Plan Future Business Development

7 Rules for Being a Professional Sales Person

Rule #1-Above All, Do No Harm

A professional salesperson is ethical above all. This means she will not sell her products or services to someone unless they need or want it. If your product or service is worthwhile, there is no lack of potential customers for it. So find someone who can use what you have, rather than push somebody who has no need into buying it.

A professional will do everything possible to persuade someone who needs or wants her product or service, but if your prospect neither needs nor wants what you have to offer, walk away. Don't sell anything to anybody. In other words, if what your prospect needs or wants is different from what you are selling, admit it and let your prospect find someone else who can satisfy his needs.

Rule #2-There Are Only Two Buying Motives

People make purchases for these two reasons, and only these two reasons. They want to gain something they believe is valuable that your product or service will provide, or they want to avoid pain or loss that they might otherwise experience.

What you are selling must either help them gain what they want or protect them from experiencing the pain they want to avoid. Realize this simple but basic truth, and your process will become much more efficient and effective.

Rule #3-Decisions Are Made Emotionally and Justified Rationally

All humans have a brain with two sections or hemispheres: right and left. The right brain deals with emotions while the left brain deals with logic. The right hemisphere is associative; the left is linear.

So when I say the word rose to you, the right brain may bring to your mind the scent of a rose, or you may hear the word nose because it rhymes with rose. Your left brain will give you a picture of a rose.

Virtually, every decision is based on an emotional right-brain desire that expects to be fulfilled. That decision is passed to the rational left brain for approval.

Rule #4-Find Out What the Significance Is of This Purchase

The essence of selling is to first find out exactly what the person wants that will make him happy if he obtains it. Another way of looking at this is your prospect's underlying standard or principal reason for being happy with his new purchase. We call this his core motivation. It usually requires some probing to find out exactly what it is for every individual.

For example, a prospect may tell his broker he wants an investment that will give him 10 percent return, but deeper probing will reveal the prospect really wants a safe, secure amount that will allow him to retire without worrying about loss.

Rule #5-Relate to Your Prospect's Core Motivation

Once you know what your prospect really wants or expects to gain from his purchase or hopes to avoid, you then relate to him how your product or service will give him what he wants. This is true whether he's buying light bulbs or life insurance.

Once you understand his individual motives of more gain or less pain, you need to focus on either one, not both. You relate how what you are selling will provide what the person hopes to specifically gain or will help avoid a future pain.

Rule #6-Repeat Your Value

Like the title of Jacqueline Susann's novel, "Once Is Not Enough," people cannot easily focus on one thing, especially today. There are too many distractions, too much information, too many concerns.

Do not be afraid to repeat what makes your product or service the right choice to meet your prospect's specific gain or pain motivation. It's also a good idea to find different words to relay the same thoughts and feelings. This way, you avoid appearing repetitious.

Rule #7-Empathize with Your Prospect

In order to fully understand what your prospect wants as well as what he doesn't want or fears, you need to understand him intellectually as well as relate to him emotionally. This is empathy.