In my years of training, selling and helping others, I have gotten this question above all others: "How do I become a salesperson?".
I could tell what they were really asking, though: "How do I avoid becoming one of those terrible, pushy salespeople and be... um... better?"
The sad truth was that most folks don't know anything other than the pushy, trickster used car salesmen avatar that we've seen through movies, TV and personal experience. But that's the beauty of it - a great salesperson never makes you FEEL like you're being sold to.
Instead, the best sales people are truly problem solvers. Life enhancers. Joy givers.
When folks talk to you, they want something. Maybe they want a beautiful piece of jewelry for a special gift. Maybe they want a new haircut to signify a big change, fresh start in the their life. Perhaps they're looking for a logo for their company because the old one is outdated and is losing them big client proposals.
And guess what? Your talented self can help them!
1. Be a helper.
Come from a place where you want to help someone! No one likes to have things forced on them and no one likes to give someone something they don't want or need, so starts from a win-win position and ask "Are you looking for something in particular?" or "Can I help steer you in the right direction?". Best case scenario, you find out that you can help! Worst case, you find out you can't help them and save you and them a lot of time!
2. Ask some questions!
Do you remember falling in love? Some folks find it at first sight, but for the rest of the world, we fall in love by asking QUESTIONS! Why? Because we can connect, help, discover and learn when we do. So put aside your shy gene as ask some good questions. Find out if they've bought your product before ("Have you ever had a website designed for you?"), how they heard of you ("Have you seen us online on Facebook at all?") or what they'll do with what you make ("What's the feel of your wedding going to be? Romantic? Fun?") and soak in their answers - the more the share, the more you know them and can help point them in the right direction of your product!
3. Be the expert & share the knowledge.
Most people do not know everything about everything, but they're in luck when they meet you: You know everything about what you do, why it's special, how it's made and what it can be used best for, so share the love and educate them! Make soaps and someone has a rosacea? Boom, share some knowledge about what they can do to manage their skin, recommend one of your soaps, and explain why this bar will change their life and their skin!
4. Enjoy the joy!
When you sell something to someone, after helping them, asking some questions, and sharing your knowledge, you'll be bowled over with the happiness that you've given to them, yourselves, your art and your bank account. Talk about a win-win-win-win-win!
At the end of the day, sales isn't scary. The used car salesmen of the world are because they want fast money since they can't guarantee that the car will be running tomorrow.
But your art? It'll last longer, bring more joy, and you stand behind it - find the joy and help your customer and they'll be yours forever.
Have fun selling!