We’ve all had that moment…
You’re in conversation with someone and they’ve mentioned something specific you know you could help them with.
Your internal debate begins - “Do I tell her about this oil that I know would help? Nah, she’d probably think I’m trying to sell her something. Well, I kinda am trying to sell her something. But not really because I know it would help her. But what if she thinks I’m trying to sell her something?...”
Back and forth it goes until you psych yourself out to the point that the conversation ends and you’ve not said a word about the thing you knew would be beneficial.
Or, other times, you give it a whirl and get a resounding “No thanks, I’m not into that stuff.” and it stings.
It’s funny when you think about it, because we don’t have these same struggles when we’re “selling” the idea of our favorite coffee place to a friend, or “selling” the latest movie we watched.
In these cases, it feels natural. It doesn’t actually feel like selling. It’s genuine and easy.
I’m going to take you way back for a moment and tell you something - in the early days of my biz, I was a selling machine.
I’m talking balls to the wall, day in and day out, morning until night, workin’ my biz non-stop. I sold. And I sold. And I sold. And then I sold some more.
I tell you this not to make you feel like in order to succeed at sales, it has to be hard.
I’m telling you this because, once I understood a few things about sales, the work I was putting in felt more natural to me.
I’m telling you this because I learned sales can be fun. It can be rewarding (and not just by bringing in more moolah!). It can be natural because you are helping your peeps find a solution to their problem.
You can get to that place where selling your biz is as second-nature as selling your friends on your favorite coffee spot.
It comes down to these three things:
Up your emotional intelligence game
Be in tune with you customer’s needs
Learn how to surprise and delight
Up Your Emotional Intelligence Game
If you’re not totally sure what this is, Emotional Intelligence is your ability to be in tune with your own emotions so you can more easily read the emotions of those around you.
Basically it’s what sets us apart from our furry friends..
There are 5 parts of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Let’s go through these one by one.
Self-awareness - How aware are you of your own moods and emotions throughout the day and their impact on those around you? Do you float around all day reacting to everyone and everything, not paying attention to how it may make someone feel? Or are you more in tune with your nature?
Self-regulation - This is all about your ability to understand that someone else’s reaction is not really a reflection of how they think of you. It’s most likely about how they interpret their own thoughts. So, self-regulation is about you being in control of yourself and understanding there is nuance to most interactions...and that you are capable of controlling your own self in these interactions.
Motivation - When you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been told “no” or you’re feeling failure, are you motivated to see this as a learning opportunity? Or does it knock you flat?
Empathy - Are you able to really empathize and not just sympathize with someone? This means placing yourself in their situation and truly understanding that person’s emotions and motivations.
Social Skills - Preeeeeeety self-explanatory. Ask yourself if you’re pretty good at picking up on sarcasm, sensing someone’s boundaries, or knowing how to react to something in public.
What does any of this have to do with sales you may be wondering?
This is why (and read carefully here): selling is about relationships.
The cornerstone of any healthy relationship is your emotional intelligence. Boom.
When you consciously and purposefully improve your emotional intelligence, you’re not only becoming a better person… you’re also upping your ability to sell.
Betcha never thought of self-improvement that way, huh?
Be In Tune With Your Customer’s Needs
Being able to sense how your customer is feeling, you probably have guessed, really starts in the previous step.
It’s up to you to be in tune with your customer. To narrow in on whether or not what you do or what you’ve got is going to be of any value to them.
This is a hard truth to swallow: not everyone needs what you’re selling.
When you genuinely care, are listening and connecting with a person, you’ll know whether or not it makes sense for them to be your customer based on their needs.
Give yourself permission to acknowledge and accept that you can’t be everything to everyone. Let go of the pressure to constantly sell for fear you’ll lose out on a lead.
Instead, focus on the person in front of you, where they’re at, and what value you can provide.
This means listening in on the details of life. It means showing a real interest in the person you’re interacting with, beyond their ability to purchase something from you.
It means remembering Taylor digs yoga, and Molly is into juicing, and Demi can’t stand how cucumbers taste. You get the idea.
Learn How to Surprise and Delight
This last point is the real secret sauce to make your new selling technique go to the next level.
The details I just mentioned? You’re remembering them because you care about your customers, and because going back to the details are the way you show you care.
Details build relationships. But service (aka actions) secures those relationships.
Let me give you an example. Taylor likes yoga, remember?
You know what else Taylor might like? You reaching out and letting her know you saw carriers for yoga mats were on sale at your local sporting goods store. When you saw the sale, you naturally thought of her because you made a purposeful, conscious effort to connect with her.
Notice how you didn’t sell her on anything. Like any friend would, you passed on some good info about a sale.
Over time, as you share in this interest with Taylor, you’ll have an opportunity to truly delight and surprise her with something related to your biz.
What will make it special is it will be useful and wanted by her, while also showcasing how you can help her.
For Taylor, it may look like a surprise yoga mat spray bottle, filled with a cleansing blend, mailed to her with a thoughtful note saying “Hey! I made extra of this and thought you might like it for your yoga mat. Enjoy!”
Taking the time to dial in on this step is so important. Why? Because in your customer’s mind, you’re not just becoming “the lady who sells those oils”... you’re also becoming their friend.
One other reason this step is important is because it goes back to the cold, hard facts. Research tells us that most sales happen between the 5th and 12th contact (Google actually tells us people need over 20 impressions before the click the buy button). It takes awhile before someone is ready to buy.
WIth that in mind, I really hope you’re understanding why relationship + details are the real deal.
So how do you put this all together?
Start small. Choose one or two people you’d like to get to know… then get to know them. Try out the steps above and just see what happens.
See how those relationships deepen, and how you learn more about yourself while learning about others, too.
I bet you’ll be surprised at how fun sales can be.