A lot has been written about what makes a good salesperson. Education, experience, training, and even a certain inborn "killer instinct" have all been mentioned as necessary qualities to be good at sales. From my experience, however, best salespeople are ones who are best "people watchers."
In other words, to be able to sell to your customers, you have to be able to know who they are, what they want, and what they are feeling. All of these can be determined with good research, strong observation skills, and an attentive nature.
Knowing your customers is not just a one-time act -- you want to pay attention to your customers before, during, and after sale:
BEFORE THE SALE:
You should have a feel for your "ideal" customer before you launch any advertising or marketing campaign. What newspapers, magazines, and e-zines do they read? What topics interest them most? What groups or associations do they belong to?
You can devise a questionnaire to send to your best customers and prospects. Entice them with a free offer or a big discount.
Many actors start developing their character by writing down a long list of words that describe character. This helps actor think deeply about part they are going to play.
This strategy works well to help you figure out what kind of people buy often. You likely know far more about your prospects and customers than you realize. This method helps you get a clearer understanding of what you probably already know.
DURING THE SALE:
You can save yourself time and energy by paying close attention to your customers during sales process. One thing you should definitely do is watch for signs that customer is ready to buy.
The more expensive your product or service, more time it takes to sell it. Customers want to know all about how it works and what it can do to make their life or business better. Help them work through this process and you will make more sales.
Here are a few signs customers give you when they are ready to buy.
The customer suddenly speeds up pace. She has decided she wants to buy and is moving with more purpose toward sale.
Some people are just opposite. They slow down pace when they get serious about buying. Rush them and you will lose sale.