The Psychology of Selling

Successful people read. A lot.

Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Mark Cuban reads for more than 3 hours every day. And, when asked how he learned to build rockets, Elon Musk simply said, β€œI read books.” Is this a coincidence? Nope.

These types of books for entrepreneurs are powerful. But, to tap into this power, you have to read the right books.

I just finished reading a book entitled The Psychology of Selling, by Brian Tracy. You can buy it on Amazon here. There are so many gold nuggets in this book about how to be the most successful salesman in your chosen field. To reinforce the main concepts, I decided to write a Cliff Notes version with the Action Exercises from each chapter. This book is an absolute must-read for entrepreneurs! Never stop learning practical advice from the top experts. Read on for the highlights...

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1. The Inner Game of Selling

  1. Decide today to become a totally confident, high-self-esteem salesperson; say over and over to yourself, "I like myself!"
  2. Visualize yourself continually as the very best in your business; the person you "see" is the person you will "be."
  3. Resolve in advance that, no matter what happens, you will never give up; failure is not an option.
  4. Refuse to take rejection personally; accept it as a normal and natural part of selling, very much like the weather.
  5. Follow the leaders in your field; pattern yourself after the highest-paid and most successful people. Find out what they are doing, and then do the same things until you get the same results.
  6. Make a decision today to join the top 20 percent of people in your business; remember that no one is smarter than you, and no one is better than you. Anything that anyone else has done, within reason, you can do as well.
  7. Take action on every new idea that you think can help you in any way. Give it a try. The more things you try, the more likely is it that you will eventually triumph.

2. Set and Achieve All Your Sales Goals

  1. Think big! Set an income goal for yourself for the next year that is 25 to 50 percent more than you have ever earned before.
  2. Determine how much of your product or service you will have to sell over the next year to achieve your ideal income.
  3. Break your income and sales goals down by month, week, and day; determine the activities you will have to engage in each day to earn the money you have decided that you desire.
  4. Plan every day in advance; determine exactly the number of prospects you will have to call, the number of people you will have to see, and the number of sales you will have to make.
  5. Set big, exciting goals for your family and your personal life; make a list of fifty to one hundred things that you want to buy and do with the extra money you are going to earn.
  6. Make a written plan to achieve each of your goals, and work on your plans every day.
  7. Determine the price you will have to pay, in terms of additional work and sacrifice, to achieve your most desired goals, and then begin paying that price.

3. Why People Buy

  1. Make a list of the needs that customers have that can be met by your product; organize this list in order of importance to the customer. Build your prospecting and selling around these needs.
  2. Conduct regular market research among your satisfied customers; find out what benefit your product offered that caused them to buy from you rather than someone else.
  3. Determine the most important benefit your business customers are seeking, and then develop a way to explain that benefit in every sales conversation.
  4. Identify the most significant gains or losses that your prospects could experience from using or not using what you are selling; emphasize them repeatedly.
  5. Dress for success; buy and read a book on proper business dress, and then follow it so that you look like a complete professional when you visit a customer.
  6. Develop a series of open-ended questions that you can use to control the sales conversation and uncover the true needs of the prospect; keep the light on him by asking and listening.
  7. Position yourself as a friend, an advisor, and a teacher in every customer contact; focus on helping and teaching rather than selling.

4. Creative Selling

  1. You are a genius; resolve today that you will use your inborn creativity to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
  2. Write your most important goal at the top of a page in the form of a question; write out twenty answers to that question and then take action on at least one of them; do this every day.
  3. Identify your areas of excellence and superiority in your product or service; what makes what you sell better than any competitive alternative?
  4. Determine why your customers buy from you rather than from someone else. Which prospects can most benefit from what you do best?
  5. Where are your very best concentrations of prospective customers? Decide how you are going to spend more time with them.
  6. Differentiate your products or services in a meaningful way; find out why people buy your product, and then show them why your product is the best choice, all things considered.
  7. Get written testimonial letters from your satisfied customers, highlight the best sentences, and then place them in plastic pages in a three-ring binder. Show these letters to every prospect.

5. Getting More Appointments

  1. Determine exactly the number of prospects you must call each day and each week to achieve your sales and income goals.
  2. Spend 80 percent of your time prospecting until you have so many people to see that you do not have time to call anyone else.
  3. Write out your script for telephone prospecting, memorize it, and practice it continually until it sounds natural and relaxed.
  4. Ignore initial sales resistance when you prospect; focus on the result or benefit of what you sell, and refer to other happy customers who already use it.
  5. Keep the initiative; nail down the exact date and time of your first appointment with the prospect.
  6. Prepare thoroughly for every sales meeting; do your homework, on the Internet if possible, so you look and sound like an absolute professional when you meet the prospect for the first time.

6. The Power Of Suggestion

  1. Everything counts! Take complete control of every factor that your prospect sees, hears, feels, and does; plan in advance.
  2. Visualize yourself as a "doctor of selling," as a world-class professional, thoroughly knowledgeable, with an excellent product or service.
  3. Dress for success; pattern your dress after the most successful and highest-paid people in your business. Look like the kind of person that a customer can confidently take advice from.
  4. Be courteous with everyone you meet, from the receptionist through to the secretary and customer; always be positive and cheerful.
  5. Practice mental rehearsal before every sales call; imagine yourself as calm, controlled, optimistic, and completely relaxed; the way you see yourself is the way you'll be.
  6. Do everything possible to avoid noise or distractions of any kind when you are talking to a prospect; have him move if necessary so he can concentrate on your and your product.
  7. Walk erect, chin up; shake hands firmly and confidently; carry yourself as if you are the best in your field.

7. Making The Sale

  1. Plan every sales presentation in advance; design it so that it moves from the general to the particular, from the known to the unknown, starting with your most attractive benefit.
  2. Ask trial closing questions throughout; invite feedback and responses after every feature or benefit.
  3. Take the time to determine the buyer personality style of the prospect you are talking to; make note of the questions he/she asks; these are good indicators.
  4. Practice flexibility with your prospects and customers; speed up or slow down, be general or specific, so that you can sell to more diverse people.
  5. Create emotional mental pictures of how happy your prospect will be while owning and using your product or service.
  6. Design each part of your presentation to show, tell, and ask questions about each feature and benefit you present; keep the prospect involved and active.
  7. Become an excellent listener; ask good questions, listen without interrupting, pause before replying, and feed it back in your own words to prove that you fully understand the prospect's situation.

8. 10 Keys To Success In Selling

  1. Make a decision today to become one of the very best salespeople in your industry; pay any price, make any sacrifice, and never quit until you make it.
  2. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning; read, listen to audio programs, and attend seminars; your life only gets better when you get better.
  3. Manage your time well; plan carefully in advance and resolve to make every minute count.
  4. Do what you love to do; throw your whole heart into your work, and never stop getting better.
  5. Resolve in advance that you are going to be a big success in life, and that you are never going to quit until you achieve your most important goals.
  6. Sit down immediately and make a list of ten goals you would like to achieve in the next twelve months; select the most important goal on that list and work on it every day.
  7. Work all the time you work; live at full throttle; start early, work harder, and stay later. Pay the price of success in full, in advance.

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