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We know that the ultimate goal of any salesperson is to sell–whether this is selling cars, selling students on a school, or selling software to businesses. In order to sell to someone, some sort of relationship must be established; sales is all about building relationships.

This doesn’t mean that, as a salesperson, you must befriend everyone you’re selling to and make plans for lunch, but there must be a positive interaction. Someone with a negative view of you isn’t likely to buy what you’re selling, but if you hit it off with a customer, the chances that they’ll buy from you are much higher.

How, then, can you build your sales skills and lock in that deal?

  1. Demeanor: Having a friendly disposition will make people more at ease when talking to you. If your arms are crossed and your body language is saying that you don’t want to talk to people, they will pick up on that.
  2. Common ground: Finding things that you have in common with someone might not be as difficult to do as you think. You don’t have to have attended the same high school to be able to relate to one another. Common ground can be as simple and basic as a mutual disdain for traffic, or passion for a sport, and will make you seem more relatable.
  3. Listening: In order to establish common ground, it’s necessary to listen. Listening is a basic skill that can go a long way and present great opportunities for you, both as a salesperson and in general. People like knowing that what they’re saying is being heard.
  4. Tone: Having a tone that is too formal can deter many people, but you don’t want to be informal, either. Finding the right balance is key–you want to be conversant but not casual.
  5. Coming full circle: Don’t get too wrapped up in conversation that you forget to close the deal. It can be easy to chat once you find some common ground, but make sure you come back around to sell your product.