Hello, my friends.
As some of you know, I deliver quite a bit of sales training. I’ve spent the majority of my corporate career in sales, marketing, and business development. There are many lessons I have learned over the years from doing things well – and from doing things not so well and learning from the mistakes.
One of the lessons I have learned is that there are four sales in every sale…and the first is the most important of all.
Now before you tune out and think, “Well, I’m not in sales; this is not relevant to me,” let me say that you are in sales. I don’t care what it is you do. All of these principles I am about to cover are applicable to you, whether you are in an official sales profession, or you are a husband, a wife, or a teenager who wants to borrow the car on Friday night. If you want to ask someone out for a date…you are in sales.
If you are a human being, and you know other human beings, you are in sales.
Here are the four sales in every sale…in reverse order of importance and timeline.
The transaction or deal is complete.
The prospect or potential customer (or maybe it is your mom or dad or some other person) buys what you are selling. They buy your product, service, idea, or suggestion. The consummation of the transaction is what most people think of when they say you “made the sale”. But this is actually the fourth sale.
After the deal is done, the relationship really begins, becoming deeper and closer than before. You are now in a partnership together to meet your new customer’s objective.
The prospective customer “buys” the idea.
They buy the picture you are painting of a desired future state – the solution to the problem – whether they knew they had the problem or not. Maybe they were not conscious of the fact they had the problem. In any case, they buy the picture you paint of their future state that is a desired state as opposed to their current state. They like the idea you visualize. When they picture it – when they feel it, and it feels right – you have made sale number three.
The prospective customer “buys” you.
It doesn’t matter what it is you are selling – whether it is a product or a service you provide (or someone else provides) – the person who is the potential buyer buys you first.
If people don’t buy you, they are not buying anything from you. Click to Tweet
So why do people buy you?
They come to believe in your capability and your integrity. In other words, they feel they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Going just a little bit deeper, why do people feel like they know, like, and trust you?
In most cases, it is because they get a sense that you know, like, and trust them. It is a reciprocal kind of a feeling.
Consequently, you must be very, very intentional about conveying to someone you do business with that you know who they are at least enough to do business with them, that you do like them, and that you trust them. You must be able to trust them enough to be transparent and honest with them. That is the number two sale.
You “buy” YOU.
This is not about the buyer buying. It is about what you have to buy as the seller.
The first (and most important) sale in any sale is that you, the seller, have to buy you.
You have to buy yourself. You must have confidence. You have to know your own integrity, your values, your sense of purpose, and that you are made for this. You must know that you are going to walk the talk and deliver the way you promise to deliver.
Ultimately, when you are confident, there is something called “confidence transference”. Confidence transference is when the confidence you have in yourself gets transferred consciously or subconsciously to the potential buyer.
Essentially, they borrow your confidence in you, to have confidence in you.
There is also another link, if that wasn’t enough. It is the bridge between confidence and competence. Your confidence in yourself and in the message you deliver gets translated into the potential customer’s perception of your competence.
Your confidence becomes their sense of your competence.
And let me just put a fine point on it. If you don’t buy you, how can you reasonably expect anyone else to buy you?