What Professionals – freelancers, employees and entrepreneurs – can learn from great salespeople.
Selling has often a negative connotation. People get the feeling that being sold something means to have fallen for the salesperson. Also, everybody remembers an incident where an obnoxious sales person tried to – or worse – managed to sell you something you didn’t want and didn’t need. So what is it that makes a sell a winning game for both – buyer and seller? And what defines a great seller?
I would like to answer these questions with this true story: when the father of one of my closest friends died, I went to his funeral to support my friend in these difficult times, but also because I always felt connected to him. My friend and I went to school together and I knew her father for a long time. But I did not meet him often. He was a salesperson or a businessman, selling high-end textiles, and often travelled to the middle and far east. But each time I met him, it felt like meeting someone close.
When I got to the funeral, I was overwhelmed. This small church in the middle of the Swiss mountains was filled with people, coming from all over the world. I realised when some of them were speaking to the community, that they initially met Peter as their supplier, seller, vendor but came to say goodbye to a close friend.
It was at this moment listening to all the great stories from his friends when I realised what makes a great salesperson:
- They have a great reputation.
Or in sales terms – they have a strong personal brand. A great reputation builds around their personality and involves aspects like staying true to yourself, be authentic and keep your promises. And they know that their service has added value.
- They care about people.
Irrespective of if they are their customers or not, successful people are genuinely interested in the other person. They ask questions and share insights; they build up and grow relationships along with trust.
- Making money is not their main motivation.
A successful salesperson is convinced that their offering actually adds value and they have a vision of how the customer can benefit and achieve their goals.
Having said that, making money is part of every good deal – why else would you go out and sell something in the first place. There is a saying that it isn’t difficult to sell, but it is difficult to ask a price for it.
For a freelancer this means in a first step:
- Build up your personal brand that represents your competences, skills and personal strengths.
- Know your customer and find out what challenges they are facing, what constraints they have and where you can help.
- Position yourself so you can add value to your customer or client. And also be aware of what your offering is worth.
With these three steps in mind, use LinkedIn to grow your customer base and make yourself known for your expertise. We at JMutzner GmbH are your sparring partner, consultant and trainer to generate leads and turn them into loyal clients.