1-Sentence-Summary: The Sales Advantage offers a practical guide to acquiring customers, closing sales, and increasing profits by following a series of proven techniques from a corporate coaching course about sales procedures.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Working in sales can be challenging even for the most well-versed individuals in the industry. Customers often end up signing with the competition, luring you for days or months only to stop answering your phone calls, or lose interest for no apparent reason. For this reason, customer retention is one key point in sales.
However, to get there, your potential customers have to like you in the first place. Otherwise, you’re not even near closing a deal. Then, there are other variables to consider, all of which we’ll explore by analyzing The Sales Advantage and the lessons of the famous writer and communication expert Dale Carnegie in the lines below.
Here are my three favorite ones from the book:
- To be successful in the sales industry, you’ll have to come up with a pre-approach plan.
- Use past reviews to strengthen your pitch and tailor your offering to every prospect.
- After you’ve caught your prospect’s attention, closing the deal is all about the speech you’re serving.
Lesson 1: A successful deal starts before you even dial your customer’s number
A good salesman knows that a good pitch starts before one even dials the number, so a pre-approach strategy is crucial. To avoid having your prospect cut you off within the first seconds of your phone call, you may want to change your introduction.
Instead of talking about your product features straight away, start with addressing your prospect by their name or preferred alias. Knowing your potential customer well before you introduce yourself can help them familiarize themselves with you more easily.
When you’ve established a connection, present your interlocutor with the solution you’re offering. Rather than pitching a product, try to promote a solution to their struggle. Be specific when talking about ways through which they can benefit from your offering.
Next, address the competition, and place yourself above them. What is it that makes you better and should make the person choose your product? The last step is to find out if the prospect is the decision-maker in the company, or if they can redirect you towards that person.
Lesson 2: Know your target customer well enough to personalize their offering and relate your pitch to other satisfied users
To strengthen your pitch, you’ll want to know your prospect well before you establish a connection with them. As part of the pre-approach strategy, learning their name and some basic characteristics, such as their occupation, is essential. Then, you’ll want to focus on empowering your offering.
You can do so by referring to other satisfied customers that have previously purchased from you. In general, adding statistics and linking your offering to the initial part of your pitch, which is the solution you’re offering, is a great idea.
For example, you could start by addressing their name, then saying that you’ve previously offered your product to a company just like theirs. Continue with saying that they benefited from it by, let’s say, increasing their sales by 30%. Add a number to your pitch to make it more valuable, and always have a happy customer to link to.
Commit to following up with your prospect by arranging a future date and a location, or by scheduling another phone call. End on a friendly note, making it clear that you’re ready to address all their needs in the following session. Always remember their name and if you want to compliment them or make a joke, make sure to not be generic and use your pre-approach information about them to do it.
Lesson 3: Once you’ve set up a meeting with your prospect, address their pain points and ask the right questions
So, let’s say you‘ve reached the point where your prospects took up your offer and accepted to meet with you. Now what? Essentially, showing up to the meeting just a bit early is the right thing to do. Then, it’s important to set the tone right by addressing the pain points of your prospect straight away.
Ask questions so that you can develop a detailed context. The more you know, the easier it’ll be to develop a solution based on their needs. Find out more about their Dominant Buying Motive, or their practical reason for buying something, then turn that into your selling premise.
For example, if someone wants to find out more about your private investment placements, you should try to understand their underlying motive. Maybe they’re trying to retire early, or secure financial freedom for their family. Whatever the reason may be, you should focus on that when pitching your product further.
Lastly, it’s all about asking the right questions. If you’re approaching the closed deal stage, make sure to play the final part smoothly. For example, it’s best to stick to low-variable questions, allowing your potential customer to choose from two products, two methods of payment, and so on. Avoid open-ended questions at this stage, as it can turn their decision around.
The Sales Advantage Review
Dale Carnegie’s people skills were poured into famous writings and then transformed into lessons for all of us who want to master the science behind effective communication and ongoing sales. His remarkable discoveries in the field of human sciences have spread in areas such as finance, public speaking, retail, real estate, economics, and many more.
For this reason, The Sales Advantage is not just a book about closing sales and pitching your product effectively, but also a lesson about the human nature, words that work, effective communication tactics, and many more valuable life skills that’ll help you outside the retail industry.
Who would I recommend The Sales Advantage summary to?
The 30-year-old salesman who wants to upgrade their pitch, the 40-year-old entrepreneur who wants to improve their people skills, or the 24-year-old driven young adult who is looking to build wealth with their entrepreneurial and sales skills and wants to build on their foundation more.