Please Don't Make Me Sell: Sales Tips For Non-Salespeople

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Welcome to a new self-help series, the “Please Don’t Make Me Training Program.” In this inaugural article people who aren’t naturally born salespeople will gain the skills and comfort needed to be successful in sales.
No one loves describing him or herself as a salesperson. They’ll create a million different titles to avoid what, at the core, they are. Consultant, customer service, greeter, advisor, representative, advocate, you get the idea. Most employees come to you because they like to work on cars, not communicate with customers.
You won’t find any sales tricks here, just tips to make the sale painless and to make your pitch more effective.

Understand what your customer needs. This is where it all starts. This is called consultative selling. You identify your customers’ needs and then suggest products and services that solve those needs. We will be looking at what to say, how to say it and how to effectively answer questions.

Consultative Selling

As the name implies, you are a consultant to the customer. This demands a high level of trust and credibility, but you’ve already got that covered. Repeat customers, by definition, trust you. A feeling of comfort draws in new customers. Consultative selling is focused on your customer and their needs, not on selling. This is great if you aren’t a naturally born salesperson.


You can’t get away from this no matter what you do for a living. You have to prepare and then prepare some more. Here are a few pointers to follow as you get ready:

·           Identify key motivators: You must understand what’s driving your customer. Saving money, more performance and added security are just a few of their motivators.

·           Speak their language: Use words they understand addressing those motivators.

·           Determine exactly what you’re selling: You read over the inspection report and identify the key services they need, but why do you do it? Is something broken or about to break, is the service recommended by the odometer or does the service enhance their ownership experience?

·           Benefits: We all care about one thing, “What’s in it for me?” It’s crucial to know the difference. Features are what your product or idea is and does. For instance, “We put a formula into the old oil and let it idle it for about three minutes, removing sludge.” Benefits are what those features mean. For instance, “We remove old sludge from your engine so it will run better and last longer.” Features are boring, and people have to think since they can be hard to understand. This is hard work and will lose a customer’s attention. When you work for them, they appreciate it and can make smart decisions.

During preparation, focus on identifying the benefits of your products and services, this will help you suggest things more powerfully

Tip: The more you practice your pitch, the more comfortable you’ll feel when you actually deliver it. Practice what you’re going to say as much as possible.

Next month, “The Pitch.”

DAVID PRANGE is currently assistant to the chairman at Next Generation Mfg. He can be reached at 630.699.6813 or:

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