In sales, it’s important to enter into the first customer interaction with a strategy. Although any conversation can lead to new leads and upsells, if you’re mindful of how you communicate with the person you’re pitching, the results will almost always be positive.

So what should you be intentional about? Here are the two things I always recommend you keep in mind when pursuing a sale:

  • Don’t make snap judgments. When considering your target customer, it’s vital to not predetermine who will and won’t buy. I’ve made the mistake before of making broad assumptions about someone’s intention or ability to become a customer only to be surprised when they do. Keep an open mind and don’t write off a sale based on the presumption that you’re wasting your time and your efforts won’t yield results. Always do your best to make the pitch with the expectation that every lead will be a huge success and that the person standing in front of you could become your biggest customer… and often they will.
  • Develop relational capital. When making a sales pitch, it’s common to want to do a lot of talking and convincing, but I’ve found that one of the most powerful things you can do is listen. I’ve been very successful in sales throughout the years, mostly because I have developed the ability to win people over by establishing relationships. When you listen and relate to someone’s problems, then offer a solution to help them, while also identifying with something from their lives (their children or home or career), it’s a golden combination that can lead to a closed sale. I call this process of taking a personal interest in customers “relational capital” and keeping it top of mind when entering into a sales conversation is a great element to include in your strategy.

To learn more about the experiences I’ve had during my time working in sales roles and also how I’ve bounced back from professional setbacks, sales-related and otherwise, check out my book Why Not? Survive and Thrive.

Read More