No matter how bad the economy may appear to be, or how poor your perception about the world may be, there are always people with a need to buy and others with goods and services to sell to meet those needs. Take a look around the room you are sitting in right now, how many things have you purchased over the past year to meet your various needs, your need for comfort, shelter or sustenance, etc.

Each item you see around you is a war trophy, which represents an individuals or a company’s victory. They managed to influence your buying decision, through clever marketing or selling techniques, to choose their product or service over anyone else’s. They successfully influenced you to part with your hard earned cash to purchase their product or service.
How Did They Win the Battle and Get their Product or Service into your Hands?

The simple answer to this very complex issue is that they managed to persuade you to choose their product or service, by using some form of influence, to show you that what they have to offer meets or exceeds your needs or expectations. The influence you are exposed to, when making purchase decisions is not always positive though. Many sales people are driven by short term interest and use unscrupulous methods to influence your buying decisions.
Manipulation vs. Positive Influence

Be very careful to know the difference between positive influence, where you have the customers best interests at heart and you are always looking to build long term mutually beneficial relationships with them and manipulation, where you are looking for any method no matter how unscrupulous, which will get people to buy what you have to sell, irrespective of their needs. Don’t become like the legions of influence agents who operate unscrupulously all around you. They do not have their customer’s best interests at heart and are only inward looking, with expectations of making the sale at any cost. They look to coerce and manipulate people into buying their product or service at any cost.

Yes in the short term you can get people to buy your product or service, using devious methods of manipulation or coercion, but do not expect this to be a very effective tool, for building long term mutually beneficial relationships, with people who will buy your product or service in the long term. It is a very short sighted and ineffective approach to sales.

These are the sales people you see constantly looking for new prospects to dupe and take advantage of; they are always on the prowl, looking for new people to sell to. They never retain customers and never get into an effective sales flow, where they build up loyal repeat customers, who come back over and over again to make repeat purchases, who in fact, feel so good about their buying experience, that they actually refer new prospects to you all the time.

Action Idea: Take a really in-depth look at your approach to selling. Do you honestly have your customers and prospects best interests at heart or are you sitting in every meeting, with your feet braced against the desk looking to manipulate them into buying your product or service at any cost. When you can honestly say that you have their best interests at heart and you are there for the long haul, with a deep rooted desire to build long term mutually beneficial relationships with people, who you want to support and offer the best value proposition, which will completely satisfy their needs. Only then will you become really successful at sales and positive influence.
Carefully Select your Customers and Prospects

I know this must sound really obvious, but it is impossible to build mutually beneficial sales relationships with clients and prospects, who do not really need or want, what you have to sell. These are the customers, who you will have to manipulate into seeing the value proposition of your product or service.

Action Idea: Before you can even start selling anything, you must be absolutely clear on what it is you actually sell. Do you think people building a dam, buy a front loader or do you think they are buying a means of making a hole in the ground? What do you think someone who goes into a hardware store to buy a masonry drill bit wants? They want a hole in wall. How about someone who buys sales or time management training, what do they want. They want improved sales results or for their team to utilise their available time far more effectively.
What do you Really Sell?

Take a really hard look at your product or service and uncover what you product or service can and will do for your prospects and clients. What is your value proposition? Armed with this information you can now start 2013 off by discovering who the exact people and businesses are in your market that has needs, which your product can satisfy. These are the people who you can support, develop mutually beneficial relationships with and offer a value proposition, which will completely satisfy their needs. They will in fact eventually become raving fans, who will buy from you in the long term and who will refer other people and businesses, with similar needs to you too.

If you want to finally make 2013 your year for sales excellence, start the year off by no longer seeing a world, which offers you seven billion possible customers. Know exactly what you sell, identify the 50 most likely customers and prospects, who need exactly what you have to sell. Focus your energy and time on only these magnificent 50 and this will be your best sales year ever. You will have your war trophies strewn throughout all 50 of these ideal customers’ lives and businesses.
Author: Andrew Horton Sales Training

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Horton is one of South Africa's top sales training experts. He will support, uplift and inspire sales professionals to explore the limits of their potential and awaken the sales giants, which resides within all of them. His sales training presentation is aimed at inspiring sales professionals, helping them to become re-energised and eager to achieve their sales targets. The sales tools and powerful tried and tested practical sales techniques, they will be introduced to during his presentation, will help any sales professional to immediately up their game and to become a real sales giant, within their markets. Visit my website at