Some people can sell anything. As a sales professional, you might be wondering what the secret is to their success. Speaking in only the broadest terms, I’ll tell you: they understand the needs of their customers and know how to effectively communicate their products and services as solutions.
On the surface, it sounds simple. But the key to this level of sales success is intensive. It involves developing an understanding of the complex, individualized and layered psychology of your customers while picking up specific psychological cues that can help you master the process of communicating effectively with each client.
One of the best examples of the ultimate salesman, to my mind, is Warren Buffett. You may not think of Warren Buffet as a salesperson, and I think that’s the secret to his ultimate success as such. It’s more likely that you see him as an advisor, an oracle, an icon—but never as someone who’s simply trying to sell you a product.
Yet, look at his annual letters to investors. Within them, not only does he explain the performance of Berkshire Hathaway by discussing some of the decisions made for the holding company but he also talks positively about the businesses the company owns shares of, thus helping increase the profits of those underlying establishments. In turn, this drives share prices higher and—you guessed it—increases the value of Berkshire’s holdings.
Buffett, like all good salespeople, doesn’t raise the red flags often seen in the stereotypical smarmy salesperson. He doesn’t sound desperate—or even eager—for sales. He’s simply someone you trust who’s saying good things about a company he happens to have a financial interest in.
In this way, he has mastered the psychology of sales—knowingly or not.