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10 Commandments of a Salesperson

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

No matter where you work or what you sell, there are 10 rules that salespeople can follow that can lead to greater success and professionalism.

  • As a salesperson, it is essential that you believe in the company and its products. When you believe in what you are selling, your customers will believe as well.
  • Many sales teams have their own set of rules; however, as a salesperson, you also should have your own set of rules to follow, often known as the salesmanship commandments.
  • From being honest to listening to your customer, following the salesmanship commandments is beneficial for sales as well as garnering customer loyalty.

What is salesmanship, and why is it important?

Salesmanship basically means having the ability to personally sell a product or service. It also requires a person to have good negotiation skills as well as the ability to emphasize, induce and encourage prospective buyers to make a decision in favor of buying the product (or service) being offered to them. In other words, it is an attempt to induce people to buy services or goods. Good salesmanship is important for many reasons, but primarily because it persuades people to want the things that they already need; it is the ability to convert a need into a want.

What are the 10 commandments of salesmanship?

Sales managers want their salespeople to close as many deals as they can possibly can. The majority of sales managers have developed a process and set of rules for their team to follow; however, salespeople should also have a set of fundamental rules they operate by to be successful.

10 commandments of a salesperson

1. Always tell the truth (or build trust).

The truth is the foundation of trust.

Whatever you sell, tell the truth, no matter what. It's all about trust. Whatever you report (through your pipeline or weekly meetings or partner meetings) be sure you can deliver. Your partners depend on what you say. Your company is making plans based on what you report. Nobody can hold it against you if you report bad news. On the contrary, most of your bosses may increase their trust in you.

2. Always keep your promises. 

If you promise to deliver, be sure you can. Otherwise, the level of trust in you by your partners will fall; eventually, your bosses will start to receive complaints about you, or you will face a sharp decline in order intake. If you fail to deliver on your promises, word will spread to others, and these days, any market is small. It doesn't end there. Eventually, your company will receive a bad reputation.

3. Never be late.

Some individuals say that being late a maximum of 15 minutes late is OK. No, it is not. By arriving on time (not earlier or late), you show respect to your customers and to your partners. Remember, your partners' time is valuable to them; they are giving you their time for free. Don't abuse it. If you say you will do something on a certain day and time, do it on that day and at that time exactly.

4. Always keep in touch.

It is always nice to keep in touch with your contacts. You never know what lies ahead. By nurturing and growing your contacts, you increase your chances of already having valuable contacts in your next endeavor.

5. Be a support to your customer.

Sometimes, your partner may not know what they want. Help them to decide, but find a solution that suits your company and your partner at the same time. 

6. Always know what you sell.

Don't let your customers teach you about the solution you sell; instead, educate them, explain it to them, show them how the product or service works.

7. They are not customers, they are partners.

Don't sell products, sell a solution, or rather, sell a solution to a problem. If you sell sailing rope, big trucks or a mobile subscription, it comes down to one point: the customer needs help. You are not the only one to provide the service or good, and you may not offer the cheapest solution. However, by explaining how your product or services solves the problem, this differentiates you from your competition, and at the same time, helps your customer, and solves their problems. Listen to your customer, derive their needs, and present a solution.

8. Learn, develop, be proactive

Things change, solutions change – these days even faster than before. The internet is a great thing. Give new ideas, suggest a solution to internal problems, make suggestions.

9. Know your competition

Remember, your competition does not sleep. They know all about you and your market. You should know all you can about them. Your customers will compare you to them, and you need to have the answers ready.

10. Never mix private life with professional life

Keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself. Your customers don't need to know how you feel today. You are a professional, act like one.

Oh, one more thing. There are a lot of sales training programs that claim to teach you how to be a perfect salesperson; however, becoming a successful salesperson comes down the above 10 commandments. No one is perfect, nobody is born to be a salesman – it's a skill that involves years of experience, trial and error, and working with individuals to resolve problems.

Image Credit: eggeeggjiew / Getty Images
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