Every salesperson has received at least one piece of advice that’s stuck with them: That nugget of wisdom that’s consistently helped them be more productive, help more prospects, or win more deals.
If you’re curious to learn other reps’ all-time favorite sales advice, good news — more than 500 members of the Practical Sales Tips LinkedIn group recently shared theirs. We’ve handpicked 42 of the best sound bites.
Sales Advice Every Salesperson Should Know
1) Ask questions first.
“Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.”
2) Keep your pipeline full.
“Never need the sale.”
3) Stay upbeat.
“No matter what kind of day you are having, always act like a ‘10’ with customers or on the sales floor. Remember, it’s about your customer’s needs, not yours.”
4) Be honest about your knowledge gaps.
“If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t guess. Agree to come back with a response by a mutually acceptable time — and remember to do so!”
5) Borrow the prospect’s point-of-view.
“It doesn’t matter what you think you’re selling that counts. It only matters what the client thinks they are buying. In other words, see the whole sales transaction through their eyes and match what you offer to their wants, lifestyle, and their view of the world.”
6) Avoid overselling.
“Trust matters. Never promise what you can’t deliver.”
7) Define expectations.
“At the start of every appointment, reaffirm why you’re there, your agenda, the prospect’s agenda, and likely outcomes. Otherwise, you’re playing by their rules — and nine times out of 10 they won’t tell you what those rules are.”
8) Solve problems first.
“Never sell with the goal of getting the money, sell with the intention of solving the problem or making the prospect’s pain go away.”
9) Get multiple data points.
“Don’t trust any one piece of information: Triangulate.”
10) Look for upsell opportunities.
“Always have an eye out for the second sale.”
11) Let the prospect come their own conclusions.
“Everything ties into ‘I believe, let’s discuss, you decide.’”
12) Set an alarm.
“Be punctual. They will never remember that you were five minutes early. They will never forget that you were five seconds late.”
13) Attitude is everything.
“Create a good feeling. It’s what the prospect will remember.”
14) Confidence is key.
“Visualize success before you talk to prospects. Be confident and use your body language to emphasize your words.”
15) Have prospects sell themselves.
“Never make statements, always ask questions — preferably questions you know the answer to. This leads clients to draw their own conclusions and sell themselves, as opposed to being sold. Even when you’re asked a question and you’re unsure why they asked, it’s better to clarify by saying, ‘That’s an interesting question; why is that important to you?’ rather than diving in and flubbing the whole process.”
16) Create a connection.
“Feel satisfied that you’ve built real rapport before any other discussion takes place. And remember, you’re not selling — you’re seeing if there’s a mutual fit between what you provide and what your prospect wants.”
17) Be resilient.
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
18) Timing is key.
“A ‘No’ may not mean ‘Never,’ it may only mean ‘Not yet.’ Learn as much as you can and revisit the prospect when they are ready.”
19) Objections can be overcome.
“Learn to read between the lines so you know when no is not no.”
20) Stay focused.
“Be really present. Don’t pre-empt where the call is going.”
21) Always be helping.
“A sale is not something you do. It is something that happens when immersed in providing great customer service.”
22) Your competency will improve over time.
“There are four levels of competency in sales. Level one is ‘unconsciously incompetent.’ At first, you don’t even know what you don’t know. Level two is ‘consciously incompetent.’ You become aware of your shortcomings and address them. Level three is ‘consciously competent.’ With careful consideration and thoughtfulness, you can be confident in your abilities to sell. Level four is ‘unconsciously competent.’ You reach a level where talking about the sale becomes second nature.”
23) Think like your prospect.
“Know your customer. If you are able to see things from their perspective, their needs, objections, etc., then you will gain empathy and stand a fighting chance. If you don’t, you’ll come across as patronising and naive — and almost certainly won’t succeed.”
24) Sell benefits, not features.
“The customer never wants your product. What they buy is always a means to another end: profits, prestige, time, and so on.”
25) Don’t forget customers after they sign.
“It takes longer to get a new customer to come on board then to keep a old customer. Treat both like they are gold.”
26) “New” doesn’t always equal “better.”
“No matter how excited you are about a new product or what you are selling, don’t just ‘product dump.’ First, ask questions to see what the client needs. Your new product may not be the best answer, and you may lose a sale by pushing it — when you could have something else that might work better.”
27) Mind your P’s.
“Mine are the three P’s: Be patient, be persistent, and most of all, be pleasant!”
28) Know the answer to, “Why now?”
“Always sell to a compelling event and make sure that compelling event is a) the buyer’s compelling event, b) fits with your timeline; and c) is not within the control of the buyer to ignore or change. Then plan the sale backwards from the compelling event with the help of the buyer.”
29) Don’t try to “win.”
“My mentor once explained that a competitive attitude can be a detriment to top sales performance. If you look at every sale as a win/lose proposition, it is likely that you will have a propensity to oversell, or try to overcome objections. Overcome means ‘fight,’ so win the fight, lose the sale.”
30) Build trust.
“People will not believe the message if they don’t believe the messenger.”
“Ask yourself before every call, ‘How will I bring value to this customer?’ How will you differentiate yourself from all of the other salespeople so that they will want to see you again and tell their friends/colleagues about you? Go in with a plan. It is easier than trying to create one on the fly.”
32) Don’t lie. Period.
“Practice full disclosure. What you think you might lose by disclosing, you’ll gain in trust.”
33) Be nice to the “little people.”
“Do not overlook junior staff. Many of them will be decision makers sooner than you’d expect.”
34) Don’t get complacent.
“Always play as if you are behind, no matter how ahead of target you are.”
35) Build a great personal brand.
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.”
36) Make them think.
“Ask better questions than anyone has ever asked the prospect.”
37) Building rapport is always doable.
“Professionals have personal lives too. Break the ice and get them to connect on a human level.”
38) Be persistent.
“Don’t underestimate the power of a proper follow up.”
39) Not everyone is a good fit.
“Telling prospects ‘no’ is okay. Disqualify fast and move on quickly.”
40) Focus on your product’s value.
“Never sell on price alone.”
41) Lecturing prospects doesn’t work.
“Telling ain’t selling! Have a conversation, ask questions, and be an active listener. Don’t interrupt — whether you’re talking to prospect, your manager, or your reports.”
42) Empathy will set you apart.
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”