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Mix the Perfect Sales Cocktail

Originally published
Originally published: 9/1/2015

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned sales professional with many years of experience or you're starting your first sales job, being a good salesperson can be frustrating and complex.

Different factors contribute to sales complexity:

  • Being able to find the right opportunity.
  • Having access to the right resources.
  • Selling the right product or service that appeals to businesses and/or consumers.
  • Developing effective lead generating techniques.
  • Learning how to navigate through a complex sale.

I've watched sales professionals expend an enormous amount of energy making sure all these aspects align to achieve the success they desire and deserve.

One factor in achieving sales success that is the absolute most essential — but most frequently ignored — is the "human factor."

The two most important and critical components to a successful sales process are you and your customer, no matter what you're selling. As humans, we have different personalities, tendencies, habits and quirks that can simplify or utterly complicate sales. Salespeople must recognize when you strip away all of the other variables in the sales process, the two constants that will always dictate sales success or failure are 1) who is selling and 2) who is buying.

Once you accept this fact, then sales suddenly becomes less complicated.

With literally thousands of different sales techniques and philosophies that salespeople attempt to master, we find ourselves using trial and error, sampling and tasting until we think we've mixed the right sales cocktail that will increase our closing ratios.

The most effective sales techniques to produce results and achieve desired outcomes, however, focus on the human factor and the emotions that drive desired behavior.

This requires you to perfect the techniques that get you in front of your potential customer, make you likable and, above all, persuasive. Here are five techniques for mixing a successful sales cocktail.

Sell Yourself

One universal concept that never varies or waivers is that selling is not about selling your product or service; it's about selling yourself. That doesn't mean you don't need product knowledge or you don't need to create value to influence the close. Having an A+ product with A+ product knowledge means nothing if you can't even advance to the presentation.

You have to think of yourself as your product. Manufacturers design and market their goods with consumer appeal uppermost in their mind. As a sales person, you have to market yourself in the same manner. You are the manufacturer of your product: which is you. Dress for success, channel confidence and charisma from within and attract your buyer to you.

You have to make an impression. Be unique. Be distinctive. Be remembered or be forgotten.

Make Your Prospect Comfortable

Frankly, make them like you. There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, persistence and annoyance, being knowledgeable and being a know-it-all. You have to know where and when to draw that line.

You have to make your customer want to engage with you and do business with you. Even with today's online researching and buying trends, they will not buy from you if they don't like you and trust you.

Master the Art of Asking Without Asking

You must make a connection with your buyer. Learn how to get them off the defense and extract as much information as possible so you can assess their needs — without them even realizing it.

For example, try establishing commonality, professionally as well as personally. Don't be afraid to ask them about their objectives with their role as the buyer for their organization. Find out what their challenges are and then tell them how you, your company and your products will solve those challenges.

Learn how to open up the dialogue and then learn how to listen. You do this simply by asking questions and paying close attention to your buyer's responses. Learn his or her emotional triggers. Take notes. Prospects are impressed by that because it tells them that what they're saying is important to you.

Listening is a skill: not everyone is born with the ability to listen. But if you want to learn how to improve your sales skills, learn and practice your listening skills. Next thing you know you've gathered all the info you need for your closing arsenal. Now close. Remember: LISTEN and SILENT are spelled with the same letters. Think about it.

Isolate Your Buyer's Hot Spots

Create value, create need and create solutions for your potential buyer. You do this by putting your listening skills into action and reacting to your buyer's tone and urgency for a better alternative than his current product or process. In today's buying cycle, the vast majority of buyers have done their online research before they ever speak to a salesperson. They asked for recommendations, they've Googled your company and you, and they've decided if they want to hear your pitch.

Don't waste their time: hone in on what is actually important to them and then be prepared to give them the solutions they want, not the pitch you've been preparing for months.

Recognize Emotional Drivers and Negotiate Accordingly

Don't be so preoccupied with your own goal to reach the finish line that you fail to identify your potential buyer's signals. You're pitching a product to your prospect to solve their problem — not to solve yours.

By listening and connecting with a prospect, you'll be able to recognize what drives them to make their final buying decisions by the clues they give when they talk about what they think or feel. Once you've solved the client's problem, you're their hero — and you're their go-to sales rep.


Anthony Caliendo is a self-made man, entrepreneur, corporate visionary, leadership coach and author of "The Sales Assassin — Master Your Black Belt in Sales." For additional information, visit


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