Boost Your Sales Drive

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

Your Successful Sales Career By Brian Azar with Len Foley (AMACOM, 2004)

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Forget pressure selling and fancy closing techniques. Yesterday’s strategies aren’t just ineffective in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace; they also give salespeople a bad name. A winning sales career requires top-notch communication skills and the ability to identify your customers’ motives for buying, says author Brian Azar. He shares methods for generating leads, building rapport, closing the deal, and following up with clients to ensure repeat business. Azar also looks at how to avoid burnout—a chronic problem that prevents salespeople from reaching their potential. Much of the book is devoted to short exercises that will help you track your progress and tap into creative selling skills. These lessons are probably most valuable to rookies but also may give sales veterans a fresh perspective on selling.

Tips From the Book:

  • Make the first 30 seconds count. Create a short, concise “commercial” about yourself, your company, and your services. This can draw the prospect in by highlighting problems that you can help solve or major benefits you offer. It also creates a need for your service—something that must be done before a sale is made.
  • Benefit from wisdom of others. Just as most large companies welcome guidance from a qualified board of directors, many successful salespeople opt for their own personal board, or an inner circle of people who share in very important information of their personal and professional life. Your board can give you powerful guidance when you need it most, although the final decision must be yours alone.
  • Speak their language. When you’re selling a home to a computer enthusiast, you’ll use a completely different vocabulary than if you’re selling to an avid sports fan. Listen to and repeat the words your prospects use. Use open-ended questions and active listening skills to pick up on the words they use often, and write down key phrases that you can use in future conversations with them.