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Sell Yourself, Sell Anything: My Fundamental Approach for Sales Success

By Keith Orlean

Discover the key qualities of successful salespeople and how they prioritize building connections, providing value, and earning trust with customers. Learn how to create positive customer experiences and build lasting relationships for business success.

Successful salespeople understand that selling isn't just about having a great product or service to offer, it's also about building connections with customers that make them feel valued and appreciated. This approach isn't just limited to business-to-business sales, it can also be applied when selling to consumers.


By focusing on building relationships and providing value, salespeople can increase their chances of success when selling to any audience. In my career this strategy has led to increased customer loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals over time. Ultimately, by adopting a customer-focused approach to sales, both businesses and individual salespeople can achieve greater success and build lasting relationships with their customers.


Great salespeople take a consultative approach to their selling and look to identify the needs before taking the next steps in the sales process. They take this same approach in customer service, as service issues can turn into sales opportunities just by the willingness to listen, show care and not reflexively blame the customer.


When asked my thoughts on what's the secret to success in sales, my answer has always been the same. Success in sales begins with selling yourself. To understand what this means, think of yourself as the product. Just like any product or service, you have certain unique attributes that set you apart from others. By identifying your personal attributes, you can leverage them to connect with potential buyers and build trust.


In addition, being likable is critical. When you make a customer feel comfortable and at ease, they are more likely to trust your recommendations and make a purchase. Earning trust can also lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, which is the greatest endorsement for how pleased the customer was with their experience. Other key attributes that can help you succeed in sales include being relatable, funny, smart, knowledgeable, and prepared. Too often I have observed salespeople who do not possess even the most fundamental human characteristics required to deliver a good customer experience.


In today's digital world, it's more important than ever to show your character and personal attributes in your marketing messages. While this can be challenging, great salespeople take the time to evolve and use social media to drive business and build relationships with customers. This might mean in addition to your social interactions you pick up the phone for a conversation, schedule a video conference, or meet in person when possible. By taking the time to connect with customers in meaningful ways, salespeople can demonstrate their commitment to their customers and build trust over time.


As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. This is especially true in sales, where first impressions can make or break a potential sale. That's why it's essential to approach every customer interaction with the goal of establishing a connection and building a relationship.


By taking the time to understand each customer's unique needs and preferences, and adapting your approach accordingly, you can build trust, establish credibility, and ultimately drive more sales. Remember, successful salespeople are not just focused on selling a product or service; they are focused on creating a positive customer experience that leads to long-term relationships and repeat business.


While having a strong set of personal attributes is important, it's also important to recognize that not every customer will buy from you, no matter how likable or knowledgeable you are. However, failing to connect with customers on a personal level can result in missed opportunities, referrals and lost income.

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