You’re already selling, even if you don’t know it. Whether you are selling a product or just trying to get your way, you are selling! Think of all the times you’ve tried to persuade someone to clean up their mess, cook your favorite dish, take you somewhere, see the movie you want to see, give you a bigger allowance or raise, let you get a dog, etc. Every time you try to persuade or influence someone, you’re selling them on the idea, your idea. Since this is a skill you will use your entire life, it will be advantageous to learn it well. Learn to influence, and you will be able to sell. Learn to sell, and you will be able to influence.
Some salespeople are jerks. They won’t take no for an answer. They try to guilt-trip you into buying. They forget you exist the minute they get your money. Don’t be like that! High pressure sales and manipulation doesn’t make someone a good salesperson. It makes them a jerk! People like that not only give salespeople a bad name but make a lot of people cringe when they think of becoming a salesperson. You can be a great salesperson and a great human being at the same time. Be the salesperson you’d like to encounter.
When you already know someone, making a connection with them is easy. When you meet up, right away you start conversing about a shared interest: “Come see my new puppy.” “That new restaurant is great!” “I had so much fun on my trip.” Connecting with people you already know is virtually automatic, effortless, and unconscious. The same principle applies when making a connection with someone you don’t know. The difference is that since you don’t know them, you need to take the time to find a connection. Start with “hello” along with a smile. As simple as that sounds, this easy gesture often gets a conversation started. If it doesn’t, then use the technique of Ask-Listen-Respond. Ask a question. Listen to their answer. Respond to their answer. If you are wanting to approach them about buying Wild About Animals (WAA) books, steer the conversation toward animals by asking if they have pets, feed backyard birds, birdwatch, enjoy nature, etc. Whether you sell products or not, making connections with people is a huge key to one’s success and happiness in life.
To be shy is to be self-conscious. Shyness is fearing disapproval, judgement, rejection. To overcome shyness, focus on the other person or anything other than yourself. Ever felt shy, and then someone with a dog comes by, and your shyness evaporates as you bend down to pet their dog? That’s because you forgot all about yourself as your attention and focus went to the dog. You can consciously do this when dealing with people, too. Simply focus on them, not you. Genuinely be interested in them just as you were genuinely interested in the dog. With a little practice, you can overcome shyness.
A whopping 70% of people report that they are shy. This means the odds are that they are going to be as afraid, if not more afraid, to talk to you as you are to talk to them. Make a habit of making people comfortable and putting them at ease. How? Treat them like you would want to be treated. Be kind. Listen. Be genuinely interested in them. If you have a sense of humor, use it. If you have a warm, friendly personality, let it shine. Whatever you do, make the interaction a positive one. Even if they don’t buy from you this time, when they feel better for having met you, they will want to talk with you again.
If you are in a bad mood, no one will want to buy from you. Moods are very contagious. Your mood will rub off on others, be it a good or bad one. Your potential customer is more likely to be in a good mood if you are in a good mood and more likely to buy because buying is fun, and people buy when they are in a good mood.
There are many ways you can get into a positive mood. Some examples are:
- Think of 10 things you are grateful for.
- Do something you enjoy such as a leisurely walk outdoors. The sun is a great mood lifter.
- If you don’t have time for a fun activity, visualize it. Studies show visualization is as powerful in one’s mind as actually doing it.
- Give yourself a pep talk by telling yourself all the things you want to hear.
- Hold a pencil between your teeth for several minutes. This forces a smile which helps you feel happier.
- Listen to a happy song.
- Cuddle or play with your pet.
- Visualize a time when you were very proud of yourself. Hold it in your mind and feel it as though it were happening right now.
It’s a myth that people don’t want to be sold. If they are the least bit interested in the products you are selling, they want you tell them about it. Take “Think You Know Animals?” What’s it about? How does it work? What is unique about it? Show them the books. Show them some of your favorite pages. Answer their questions. Care enough about our wildlife and the people you interact with to go the extra mile. Invest in every interaction even when you feel like they aren’t going to buy.
WAA books are not for everyone. It’s hard for me to believe that chocolate is not for everyone, either, but it’s true. Don’t take hearing “no” personally. They are not rejecting you. They simply are not interested in the product, or they are not interested at this time, but may be in the future. A “no” today may be a “yes” tomorrow. You are still the wonderful person that is YOU whether they buy from you or not.
Getting started is always the hardest part. The dread of something is always worse than doing it. Armed with this knowledge, take the first step. To quote Zig Ziglar, “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”
An elevator pitch is one that can be delivered in the time it takes to get from one floor to another on an elevator. About 20 seconds, 30 seconds max. It’s a short, pre-prepared informative, persuasive pitch. The purpose is to spark their interest and to determine if they are interested. If they are not interested, stop. To continue only alienates them. Someone else will be interested. If they are interested, let them handle the book while you tell them more about it (covered in Tip 11).
My experience in selling “Think You Know Animals?” is that most people who are not interested in the book will clearly show by their body language, e.g. looking away. But, when someone’s interest is sparked, they will thumb through the book, read a few Q&A”, and the back cover, and then will almost always buy it.
An elevator pitch for “Think You Know Animals?” could go something like: “It’s a Q&A book about our North American wildlife and a handful of pets. It can simply be read or played as a game because all questions are multiple choice or True or False.” The elevator pitch doesn’t cover everything. It’s not meant to. If they are interested, then you tell them more.
No matter what you’re selling, you need to know that product well. For example, let’s say you are selling dinner plates. What are they made of? Are they dishwasher safe? Oven and freezer safe? Are there matching dishes? What is the cost? These are the things you would need to know at minimum.
Now take the book “Think You Know Animals?” When someone is interested, this is the time to go into more detail. Since it’s a book, remember people cannot read and listen to you at the same time, so briefly show them how it works, then hand it to them and let them thumb through it and read in silence. No matter if you are holding the book or they are, when demonstrating how it works, point to the numbers while saying: All questions are numbered 1, 2, or 3. (remember you’re showing them as you talk.) Ones are easy. Twos are moderately difficult. Threes are the most challenging. The questions are on the right-hand side; turn the page, (demonstrate) and the answers are on the back, so no one can peak at the answer without turning the page. The short answer is at the very end of the narrative (point to it). And the narrative is chock-full of information so even when you know the answer, you often learn something you didn’t know.”
It’s best to demonstrate how the book works because it is laid out different than most Q&A books which have the answer directly underneath the question (instead of on the back side of the question page), and therefore can’t be played as a game.
There are two common misconceptions I’ve encountered that you can be prepared for. Misconception 1.) WAA books are children’s books… Actually, WAA has no children’s books yet. Misconception 2.) “Think You Know Animals?” is trivia…No, it’s not. Trivia is defined as trivial, useless, unimportant, or obscure facts. This book has useful, practical, and interesting information about the animals right here in North America. Some are even in our own backyard.
Read the books and familiarize yourself with them (or whatever else you sell). Oftentimes the difference between being good or not-so-good at sales lies in the simple concept of how well you know the product you are selling.
You are NOT an annoying telemarketer interrupting someone’s dinner to hard sell them on something they don’t want; so, don’t feel like you are. WAA books educate, entertain, and provide opportunities for people to not only get involved in helping our wildlife, but to earn money while doing so. Many people will want them. If you want to profit from sales, and the books at WAA are not products you can believe in, find something that is. For your own happiness, you need to believe in what you’re selling.
More sales tips are coming soon. We want you to succeed!