S.A.L.E.S. – what it should really stand for

If you want to sell in an effective and sustainable way, here are my golden rules – the sales acronym:

S – is for Service and Support.

We sell because we want to be of service. This should be our motivation and our starting point for our sales pitch, not making a fast buck. Don’t be money-driven. When you offer a product to a prospective client be aware how this product or service can serve them. How it can support them to be better or have a better experience themselves. Establish a supportive relationship with your client before, during and after sales and you will reap the rewards.

A – is for Allowing.

As salespeople we should allow the client to speak. We shouldn’t interrupt. We should allow him to tell us it’s not a good time to call right now, or we should call back in a month or two. Don’t become desperate and force him. Allow him his space. There is nothing worse than a pushy salesperson. Allow the client his doubts. If he likes you, he will then allow himself to be convinced! It’s a gentle process. Sometimes it takes months. Don’t be impatient. Allow things to develop.

L – is for Listening.

This is an art. We should all practise listening without working on our response. Give the person opposite you your full attention and stop feeling uncomfortable when there’s a resulting break in the conversation. By all means, make notes when the customer is speaking. But write down what he said, not what your next move is going to be. In my opinion we’re often focused too much on ourselves. Real rapport-building occurs when you listen to each other. Like my old acting teacher used to say: The lines in your script are just a guideline, the people who get the little golden statues get them for listening, empathizing with and reacting to their opposite number as spontaneously and authentically as possible – not for reciting from a script set in stone.

E – is for energy and enthusiasm

Energy is infectious. By energy I don’t mean pushiness, shows of desperation, steam-rollering or emotionally-charged behavior. I mean a genuine passion for what you do and displaying an interest in what you can do for the customer and what makes him tick.

S – is for solutions

Don’t think in terms of problems, think in solutions. If the customer wants your product but needs a flexible solution in terms of delivery times or volume, for example, enter the negotiation phase and work with the customer to get the conditions you both want. Get the customer to voice his problems and offer solutions. If it’s cost-related, tell him that you understand his concerns, but why your product and your service justify the extra cost.

P.S. I was recently steam-rollered by an insurance saleslady who didn’t do any of the above and so as a result I am cancelling my policy with her company – but at least she inspired this article and for that I say “thank you.” !

Over to you: How do you find the selling process? What’s your approach? Does it differ from product to product or from customer to customer? I would love to hear from you!

Have a great week,



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