Pursuing a career in sales can be very challenging, especially if you’re just starting out.
It’s easy to feel intimidated by everything you don’t know.
Maybe you’ve never sold anything professionally and you’re unsure of the best sales techniques to close a deal. Or you’re feeling insecure about your approach to building genuine connections with customers.
Whatever the case, remember that every successful salesperson was once in your position–they had to learn and grow their skills over time.
Everyone starts somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.
Sales is not for everyone.
It’s not just making a few calls or closing deals; it’s working relentlessly to find new leads, developing creative solutions to meet customer needs, and always being one step ahead of the competition.
Great salespeople are passionate about their work and always find ways to learn and evolve. They know that success means understanding their customers and practicing effective sales techniques.
If you have the drive and the dedication, it can be an extremely rewarding career.
So, where do you start? Keep reading this guide for fundamental sales tips and techniques that will help kickstart your career.
Sales play a vital role in our economy—just think about how many sales are made daily. And millions of people, ranging from retail workers to corporate executives, work in the industry.
Sales gets a bad rap because people associate it with high pressure and pushiness. Numbers and quotas at any cost. In reality, sales—when done well—is actually about understanding customer needs and developing genuine relationships.
And guess what? You already have sales experience without even realizing it. You make “sales” every day.
When you convince your friend to eat at a restaurant you like, you’ve made a sale. When you convince your family to watch a show together, you’ve made a sale. In any situation where you effectively pitch something, you’re making a sale.
Selling isn’t just a career, it’s a part of life. So, whether you choose to pursue a career in sales or something else entirely, knowing basic sales techniques will be beneficial to any path you choose.
Sales tips for beginners
If you’re new to selling, here are four fundamental sales tips to keep in mind.
1. Build rapport
One of the most important things to remember when selling anything is that people buy based on emotion and then justify it with logic.
Focus on building rapport and creating a connection with potential customers. Actively listen to their needs and show them that you understand their pain. The more you can connect with your prospect on a personal level, the more likely they are to do business with you.
2. Create urgency
The most common example is limited-time deals or promotions. These offers can persuade customers to buy sooner rather than later—especially if they’re sold on the product or service. The key is showing customers what they’ll lose if they don’t take action now. But don’t forget to persuade the right way, which takes me to my next point…
3. Use persuasion (without being pushy)
There’s often a fine line between being persuasive and being pushy. And no one likes an overly pushy salesperson.
To give you an idea, I shadowed someone a couple of years ago while they were knocking on doors. The man that answered the door politely asked us to leave his property. He wasn’t interested in our pitch or our product. And while he was calm at the start, he wasn’t at the end. Our salesman wasn’t actively listening and continued pushing our product. He wasn’t using persuasive skills—he was being rude and forceful.
People don’t appreciate being ignored and pressured into buying something. The goal is to get potential customers excited about the product or service without coming across as desperate.
And remember, you won’t always make every sale. That’s okay. Each interaction with a prospective customer is an opportunity to put these sales tips to practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll grow.
4. Master following up
Stay in touch with your prospects after the sale is complete to ensure they’re happy with their purchase. You can also take this time to identify any future needs.
At the very least, following up with customers can keep that line of communication open and nurture the relationship. Of course, this varies based on the customer, and you don’t want to annoy people with multiple follow-ups. As a rule of thumb, keep it to one follow-up and have a relevant reason for it. If the conversation continues, great! If not, be respectful of their time.
When it comes to sales, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. By following these simple tips, you can improve your sales skills and close more often. As you gain confidence, you’ll be able to lean into your own personality and strengths.
These are just a few sales tips to help you get started. There are plenty of other skills that you’ll need to develop along the way—including preparation, product expertise, and closing sales.
Sales techniques for closing deals
Closing a deal can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some basic sales techniques that can increase your chances of success.
1. Understand the needs and concerns of your customer
What are they looking for? What are their hesitations?
Once you understand their perspective, you can address their objections head-on. Be confident. Show honesty in your approach. Emphasize the value of your product or service.
2. Build trust with the customer
When an old colleague of mine was knocking on doors, she would always start by name-dropping a neighbor. She would tell the homeowner how “so and so” down the street was interested in what we were selling. This made the homeowner more willing to listen. Someone they knew was familiar with us. Rapport and trust are critical—they can close the sale.
3. Be friendly and personable
Before jumping right into a sales pitch, have a friendly conversation. Let them know that you’re invested in helping them find the right solution. Throughout the pitch, focus on their needs and how you can best fill them.
4. Be transparent about pricing
There should be no surprises at the end of the process. Nothing is worse than spending twenty minutes convincing someone to buy your product, only to find out that they can’t afford it. Also, make sure you’re offering a fair and competitive price. The customer wants to feel like they got a good deal.
5. Ask for the sale
If you’ve done your job well, the customer will be ready to buy. Stay calm and confident, and make your ask.
In any sales situation, the goal is to find a solution that meets the needs of both the customer and the company. By following these sales techniques, you will increase your chances of successfully closing a sale and satisfying the customer.
With training and practice, you can learn to sell
Starting out in sales can be overwhelming. As a beginner, lacking confidence in what you don’t know is totally normal. Hopefully, these sales tips and techniques laid a solid foundation that you can build on over time.
Remember to prioritize what’s important: your customer relationships and how you can provide value. There are no shortcuts to success in sales, but if you’re willing to put in the work, your future self will thank you.