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How do I master the art of sales and selling?

There's a saying in business that says 'nothing happens without a sale'. 

Without the ability to convince your clients to part with their hard earned cash, no other aspect of your business matters. 

With that in mind, here are 13 sales techniques that you can start putting to use today:

1) Use Social Proof

Few things hold more sway over a client's opinions than the opinions of others. By sharing positive feedback and using phrases such as 'here is what our other clients think', you can leverage social proof to reassure your client that your product or service is held in high opinion by those who have already tried it.

2) Start With Good Emotions

First impressions are crucial in sales. 

Most people, however, tend to base their first impressions on their emotions rather than the facts they are presented. 

Before you start bombarding a prospective client with stats and facts, be sure to take a couple minutes to develop a positive connection with them.

3) Give Them Something to Agree With

If you get a prospective client agreeing with you early on, it will be more difficult for them to change their position when it comes time to close the sale. 

You may want to get them to agree that a particular feature of your product is useful or that an aspect of your service could save them time. 

However, if you do it, get your clients "on board" early on and they'll be more likely to stay that way.

4) Build Scarcity

One great way to get hesitant clients to close the deal is to build scarcity. Offering an exclusive number of spots for a service or a "limited time only" deal are both effective examples of building scarcity.

5) Give Them an Out

It may sound counter-intuitive, but giving your client an "out" in the form of a comment that allows them to back out of the sale displays confidence in your product or service and will often increase their trust in you if you get the feeling you may have pressured them too heavily.

6) Use Personalised Pitches

Clients want to feel as if they and their business are special to you, so avoid fully rehearsed pitches and try to adjust the language of your pitch based on the client's age, personality, position, and other traits.

7) Stroke their Ego

Decision makers love to be reminded that they are decision makers. When closing a sale, say something along the lines of 'you seem like an action-oriented person, so are we going to move forward with this or let this opportunity slip by?'. 

Phrases such as this stroke the ego of clients and push them towards action rather than inaction.

8) Let Them Sell Themselves

If a client starts arguing your points for you, they'll be much more effective. Tactics such as mentioning that they seem more interested than you expected or even taking the reverse stance and saying it may not be the right product for them can get clients talking about the advantages of your product for themselves.

9) Make Use of Anecdotes

Everyone loves a good story, and stories sell more than stats. Tell a compelling story about your product or one of its satisfied users and you'll have your prospect's interests piqued.

10) Offer Options

Variety is the spice of life. If you are able to offer your client options - whether it be package options, payment options, or something else - they will feel more in control and therefore be more likely to buy from you.

11) Up-sell Immediately

Once you've broken the ice and got a client to commit to the sale, there's no better time to try and up-sell them. Clients who have just purchased from you will be more likely than ever to go ahead and pay a little bit more for an additional product or a more premium service.

12) Develop Listening Skills

If there's one thing salespeople know, it's how to talk. A good salesperson, though, must also know how to listen. Active listening allows you to better understand where your client is coming from and modify your pitch in the moment to make it more effective. This is the best way to handle objections and apply the correct closing techniques.

13) Persistence Sometimes Pays

You've got to be careful about being overly aggressive, but if a client has already said "no", it can sometimes be beneficial to ask them "what can I do to change your mind?". If the client is willing to talk about their hangups, you may be able to address them and potentially turn a "no" into a "yes".


Learning to apply the right sales techniques at the right time is essential to successful selling. Of course there are several ways to increase profits in a business, but the one that you will always have the most control over is how you choose to sell. And mastering this art will unlock more doors than you can imagine.


© Brian Tracy, first published 26 Oct 2017.