I love sales. I’m an entrepreneur, so sales are the backbone of my ability to remain self-employed. It’s the most critical aspect of entrepreneurship. I could call myself an inbound marketer to lesson the cheesiness some people feel when hit with the word sales, but it is what it is. I’ve sold everything from online advertising to IT service. It never gets old. Many people struggle with learning the art of sales. In this article, I hope to help you think of sales in a different way. I hope to teach you the basics for how to sell anything.
Learning how to sell anything doesn’t mean you have to learn how to be deceptive, manipulative or dishonest. If you equate these things with sales, I’d like to humbly suggest you adjust your thinking now. Whether you know it or not, you are already in sales. Everyone is.
If you convinced someone on social media to start using a third party app you like, you are in sales. If you convinced your girlfriend to try a new restaurant you like, you are in sales. If you convinced your husband to marry you, you are in sales. Get it?
The reason it doesn’t feel like you are in sales is because you didn’t try to convince those people of anything that isn’t true. You honestly like that third party app or that restaurant. You were simply sharing your opinion about something you really, really like.
Without even realizing it, you made a strong enough case that you affected the opinion and behavior of another person. This was especially easy for you if the person trusts you, which is an important cog in the wheel of successful selling. You are already in sales, you just aren’t getting paid for it.
Therein lies the key for how to sell anything. If you are passionate about what you are selling (which is very important) then you just simply make it your goal to share your positive opinion about it with as many people as possible in your niche. Just explain all the benefits that might also help them if they use/do it.
Suddenly being in sales doesn’t seem so difficult. I’m simplifying the process for the purpose of this article, but you get what I’m saying.
Based on my experience, learning how to sell anything also hinges on learning the art of follow up. Follow up is another cog in the wheel of successful selling. As someone once said, the fortune is in the follow up. I agree with that.
I’ve developed an effective method for following up. If I get super busy, I might let some things in the day slip, but I always do my follow up. It’s important to develop your own follow up system that works for you. It’s important to make following up a daily habit.
This chart below called How to Sell Anything by Funders and Founders is simple and practical yet impressively useful. There is one thing that I would add to this list. If you are going to be successful in sales, you are going to have to be willing to talk to a lot of new people (whether it’s on email, social media, text, phone, in person, etc).
The reason this is important is because in order for a lot of people to say yes, even more have to say no. If your net is only as wide as your social media friends, that isn’t enough.
Open your mind. There are a lot of people on this planet. Make it your mission to talk to as many of them in your niche as possible. Use all the new technologies available to reach them. That way, you’ll find many people who will share your passion about your product or service, and you’ll meet many interesting people along the way too. I’ve made life-long friends through this process.
I hope now you feel like you understand the basics for how to sell anything. If you are trying to learn how to sell advertising on your website, I would like to humbly suggest you read another article I wrote called The Complete Guide for Selling Advertising on Your Blog or Website.
Diana is a USC graduate, tech entrepreneur and member of the Apple Consultants Network. She has written 4,200+ blog posts around the blogosphere. She loves innovation, creativity and grande Java Chips. She’s also a frequent user of the force. Connect with her on Twitter at @adamsconsulting or email me at [email protected].