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Salesmanship. . .

. . .is about connecting with your audience on a level that they can understand and feel good about.

First of all, there are 2 general types of salespeople:

1. The fast-talker, won't-let-you-get-a-word-in-edgewise, annoyingly in-your-face person that you end up buying something from just to get him/her to go away. They know all the tricks and ways to word things in order to get you to say "yes". This type of salesperson will always be successful, in the short term.

2. The listener. Knows the right questions to ask in order to find out what you really want. Gets you excited by talking about things that interest you. Creates a type of bonding between business people that lasts through time and pays off 10 fold in the long run.

The idea:

People love to talk about themselves! Think about it; if someone were to ask you what kind of movies you like, you would think about it for a second, weigh the options, and tell them exactly what kind of movies you like. Here is someone who actually wants to know something about you and your opinions, how exciting! When you get someone talking about themselves and things that they like, you have their undivided attention.

When you are actively listening to someone, they can tell if you are being honest about it. When your body language says, "Wow, really? How interesting," the other person truly enjoys the conversation and will begin to like you as well.

When you are just going through the motions and really don't care about what the other person is saying, you body language says, "Hmmmm, what's that over there," or "I'm not listening, but I am staring at you intensely," you will make the other person self conscious and they will instictively try to avoid any future conversations with you.

The key to being a good salesperson is to be honest and open, know the right questions to ask and believe in what you are selling, whether it is car stereos, raffle tickets or yourself at an interview. Lead the conversation with properly placed questions. Here's an example:

Tracy works at a clothing store on a salary commision. When you walk through the door, she walks up and says, "Is there anything I can help you find today?" You answer, "No, thank you," even though you are obviously in the store looking for 'something', whether that something is a new self image, a replacement for a ripped shirt or to get a look at the latest styles.

Doug works at the same store and sees you walk in. He strolls up and says, "Hey, I love those shoes. Are they new?" You say, "No, they're not new, but thank you." Doug then says, "Hey, would you like to see some new belts that just came in? They are very cool." You then get the feeling that he can see how obvious your great sense of style is. Now he wants to let you in on something new and trendy that the stylish few are sure to be wearing soon. You say, "Sure."

This is not a trick, because Doug actually liked the customer's shoes. If he was to say the same thing about a ragged old pair of sneakers, the customer would instantly sense the flattery and be turned off to any further interaction with him.

Salesmanship is more about relationships than it is about sales. Sell yourself first, not only will you have a much better chance of achieving your goals, but you will leave a lasting impression that will bring them back for more.

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