I first read about the importance about the importance of sales in entrepreneurship after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s classic book — Rich Dad Poor Dad.
He described it as the number one skill of an entrepreneur, and I found this to be very true.
Learning sales was a real challenge for me as I was naturally an introvert. The road was tough to say the least.
Door to door – full commission sales (my first job), is still the hardest job I have ever done.
But I learnt a lot. I learnt things like how to face rejection and how to structure a conversation to see if you can help a potential customer with their challenges.
Fast forward to today. Nearly everyday I use sales/communication skills to keep a customer happy or generate new business for our company.
So what do you need to know about sales in order to succeed?
I think the most important skill of sales is…..asking the right questions. Strange right?
Let me illustrate this with an example…
Recently I was in Singapore catching a taxi to Marina Bay Sands, (one of my favourite places in the world — for their swimming pool alone!), and the taxi driver started to tell me about how you can go directly to the shopping mall and Casino from the Marina Bay Sands building.
It was about at this point, I stopped listening to the taxi driver.
You see…what the taxi driver did not understand — was I had already visited Marina Bay Sands before, and I already knew that.
The taxi driver hadn’t asked the right questions to see whether I wanted or needed to know the information that he was sharing with me.
This happens everyday in business. You start talking to customers about a product, but oftentimes you don’t understand the customers true, needs, wants and desires.
And you can only find these through asking great questions.
So before you start talking about your amazing product or service — remember to ask them all about what they want and need and why they want it.
You’ll be more successful every-time, when you align your customers goals with your own.