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How to Sell When You Don't Think You're a Salesperson

How to Sell
Lionseye insights from AC Lion

How to Sell


In my business, having the ability to sell is one of the most important aspects of success. There are many key and inherent traits that make up a wildly effective sales person, and some people are just naturally better at it than others. Nonetheless, I believe everyone has potential, and the ability to improve.  Here are some of my tips and tricks that work for me and my team of recruiters.



1. Don’t talk about yourself – keep the focus on your prospect.

One thing I have learned over the years is that people love talking about themselves. So get them going! Find out what makes them perk up and get excited. Do your research on the person, and as a general rule of thumb, find something that you have in common as a starting point. This may require some digging, outside of the basic stats that you find on LinkedIn (although an alma mater is an easy connection, it won’t happen every time). Be tactful of course, and work the tidbits into the conversation naturally. Also, ask tons of questions. As the conversation unfolds, you will most likely be given more to work with and find additional mutual ground. If they ask you a question, keep it brief and direct it right back at them.

2. Speak to your prospect as you would a friend.

As always, keep it professional – just LOOSEN UP! It’s normal for people to put up their guards if they feel they are being manipulated in any way. A major red flag is “sales talk” – extravagant tones, outdated clichés, and other obvious taglines. Just act natural, and continue to assess the person’s needs by listening (see above step), and in turn providing what you have to offer. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship as any other healthy one, and that should be what you are striving for with every person you speak to.

3. Don’t sell to someone who isn’t ready.

The next logical step after listening, assessing needs, and developing a friendly rapport, is to accept “where they are.” If they are not ready, or do not currently need what you are selling, don’t push it. Trust that this person can make the best decision for themselves, even if you do not necessarily believe it. From this point, you can offer your humble advice and guidance, or lightly encourage them to think about the situation in a different light, but you have to know when to fold. The impression you want to leave is someone who isn’t desperate to just close the sale, but someone who has your best interests in mind. This leaves room for them to want to work with you again in the future when they may be in a more receptive position.

4. Put the ball in their court.

As you are ending the conversation and you haven’t “closed the sale” officially, invite your prospect to take some sort of action. This isn’t the time to put all your chips on the table and employ your fancy closing techniques, or put on the pressure. Give the person clear directives for a next step, even if it’s something simple. This then gives you a reason to follow up if you don’t hear from them. It also opens the door for future casual check-ins, and the opportunity to build that relationship slowly by staying top of mind. We see first-hand how this works, since a large percentage of our business is repeat customers and referrals.

How do you put on your sales game face? What makes you a good sales person? Share in the comments!