Why You Suck at Selling Yourself
Do you suck at selling yourself, your ideas, or your services?
If you suck at sales, it’s usually because of one of two reasons. You either haven’t had sales training or don’t know how to build trust and rapport and build relationships.
It’s almost impossible to achieve your goals without the help of others. You need support: either friends, family, advisors, a life coach, business coach, or mentor. This means forming good relationships.
People do not buy from people they don’t like!
When we talk about buying, we aren’t just talking about products or services; it’s also about people buying into your ideas. You can’t sell yourself if people don’t like you. Therefore your human relations skills are just about the most important skills you can ever acquire to selling yourself.
Building trust and rapport is the single most important concept in sales. Unless you can build trust and rapport with a sales prospect, you won’t succeed before ever trying to sell your irresistible offer.
Selling Anything Starts With Trust and Rapport
Have you ever had that experience when you walked into a store to buy something, and you walked away because you couldn’t stand the salesperson? You say to yourself – “I don’t care how much I want that widget, I am never going back to that store, and I am certainly not going to buy from them.”
Even if you have never completed any form of sales training, if you have fantastic communication skills and can build trust and rapport, you can still succeed. If a person has undergone sales training, but they have a terrible communication style, they will fail to close the sale.
Unless you can develop fantastic communication skills, you are unlikely to sell yourself, your ideas, your products, or your services with any level of success.
The Heart of Sales
Excellent communication skills are at the heart of successfully selling yourself and your ideas. Selling skills are not only for salespeople; they are for everyone.
You sell yourself every day.
You sell yourself to go on a date. You sell yourself in a job interview. You sell yourself to get a promotion or a raise. You sell yourself at work all the time to get corporation from others to do your job well. You sell yourself to the bank to get a loan. You sell yourself as a parent to gain cooperation from your children. And you sell yourself to your spouse for the purchase you want to make, not because you need it, but because you want it.
What underpins the ability to sell yourself, your ideas, products, and services with success are nine simple principles around for over 100 years.
If you suck at sales, suck at selling your ideas to others, then this is what is going to make all the difference.
Learning the human relation principles as taught in the Dale Carnegie Course.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 and was a pioneer in self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. He is the author of a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” first published in 1936 and remains on the bestseller list even today. The book has sold over 30 million copies making it one of the best-selling books of all time.
Dale Carnegie was also a pioneer in corporate training. He developed the famous Dale Carnegie Course based on effective communications and human relations. This course has transformed the careers of over nine million people graduates (including me).
Famous graduates include Warren Buffet, Mary Kay Ash, and Lyndon Johnson.
It is people that make a business thrive. Effective human relations skills are what makes people thrive. If people can’t communicate well in the workplace, then the company will struggle. Sales will struggle, and you will struggle.
Dale Carnegies’ teaching and the first nine human relations principles are the best skills you can ever learn. Nail these skills, and you will succeed personally, professionally, in sales, and in business.
These are the first nine principles.
9 Principles for Selling Yourself
Don’t Criticize, Condemn and Complain
Human nature tells us we don’t like to admit fault if we are wrong. It’s much easier to blame others and criticize, condemn and complain. When people are constantly criticized and humiliated, they become defensive and resentful. Nobody likes to be around negative people who constantly criticize, condemn, and complain.
Imagine you are a customer and met a salesperson or a new work colleague, and all they did was criticize, condemn and complain. Would you want to trust your business with them? Would you like to work with them? What if this was your boss? Would you stay with the company?
Dale Carnegie’s first rule in developing excellent human relations is not to criticize, condemn or complain.
If people don’t buy from people they don’t like (even ideas), it’s essential to build trust and confidence when meeting them. Adopt a positive attitude and be a person others want to get to know before you start selling yourself.
Show Sincere and Honest Appreciation
The second of Carnegie’s human relations principles is to show sincere and honest appreciation.
How many people out there forget to say thank you, especially if you’re the boss. People don’t always value what they earn, but they do value how they are treated.
The keywords here are sincere and honest. This is an effective way to connect with others as everyone likes to feel appreciated. Thank a sales prospect for their time. Thank a colleague for their help. Thank them for sharing their insights and business ideas with you.
Arouse in Others an Eager Want
A big rookie mistake when meeting a sales prospect is to do a lot of ‘telling or selling.’ No, no, no!
Your primary objective is to find out if the prospective buyer has a need first. Without a need, they won’t be interested in what you have to tell or sell.
The problem with trying to sell a product, a service, your ideas too quickly, it becomes all about you. Others won’t be interested in what you have to say unless you can arouse in them an eager want. To do this, you must find out more about them and their situation. If it’s a work colleague, get to know what they need and how you can help.
When dealing with a sales prospect, you want to uncover if they have any problems or opportunities your solution could resolve (buyer needs). Using your amazing rapport-building skills, only then can your effective questioning techniques uncover their needs. This is the process you get to arouse in them an eager want. The third Dale Carnegie’s human relations principles you need to master.
Become Genuinely Interested in Other People
No one is interested in you until they know how much you are interested in them.
The keyword in Carnegie’s fourth principle is to be genuine. People can tell a phony a mile off. They don’t look you in the eye. They look around the room when talking to you. They pretend to listen when you speak and can’t wait to “tell” you what’s on their mind.
When you become genuinely interested in a sales prospect, then you start to build rapport and find things in common. If the prospect senses you are not only genuinely interested in them, you are genuinely interested in helping them succeed; you are far more likely to close the sale.
When you become genuinely interested in a colleague or your boss, then they will warm to you, and you will form a connection. This is incredibly important if you need their cooperation.
I know this is obvious, but smile.
A simple thing like a smile can instantly relax others and make you appear friendly and approachable. Remember, people buy from people they like. No one will want to come near you if you look like you just swallowed a frog.
Smiling doesn’t come naturally to some people. If you are smile challenged, then this is definitely something you need to work on. Smiling sincerely is more than just smiling with your lips; a genuine smile also comes from your eyes. Prospective customers can not only see that difference, but they can also feel the difference, and so can your colleagues and boss.
Remember a Person’s Name
Dale Carnegie wrote – “remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” He didn’t say the most beautiful sound; he said the most important sound. Make an effort to remember people’s names which is the sixth of Dale Carnegie’s human relations principles.
Imagine you met someone once and a month later you met them in the street, and they remembered your name. It gives you an instant boost when someone takes the time to remember who you are. Wouldn’t you want to get to know that person better? It’s because they seemed genuinely interested in who you are, enough to remember your name. Imagine how this would make a prospective customer feel.
Be a Good Listener
The seventh principle is to be a good listener and encourage people to talk about themselves. Effective listening means to listen to understand, not listening to respond. There is a big difference, and you can certainly tell if people are listening to respond. They can’t wait to jump in on the conversation and often butt in before you have finished talking. Not you, of course (smile).
Listening to understand is not about remaining silent. It’s about engaging in the conversation by reflecting back on what has just been said, paraphrasing for understanding.
Effective listening is also using your body language to let others know you are listening. It could be as simple as nodding your head, making good eye contact, or even keeping the conversation going with “that’s interesting, tell me more” or uttering a simple “ah huh.”
As you listen to a sales prospect, not only will they will give you clues as to what their problems or opportunities are, this will continue to build trust and rapport.
Talk in Terms of the Other Person’s Interest
Most people are interested in themselves, not you. When you talk in terms of the others person’s interest, you will gain rapport quickly and establish a good connection.
Effective selling is very much about taking the focus away from you and onto the prospective customer. Developing effective questioning skills keeps the prospect talking. The more they talk – the more they like you! This is why the eighth Dale Carnegie principle is so effective in developing excellent relationships with sales prospects.
Make the Other Person Seem Important
The ninth human relation skill that Dale Carnegie teaches is to make the other person feel important and do it sincerely. The heart of this principle is showing respect for others.
This is where you get to use all the previous eight principles and form first relationships. Relationships that can help you close a sale, get a promotion, or land the job of your dreams.
When you listen intently to someone else, use their name, and talk about their interests, you make them feel important. Prospective customers react positively when shown respect and treated with dignity. Work colleagues begin to appreciate what you have to say and listen to your ideas.
Strengthening Interpersonal Relationships
Using all of these nine principles when appropriate not only strengthens interpersonal relationships but also puts you in a position to influence others.
Think of using these principles to form solid bonds and connect with others. If you can do this, you will never suck at sales or selling your ideas ever again.
Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life. As a former Dale Carnegie Coach and facilitator, I promise learning these skills will change your life.
Learning to lead, learning to run a business is no easy task. It takes time and education to transform yourself into the leader you want to be. It all starts with learning how to hire and manage people. It is your communication and people skills that separate the wheat from the chaff.
To find out how you stack up as a leader. You never know what others see that you don’t see yourself. This kind of feedback is not always negative, perhaps you have great attributes and talents you weren’t even aware of.
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