraid to go and ask the best for advice and guidance. You will be surprised that most of them are eager to share and teach.
  • Don't forget that rejection is not personal. It's part of the sales game. Bounce-back immediately.

Chapter 2: Set and achieve your sales goal

  • Set clear (and realistic) targets on what you want to achieve. Your subconscious will work for you for identifying opportunities on achieving your goals.
  • Visualization and affirmations are the most powerful tools for activating your subconscious. Visualize yourself as an expert in prospecting, presenting, and closing sales. Every time your repeat an affirmation as a command you help shape your subconscious mind.

Chapter 3: Why people buy

Maybe the most important chapter.

  • Uncover basic needs by questioning and listening carefully. Listen more than you talk.
  • The one who asks the questions has control over the conversation. Be that one.
  • The desire for gain has motivational power of 1. Fear of loss has a negative motivational power of 2.5. Fear is 2x more powerful than the desire for gain -> People are more motivated to buy if they feel they are going to lose something by not buying.
  • People decide emotionally and then justify logically.
  • Increase the intensity of buying desire and lower the fears of making a mistake by offering money-back guarantees and freebies with high value

Chapter 4: Creative selling

  • Determine exactly what your product does for your customers. Be a specialist instead of a generalist.
  • Which customers can most benefit from what you do better than anyone else.
  • Set clear priorities and concentrate single-mindedly on prospects who represent only the very best potential as a customer.
  • Brainstorm 250 ideas every year and it would have a tremendous impact on your career.

Chapter 5: Getting more appointments

  • When cold calling, always ask if it's the right time to talk. Only then launch your pitch.
  • The first sale is the appointment. Sell the appointment, not the product over the phone (except if you are certain you can close the deal).
  • Choose your words carefully. Your prospect is probably doing something else while you talk on the phone. Aim for the "really, can you do that?!" reaction. Stay benefit-center (benefit for your prospect).
  • Before a prospect agrees to meet, they need to be assured of: (1) You have something important to communicate, (2) He or she is speaking to the right person, (3) It will be a short visit/talk, (4) Not be placed under any obligation, (5) No high pressure will be used.

Chapter 6: The power of suggestion

  • People are affected by: (1) external elements (people around them), (2) internal elements (appearance, voice, attitude).
  • 95% of the impression comes from clothing. Aim for colorful attractive visuals. Presentation material should be clean and neat.
  • Sales conversion is 55% Body Language, 38% tone of voice, 7% words used.

Chapter 7: Making the sale

  • Most prospects have "generalized sales resistance". Understand it and work to break it.
  • The approach close: agree in advance on getting a decision at the end of the presentation to avoid the "I will think about it" responses. Use something like: "All I ask is that you look at what I have to show you with an open mind, determine if it applies to your situation, and tell me at the end of our conversation if this product makes sense.". Fulfill your end, and demand some response at the end of the presentation.
  • The demonstration close: convert the question from "will you listen to me" to "how much you can invest". Use something like: "I could show you the best on the market today, are you in the position to invest in XYZ right now?"
  • Never forget the 3 part presentation: (1) Because of this…(product feature), (2) You can…(product benefit), (3) Which means…(customer benefit)
  • And the 5 keys for effective listening: (1) Listen attentively, (2) Pause Before Replying, (3) Question for clarification, (4) Paraphrase in your own words, (5) Use Open-Ended questions

The types of buyers

  1. The apathetic buyer – don't waste your time, always rejecting
  2. The self-actualizing buyer –they know exactly what they want, if you are offering this then you got a deal
  3. The analytical buyer – they want proof and time to analyze what you are selling
  4. The relater buyer – they rely on relationships on helping and being helped, give them plenty of time and build a relationship with them
  5. The driver buyer – they are super busy and don't want intros, get straight to the point
  6. The socialized buyer – they are achievement-oriented, as soon as you agree get it on paper.

Chapter 10: 8 keys to success

  1. Do what you love to do and be excellent in it.
  2. Decide exactly what you want.
  3. Back your goal with persistence and determination
  4. Commit to lifelong learning
  5. Use your time well
  6. Follow the leaders
  7. Character is everything
  8. Unlock your inborn creativity
  9. Practice the Golden Rule
  10. Pay the price of success


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