Ice Cubes To Eskimos

Top Five Sales Tips

Make every sale the one that didn't get away.

For more than 20 years, Barry Farber has been selling and teaching others everything he knows about sales. Author of Diamonds in the Rough (Berkley Books), a handbook for maximizing personal achievement, Farber hosts a cable TV show, writes for Entrepreneur and still finds time to keep selling and teaching.

Here, Farber provides five top sales tips. He agreed, but not without a disclaimer: "There's always another place I can improve...I'm still learning," Farber says.

1. Persist. "Sales are made by the tenacious. You have to stay in there, even when you're getting rejected," says Farber, who adds that often, multiple sales calls are necessary to sell to a customer. Many give up too early--and therefore miss the chance to make the sale.

2. Qualify. Don't rush in to give your pitch without first finding out if there's a chance this person will buy from you. Customers won't buy if they're not qualified (interested in what you're selling). How to deal? "Ask questions," says Farber. "Listen. Learn about the customer and his business."

3. Move On. Congratulations, you made the sale...or maybe you didn't. Either way, the successful salesperson knows when it's time to move on. You can't afford to waste time gloating over successful sales, nor can you waste time trying to sell prospect who will never buy. Farber's advice: "Learn as quickly as you can how to know when it's time to move on."

What makes you or your product stand out in a crowd? Think up ideas and read "Theory Of Creativity" to learn how to touch base with your creative side.

4. Differentiate. How are you and your product or service different? What makes you better than your competitors? "Don't try to copy others. What will shape your success is how you deliver a personal touch," says Farber, who adds: "Knowing what makes you unique lets you sell that much more effectively."

5. Form relationships. "Build relationships with customers, then turn those relationships into partnerships," says Farber. "Provide enough value so that your customers really appreciate doing business with you. That creates lasting sales success."

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This article was originally published in the August 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Ice Cubes To Eskimos.

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