How to sell a product or an idea to a customer

The adage, ‘nothing happens till someone sells something’ is just as relevant today as it ever was. Inevitably, there will be times when you’ll have to encourage or persuade a customer to believe in you and your views and accept or buy-in to your ideas. Given the plethora of material available telling you the best ways to sell, you could be left feeling confused about the best approach to adopt and your confidence level may be affected accordingly. So here are some simple rules that will help you to improve your selling skills when your next faced with this challenge.

1. Think tabula rasa.

The 17th century philosopher John Locke believed that man is born with a clean slate – a tabula rasa – so what man comes to think is imposed on him by others. Embrace Locke’s philosophy by assuming that customers have limited or no knowledge of the idea or product you’re bringing to their attention.

2. Know what you want—exactly.

Be clear about the message you’re communicating and the outcome you desire. You can’t present a vague fuzzy shadow of an idea and then grow angry when customers fail to respond in the manner you had hoped for. Pretest your message for clarity: write your pitch down. If you can’t, the idea isn’t a fully developed one. The very act of finding the appropriate words with which to express an idea compels you to think it through thoroughly.

3. Consider customer’s needs.

Ensure that what you’re offering helps to satisfy your customers’ needs, they can afford to pay for it, and you have a too-good-to-refuse offer.

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