1. For the first few minutes of any sales interaction, don’t talk about yourself, products or services. Remember, nobody cares how great you are until they realize how great you think they are. Resist the temptation to throw out any pitches about your product or service.

2. Sell with questions, not answers. Forget about trying to sell your product or service, and focus instead on why your prospect wants to buy. To do this, you need to ask questions with no hidden agenda or ulterior motives.

3. Pretend you’re on a first date with your prospect. Get curious about your prospects. Ask about other products or services they’re already using. Find out what they really want.

4. Speak to prospects as you speak to your family or friends. This isn’t the time to switch to sales mode with ham-handed persuasion clich?s and tag lines. Speak normally, as you do with friends and loved ones.

5. Pay close attention to what your prospect isn’t saying. Is your prospect rushed? Does he or she seem agitated or upset? If so, ask “Is this a good time to talk? If not, perhaps we can meet another day.”

6. If asked a question, answer it briefly, then move on. Remember it isn’t about you; it’s about whether you’re right for them.

7. Know to whom you’re speaking before figuring out what it is that you want to say. Only after you’ve correctly assessed the needs of your prospect do you mention anything about what you’re offering.

8. Refrain from delivering the three-hour product seminar. Don’t ramble on and on about things that have no bearing on anything your prospect has said. Pick a handful of products that could help with your prospect’s situation and tell her or him about them.

9. Ask the prospect if there are any barriers to taking the next logical step. Having gone through the first eight steps, you should have a good understanding of your prospect’s needs, and are now ready to bridge the gap between those needs and what you’re offering.

10. Invite your prospect to take some kind of action. This erases the need for any closing techniques because the ball is in the prospect’s court. A sales close keeps the ball in your court, making you into a salesman instead of an advisor.

Source: Don Pooley, CFP, CLU, CHFC