What is your core sales principle?  The following core sales principles are powerful and may sound a bit radical to business owners who are used to traditional selling methods. They are not for everyone. If you want to make a quick buck, these principles will not do it for you. On the other hand, if you want to build long-term relationships, clients for life, and if you want to really love your business, you are about to learn a way to sell and succeed.

 

Core Sales Principle #1:  

No Pressure Will Be Exerted By Either Party

In the traditional sales relationship between the buyer and the seller there is a constant dance going on. As the salesperson advances their cause and gets closer to the sale, the buyer instinctively backs away. It becomes sort of a business waltz as one person makes a step forward and the other takes a step back. There are also times when the buyer puts pressure on the seller. Have you ever had a prospect want to know the price before they find out about the benefits or value you provide? If you have, you’ve felt pressure.

Regardless of how subtle or overt it is, pressure is not good for any relationship. To diffuse sales pressure, it is important that both parties agree not to exert any.

core sales principle

Core Sales Principle #2:  

Attracting Sales Is A Mindset–Not A Technique

Attracting sales is a way of conducting yourself with integrity. It is a mindset or approach. It is not about using techniques to “trick” the buyer. How do you want to conduct yourself when interacting with buyers? It shouldn’t be used as a way to manipulate the sales process. I seem to do much better selling when my motives are sincere. You can be your authentic self and make more money in the process! Imagine that.

 

Core Sales Principle #3:  

No Assumptions Are Made

As the seller, you usually start the sales process by making the assumption that the buyer needs what you have to offer. It is not surprising when you think about it. You believe in your product or service, you see the value, and you are confident that others will want it too if they understood what you have to offer. All you have to do is educate or persuade the buyer and they will see the benefits of your offer, right? Your enthusiasm is great, but isn’t that being a bit presumptuous?

The reality is that you often do not know what the buyer has done in the past or the details of their specific needs and wants. You assume that because they fit your target market, they should want what you have. They may or may not need what you are offering. You know what they say about people who assume. You just cannot afford to assume.

 

Core Sales Principle #4:  

The Goal Is To Get To The Truth

The goal is not to make the sale. Oh, I can just hear you saying “I don’t get paid if I don’t bring in business.” While that may be true, the goal is to get to the truth. And the truth may be that your product is not the best fit for the buyer’s needs or that they do not have the budget to make it work.

When your goal is to get to the truth, you eliminate false objections and stalls. If there is a good fit, there still may be obstacles to overcome, but now you and the buyer are tackling the obstacles together and coming up with possible solutions.

 

Core Sales Principle #5:  

Sales Is a Relationship-Driven Process

Given choices, people buy from other people because they like them and trust them; so everything must be done to protect the integrity of the relationship. Building and nurturing a relationship is an ongoing and dynamic process. There should be a genuine concern and understanding of where the other person is coming from.

Since the goal in selling is to get to the truth, there are no games or hidden agendas. Relationships are able to flourish because the communication process has been freed of any lies, half-truths or other garbage.

highly-unproductive

Core Sales Principle #6:  

The Right Fit Must Exist

The fit between a buyer and a seller should be like a hand in a glove. It should be natural and comfortable. The right fit has to happen at three different levels:

  1. The first level is the personal level. Is there a good chemistry between the buyer and seller? You don’t have to become best friends, but there has to be mutual trust and respect for one another.
  2. Second, there has to be a good fit. Do you share similar values and approaches?
  3. Third, are the wants of the buyer and seller properly matched?

If the right fit does not exist at any of the three levels, either party must feel comfortable walking away. In fact, you’ll damage the relationship more in the long-term if you don’t walk away when the fit isn’t right. Testing for fit should be a mutual evaluation process. Unlike other sales approaches, it is just as important, if not more so, that the seller is willing to walk away from the table. Be honest. Haven’t there been times when you really wanted to, but were afraid to lose the sale? I'll be the first to raise my hand.

 

Core Sales Principle #7:  

There Are Only Peer-To-Peer Relationships

In a traditional selling approach, each party is controlling the other. Buyers often put the seller in “Vendorville.” Vendorville is where you become just another salespeople responding to the demands of your clients. You will know if the buyer is putting you in Vendorville because you will be in a subordinate position. The buyer says “Jump!” and you respond, “How high?” Or a more likely scenario is the buyer says, “Lower your price if you want the business.” And you say, “How much?”

In other cases, the seller is manipulating the buyer to act and respond in a certain manner. While it may be under the guise of helping the buyer, the seller often has ulterior or hidden motives.  On the other hand, in a peer-to-peer relationship, the buyer and seller come together as equals. Neither one is bullying or taking advantage of the other. There is a mutual respect and understanding, regardless of titles and positions. The seller becomes a valued consultant and trusted adviser for the buyer.

 

Core Sales Principle #8:  

You Are Creating A Chase-Free Process

In traditional selling, the seller is usually chasing down the buyer to make a decision or move forward in the sales process. A common scenario is that after a great first meeting, the seller becomes perplexed and frustrated when the buyer doesn’t return calls or uses other stall tactics.

In attraction selling, the relationship is elevated and strengthened to eliminate the “chasing” that typically occurs by the seller. Because the level of mutual respect and trust has been heightened with in attraction factor, the buyer values the seller’s time and commitment and treats her professionally. Imagine a world in which there were no unreturned phone calls, no disappearing buyers or no-show appointments.

 

Core Sales Principle #9:  

You Are Developing Customers for Life

This approach leads to mutually satisfying relationships that can last indefinitely. The power here is that everything is based upon the truth and having the right fit, so the relationship is highly valued and both parties want to strengthen it. As a respected partner, your buyer will become an ardent cheerleader and supporter for you and your company and vice versa.

If there are issues, the buyer and seller address them cooperatively so agreeable solutions can be reached. Since both parties benefit from the relationship, it is in the best interests of everyone to nurture it. Once you have developed enough of the right customers, you will never have to chase new ones again! Others will be lining up to do business with you.

 

Core Sales Principle #10:  

The Way You Do Business Impacts Your Life

When you remove the pressure, you remove stress. In addition, you focus your energies in relationships where your impact is optimized. Instead of having 50 or 100 clients who are somewhat satisfied you, now have stronger and more profitable relationships with fewer buyers because of the fit and the value.

It’s the old 80/20 rule. You focus your time and energies on the 20 percent of buyers that can give you 80 percent of your business. By doing this, you have more time to devote to your own personal development and happiness.

Yes, I just said you can have more income, less stress and more free time. Isn’t that why you started your own business in the first place?

 

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core sales principle

About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.

Comments

  1. Rachel, this is just brilliant. It’s what I’ve learned running my own business for over twenty years, and you put it so very well. And all of these play together! With what I do–freelance book editing–I spend a lot of time (years, often) with my clients. If we both don’t entirely understand the process and fees, if one of us feels pressured, if we aren’t a good fit, etc., it’s a disaster for both of us.
    I recently turned down two huge projects (translation–lots of money) because I felt pressured. And I’ve found when I feel that way up front, our marriage of sorts is not a pretty one.
    Just love the way you tie all of this together!
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…Have You Ever Had A Character Steal Your Heart?My Profile

  2. My experience has been that sales is without a doubt relationship based. Since I started doing WordPress Support about 6 weeks ago, my clients first came from people who had seen me around. Then, they started coming from referrals. However, beyond that they trust me because of the tutorials that i put out on a regular basis.
    Renee groskreutz recently posted…Stop Agonizing Over The Rules And Try SomethingMy Profile

  3. Rachel.

    A great post and loved the way you you put in the pictures . A great job with a lot of good content to learn from ..

    Lori English

  4. These are all terrific points. Every single one of them is key to a successful business relationship.

  5. Rachel, these are such terrific guidelines for sales and they apply to other types of relationships as well. I especially like that it’s a mindset, not a technique. Really good stuff here!

  6. These Core Principles are spot-on. I particularly like the one about not assuming. I have done this in the past.. assuming the client wants my product for a specific reason.. when in fact their motives and needs were entirely different. Open communication and getting at the truth are paramount in the sales process. Thanks for this great post.

  7. Great sales tips! I love that you mentioned “The Goal Is To Get To The Truth”. There are times when the potential client needs a service that I don’t offer. So, I give them a resource to find another professional like a member association in that industry. I prefer to do this so the client knows I want to help and maybe they will think of me in the future for another project.

  8. This is brilliant, Rachel! And I agree completely with each of your points. I also believe everything we do in life is ‘selling’, as all of life is about building relationships. One of my biggest challenges is not sounding too over eager, (which I am when it comes to people living their healthiest self), and letting them choose the right time for themselves to take whatever action works for them. Personally I always gravitate to people to I resonate with and these are the people I would choose to work with. It can be a delicate balance and also an undying trust in the process. Just today I had one of my best friends become a preferred customer, after almost two years of sharing information with her when it was appropriate. The key is to let people decide when and who is the right fit for them. Great post!!
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Why Do We Need Antioxidants Anyway?My Profile

    • You make a great point Beverley.  I think about the process as I am always planting seeds.  It could take a while for the havest (or not)–such as with your best friend who is now your customer.

  9. These are great points, particularly for those selling a service where the relationship between seller and buyer is ongoing. I think approaching the sale with the right mindset is vital. I have a friend who is having ethical issues as he listens to his fellow salespeople use all the techniques they can think of to get the sale, regardless of whether the product is a match for the customer.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO MAKE A COLLAGE TO TEACH ABOUT A BUTTERFLY’S TRANSFORMATIONMy Profile

  10. All are super principles… and relationships and providing value (answer pains) and the most valuable ones to me.. thanks for the reminders.

  11. Does a woman really need another necklace? So the sale must be about other factors. I fell in love with social marketing because I appreciate creating relationships. I’ve had to adjust my mindset as to the assumptions we make why someone chooses this design over that one. Why they see many they love but don’t become a customer. We specialize in one-of-a-kind and the right one must appeal, then other factors apply. Unique post about selling points.

  12. All excellent principles! All based on respect and building relationships.. Thank you 🙂

  13. Wow Rachel these are fantastic tips. As someone who has started a new service based business, I needed to read this.

  14. Awesome “core” sales principles, Rachel!! These are all right on and the only way to be in network marketing 🙂 Thank you for sharing your valuable insights!!

  15. Great post! I am not a sales person to say the least, but I love building relationships. AND I genuinely care about clients. Sounds like I am on the right track. 🙂

  16. My favorite is number 9. I have found if you focus that, then the others just become essential. Love my repeat customers1

  17. If I really think about my life and careers, I’ve been a salesperson almost all of my life. But, I think of the label, “salesperson” and I just don’t like it! The basic perception is that the person is pushy, selfish, and will do anything to achieve the sale! This definitely does not describe me or my style!

    As a former realtor, I found success by reminding myself that no matter what my Broker may think, I was providing a true service to buyers and sellers. I promoted me and my services, not my brokerage! This really worked very well for me! “Building and nurturing a relationship” is what it was all about for me.

    One thing that I might add, you need to know where in the process your particular buyer is. You have to understand the needs of your buyers from A to Z and be able to recognize what they want at the particular time they enter your sales funnel. That is key, too!

    Nice post Rachel!

    Have a great weekend.
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted…Storytelling Can Create Compelling Blog Posts.My Profile

  18. Excellent article. I have many years of sales experience but never cosidered myself as a sales person. I have wallked away from the table many times and feel so much better for it. If only all people in a sales position took the approach you suggested.

  19. Thank you Rachel, I’m about to promote a product that I use all the time. I now realize that in my enthusiasm I mustn’t just talk of the reasons I use it, and overly extol it’s virtues. Others may prefer different aspects to me and I must think about those. Beauty (and value) is in the eye of the beholder.
    Sue Bride recently posted…Free ebook – The Whys & Hows of Business Success with InstagramMy Profile

  20. Hi Rachel,
    Love your principles, it’s always about the relationship and the trust.
    Before anything we are in business of serving.

  21. These are terrific tips…or core principles. I was just talking to someone today about “push” marketing and how dreadful it is…for the seller and the prospective buyer. I particularly love the notions of the right fit, getting to the truth and peer-to-peer. Not everyone is our customer and if we are honorable business people, we will (a) say that and (b) help the other person find the right fit, if we can.

  22. For me the relationship developed is the key to my sales. I want to know my coaching clients and connect with them or it is not fun for me. No manipulation, just a good old relationship where we both get something out of it. Yes, I want more time for my own things and not just work all the time.

  23. This should be a wake-up call for those who are trying to do sales the old way. As consumers, we have many choices. I recently went to a major appliance store to replace my washer. I knew what I wanted when I went in and told the salesperson so. He took me directly to the model that met my needs. But, I loved watching him test me as he compared it to other higher priced features. When he saw, I was sticking by my decision, he steered the conversation back to my first choice. and highlighted all the value I would be getting. He made an easy sale, and I got what I wanted. I felt my needs were respected – no pressure and no stress. Would I go back to him again? Definitely.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Security Messages Your Brain IgnoresMy Profile

  24. Those are ten awesome core sales principles Rachel!

    And each and every one, if fully and consistently implemented,
    can definitely have a positive impact on our lives in general and
    business lives in particular!

    Thank you so much for sharing them! And while I can definitely see the value
    in implementing all ten! The ones that really stand out for me personally, are #’ s 2,4,
    6 & 9! thanks so much sharing them! You did an excellent job!
    Mark recently posted…Email Marketing: Makes Even More Sense When The Recession Hits!My Profile