selling to small businessesPeople are always looking for ways to get better at selling. After all, developing your sales skills is as good as money in the bank! But for every good piece of sales advice out there, there are two crazy or downright wrong ones.

Here are six classic sales tips that won’t let you down.

1. Get criticism

Either record yourself and review the video, or have someone watch your pitch and critique it. This way, you’ll get a clear look at how your pitch is received, and some mannerisms you might not be aware of. The best sales pitches are natural and delivered without artifice, and criticism will help you root out the behaviors and words that you might think are solid gold, but that are actually hurting your sales pitches.

Be honest with yourself, and be open to change, and your pitch will continually improve. And so will your conversion rate!

2. Study your product

Many salespeople know what they want to say about their product, and leave it at that. But the best salespeople keep up with studying their product and industry. This can mean reading reviews, catching up on innovations, testing competing offerings, and more.

In short, be a master of your topic.

This will help you in several ways: 1) you’ll rarely be surprised in a sales meeting, 2) you’ll rarely be without a response to a prospect’s comment, and 3) you’ll understand the true value of your offering. All of these things will help you sell more effectively.

3. Focus on the prospect

Sales is a performance, but the star of the show isn’t you – it’s the prospect! Be keenly attuned to how they react to your pitch, and tailor your pitch to what interests them. Don’t bowl them over with points that you think are stellar. Instead, have a two-way conversation driven by their needs. And don’t use canned re-directions that take the conversation back to your favorite points. Put yourself in their shoes and actually work to solve their problems. If you can, you’ll probably make a sale.

4. Ask for honest feedback

If they show you the door and don’t seem interested, ask for a candid reason why. Tell them your feelings won’t be hurt, and you want to make your offering better in the future. Often, a prospect will use a cover reason to end things neatly. Ask for the ugly truth, and no presentation will ever be a total loss. You’ll walk out with valuable, useful information, more often than not.

5. Don’t get discouraged
When trying to sell, you’ll suffer a ton of rejection, unfortunately. But you’ll have to thicken your skin and be ready to keep pushing on. Sales is a numbers game – if you contact enough prospects, you’ll eventually find people who are interested in your offering. And if you contact a huge amount of prospects over time, in the end, you’ll have a successful business!

6. No tricks

Instead of finding clever ways to coerce people into saying, “Yes,” make them actually want to say “Yes.” This means figuring out how to actually demonstrate the value of your offering to various prospects. Get rid of the gimmicks, and focus on solving problems.

That’s a winning approach.