I am a salesman. And so are you.

No, not like a car or door-to-door salesman. That type of selling isn’t what I’m talking about. Although these principles would make those types if salesmen get better reputations.

I tried to sell knives once, Cutco to be exact. They were a great product, but at a high price. I was only 19 at the time, and a salary of $2,000 a month was huge to me. So, trying to convince people to buy a $1,000 set of knives was quite a strech for me. Not to mention that I was very shy and introverted.

I went to the presentation and initial interview. I knew it wasn’t my kind of thing, but I needed a job and thought I could give it a shot. Plus, the millions of dollars I could make was inticing. I purchased the starter set of knives and went through the initial training. I had just move to the area and didn’t really know anyone yet, so I didn’t really have any contacts that I could start with. The venture only lasted a couple weeks with no sales. The plus side is that I had a great set of knives now (they are my favorite to use, and I’d buy more if I had the money).

In the 8th chapter of EntreLeadership, Dave Ramsey describes the death of a salesman. He presents a better, effective (not pushy or aggressive) approach to sales. He outlines four simple steps that we all go through when making a purchase.

You’re not in sales? That’s okay. These principles apply to other areas of life as well. And, even if you don’t think so, you are in sales (just ask Dave).

The four steps are:

1. Qualification – Make sure the person you are selling to is qualified to make the purchase. It may be in terms of money, time, a need or want, or having the authority to make a decision.

2. Rapport – It is HUGE to make sure that you have the person’s trust. Would you buy feom someone you didn’t trust?

3. Education/Information – This is probably my favorite part. You share everything you know about the product or service. You work on educating them. This will help lead them to comfortably make a decision to buy.

4. Close – This is when you wrap it up and help them finally purchase. I’m a high “C” so this is a little more difficult for me. I tend to stay on point 3. Time to move to the close!

I’m working on these steps in my business so I can feel more comfortable myself as I act as a salesman. It’s also helping me to understand the buying/selling process more.

Questions: How are you at selling? Do you have any tips?