I will talk about skills for specific parts of a sales process in a later chapter. In this chapter I am concerned that you become more self aware; look at yourself from the customer’s perspective, from outside the goldfish bowl. How do you, your appearance and behaviours impact the customer and affect your sales success?
Selling is a basic human skill. In the end there is only you, the customer, and the words and behaviours that you use to communicate with one another. Selling is communication with another human being when you have a particular outcome that you want to achieve.
Whether you are selling a multi-million dollar deal, or trying to persuade a friend to go to a particular restaurant, many of the skills are the same. Clearly the amount of preparation and the amount of effort appropriate to achieve the outcome is different.
Assuming that there is only you, and another human being, and an outcome, it is worthwhile spending some time thinking about “you” and to prepare you for the communication process, which is selling.
Elements in How “You” Communicate
Research shows that only a relatively small proportion of what you communicate is communicated by the words you use. The majority of what people will remember is impressionistic, and based upon appearance and non-verbal behaviours. I am not a fan of the many “body language” and “persuasion” techniques that can be found in bookshops at airports, but there are a few issues that are a combination of common sense and best practice that I believe you should think through. After all you are the representative of the company and its products when you are in front of a potential customer and you should look at yourself through his eyes.