No matter the product or audience, every salesperson has a unique personal selling advantage. Discover yours and make an immediate impact on your numbers.

Sales isn’t what it used to be. At least, the public opinion of salespeople is finally starting to change. The days of sleazy, slick-talking salespeople who seem to care more about their commission than they do about their customers have all but vanished. The catalyst for this change? A shift from predictable and mundane sales tactics to a focus on each salesperson’s personal selling advantage.

Seems simple, right? It is, and it isn’t. Your personal selling advantage might be difficult to identify at first since all salespeople approach business differently. Some might rely on empathy to close a sale. Others might rely on charisma. Most successful salespeople rely on some kind of perspective. Gone are the days when expertise on a given product or service was enough to persuade a customer. Now more than ever, in the age of information, sales isn’t about facts and figures, but connection.

personal selling advantage

From information to inspiration

Before the internet existed, information was hard to come by. Prospects had to trust (or not) what a salesperson said. Whether factual or not, information alone was responsible for persuading a prospect.

Now, it’s easy enough for a prospect to fact-check information on the internet, which puts a lot of power into the buyer’s hands. Fast-talking, pushy salespeople no longer arouse urgency with their prospects, but skepticism; there is no connection.

In the new world of sales, which includes the personal selling advantage, good salespeople establish trust, demonstrate compassion, and find a way to help a prospect rather than simply sell them the most expensive thing. In this world, people don’t want to be sold to. They want to be inspired.

So what inspires people to buy? There are many answers, but almost all of them hinge on any of these three things: Problem-finding, empathy and perspective, and charisma.

lead-managerlead-managerOn the market for inspiring CRM software? Schedule a free demo and to see how we can help you connect with your prospects.

personal selling advantage

3 Secrets behind your personal selling advantage

1. Problem-finding

In his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, Daniel Pink says, “…the ability to move others hinges less on problem-solving than on problem-finding.” The idea here isn’t to sell someone something they don’t need, rather, it’s to find out what the customer does need.

Imagine a prospect comes to you to buy a new computer. If all you look to do is problem-solve, you might sell them any machine, and probably the most expensive one. If you problem-find, however, you ask questions about why the prospect needs a new computer. Maybe they need a certain processor speed. Or, maybe they don’t need a new computer at all, but just specific software. Whatever the case, if you find the prospect’s real problem and solve that—a personal selling advantage—you lay a foundation for trust.

2. Empathy and perspective

Problem-finding will be difficult to accomplish if you don’t have both empathy and perspective. Empathy is your emotional response to a prospect’s needs, while perspective is a thoughtful response. Pink says that both are necessary in today’s sales world, though perspective perhaps more so. In either case, what you’re doing is putting yourself in your prospect’s shoes. If a parent is looking for a new car, it behooves you as a salesperson to imagine what you’d want in a car if you had kids, even if you don’t. In this case, you build trust through emotional and/or cognitive connection.

3. Charisma

Many people think that charisma is something innate in people, but Olivia Fox Cabane suggests otherwise. In her book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, she suggests that anyone can learn to be more charismatic without having to be outgoing, attractive, or otherwise changing your personality. Instead, it’s about learning soft skills like presence, power, and warmth, which will make you more approachable and accessible to strangers. In short, charisma instills trust at the onset and enhances your ability to connect with a prospect.

personal selling advantage

Books to improve your personal selling advantage

Of course, there’s much more to personal selling advantage that these three components. To learn more about how to identify your advantage, we recommend you add these three books to your reading list, in addition to the ones already mentioned:

1. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
2. The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
3. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

lead-managerlead-managerOn the market for inspiring CRM software? Schedule a free demo and to see how we can help you connect with your prospects.

What other personal selling advantages might a successful sales person possess? How do you close a sale? Share your experiences in the comments below.