Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Selling is a skill you must never ignore

Here is a scenario.

You scheduled a discussion with your boss. The aim is to ask for a higher pay raise. You talked about how you have performed exceptionally well and an increase of $1,000 makes perfect sense, judging by the current inflation and wage growth across the industry. Unfortunately, your boss rejects the idea, hinting that the business is facing slow growth due to declining demand from China.

What if you get a “Yes!” because there is another way to put across?

3 stages you can adopt:

1. Seek to understand first and gather the facts

Let’s use the pay raise scenario. Before jumping in – do you have any idea how your boss thinks of you? Should your boss perceive you as a capable and reliable right-winger; your chances are higher. Ask first to get pieces of intelligence. Don’t be too quick to sell without getting any insights first. You can start off something like this “what do you think of me as your valued employee?”

2. Question after question

Assume your boss is extremely delighted with your performance (you seek to understand first), don’t stop there. Ask the next question. For instance, “which part of my capabilities that you are most impressed with?” By doing so, you are getting him to reaffirm his point and he starts to feel that you are valuable. In other words, a question after next enforces the selling message subtly. That said, you must recognise your boss’s style. If he is one that is direct, be direct and upfront with 2 questions. Try to be patient and progressive with your questions. Then, you pop the millionaire question when he is sold by your positive achievements.

3. Written documents

After you clear point 1 and point 2, you start to flip out your record. Having a one page, type-written letterhead helps to state the points clearly. And this has to be truthful. Ideally, well supported by your client’s/partner’s testimonials. Prepare whatever you need to support your conversation.

What is it all about?

What you have done is actually selling. However, many fall through the cracks, simply because they are too quick to be in the limelight. You need a certain degree of skill set for selling. We sell many things in our daily lives to earn the extra cash. Just that we do not literally realize it. You can be an average person. But the way you communicate exemplifies depth, maturity and experience. When you execute it smoothly, you see results. When you don’t, you fail miserably.

Entrepreneur sells ideas. Businessmen sell concepts. Politicians sell dreams. Accountants sell numbers. Engineers sell project solutions.

How about you? Are you selling anything now or struggling to sell? Have a coffee with me and I’ll email you some free tips in sales pitches. The last you should do is to ignore selling. It's a lifelong skill you need.

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