11 Steps to Develop Dazzling Sales Skills

Policies, products and selling techniques often change, but the basic fundamentals of sales really do not.

Although many top sales producers seem to be “natural born” salespeople, I do not believe that anyone is good at sales because of the genes they inherited from their parents.

Now I will certainly agree that the environment in which a person grows up in could have a direct impact on his or her persuasive skills. However, the top producers in sales have to learn certain fundamentals that they apply to their sales careers.

Policies, products and selling techniques often change, but the basic fundamentals of sales really don’t. They’ve remained consistent for decades. James Samuel Knox wrote his classic “Salesmanship” in 1922 — nearly a century ago. Napoleon Hill first published “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937, and Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman in the World” debuted in 1968.

The fundamentals of sales that you’ll find in those three best-sellers are every bit as relevant today as they were when they first appeared.

Although there are literally hundreds of sales-related fundamentals, I have identified 11 that I want to share with security dealer and integration companies of all sizes.

1. Keep it simple — Do not overcomplicate the process.

Chances are your prospects have never used the product you are trying to sell. Using industry jargon is likely to confuse your prospects. Confused prospects will not buy. Worse, confused prospects won’t ever admit to being confused. Be sure to speak in a language that’s simple and very easy to understand. It must appear to be very easy to purchase your product and use your product.

2. Self-image — As a security consultant, you should consider yourself as a life saver.

One of the wonderful things you should enjoy about this industry is the fact that what we do as salespeople is not just protect property. We are also protecting lives. When you picture yourself as a lifesaver you will likely change the way you view every prospect you meet.

3. Know your program — Knowledge overcomes fear.

The more knowledge and information you have about your product, sales techniques and your prospect, the better you will become at selling. Study everything you can get your hands on that relates to the various products you are selling. Subscribe to some of the free sales blogs on the internet.

4. Enthusiasm — This is your belief in action.

Enthusiasm is one of the most important elements in a sales presentation. Enthusiasm is contagious. It demonstrates confidence, and it’s attractive. People naturally like being around excited, enthusiastic people.

Remember: your prospect will never be more excited about your product than you are. You will make 100 times more sales by being enthusiastic than you will ever lose by being too enthusiastic. There’s a reason someone coined the phrase, “Timid salespeople have skinny kids.”

5. Control — Someone will control of your sales presentation; either you or your prospect.

It had better be you. Always being control of your presentation is critical to the outcome of your sale. As you approach every sales opportunity, you’d better have a sound plan, too. While you have to expect interruptions during your presentation, you still should have an organized agenda of what you want to happen on each sales call.

6. P.M.A. — Positive Mental Attitude

You must believe that you can close every sales presentation. Develop a “no fear” attitude. Believe in yourself, and your ability to win the sale. If you ever do think you are not going to make the sale, you are correct. You won’t. So don’t even waste your time trying. No matter what comes up — or even erupts — during your presentation, you need to have confidence that you can overcome any objection or situation.

7. D.B.M. — Dominate Buying Motive

My definition of a sale is to “find a need and fill it. Before you can provide a solution for your prospect, you must know what the problem or need is. Alarm systems and video surveillance systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution. A sales professional will first ask a series of questions before trying to determine the best solution for the prospect.

8. Act Normal — Be yourself

Never try to present yourself as being more sophisticated than you are. One of the most interesting things that I have learned about people on sales calls is that they actually want you to relax and be comfortable. This applies to both commercial and residential sales. You should always conduct yourself in a professional manner. But never try to impress anyone by acting like someone you are not.

9. O.W.L. – Obsessed With Leads

Consider yourself to be always on duty. Whether you are at dinner with your family or enjoying a day on the golf course, you should always be looking for that next prospect. Your business cards are your best prospecting tool. Have them with you at all times.

10. Urgency – Time kills deals

I am sure you can recall several situations when a possible sale never happened because someone did not move quickly enough. The fundamental of urgency is critical to your success. When you find prospects, don’t hesitate to set appointment and get in front of them right away to deliver your dazzling sales presentation. What is important right now to a prospect might not be quite so important tomorrow.

Whenever a prospect calls your office inquiring about your services or replies to your website, it is essential that you arrange an appointment, ASAP. If a prospect calls in the morning, you should have a sales consultant visiting that prospect a few hours later. Strike while the iron is hot.

11. Maintain responsibility for the relationship — Do not leave the responsibility for the next meeting or telephone call up to your prospect.

Prospects find it very easy to put off making a buying decision by telling the sales consultant that they will call them back in a few days. You need to understand that this is usually a stall. It’s worse than an objection.

When your prospect tells you they will call you back, your response should be to immediately take charge of the relationship and remind the prospect that many times you might be difficult to reach, so you will call them back. It is paramount that you assume responsibility for the sale. Stay in control of your prospect by taking responsibility for the next move.

As in any sport, you must first learn and master the basic fundamentals, then build on those basics. Regardless of how experienced and skilled you may be, you can never forget the basics.

Stick with the fundamentals. They will not fail you.


Security industry veteran Russ Ackerman is President of Proven Sales Strategies, a consulting firm for alarm companies. He also serves as director of residential and small business sales for Atlantic Security in Jacksonville, Fla. His forthcoming book titled “Security System Sales Leadership” will be available online via Amazon and Barnes & Noble beginning in October.

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