What is the #1 Rule of Sales?

Are you in sales? Hint: If you have your own business, you are! And if you’re in sales, you probably have a top sales tip for driving new business. What is your favorite sales tip?

selling rules #1 rule of sales

Ask ten people and you will get ten different answers. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the excellent responses I found when researching this topic…

10 Rules for Sales Success

  1. Never end your day without taking at least one proactive step to put prospective business in the top of your sales funnel.
  2. ABC’s of selling — Always Be Closing. The Alec Baldwin approach to sales from Glengarry Glen Ross, if you’re not selling someone else will be.
  3. Start a simple conversation. Don’t try to sell at the beginning of a customer relationship. (Looks like we have a difference of opinion here between #2 and #3).
  4. Know your destination. Identify your clients in advance, it will make it much easier to sell to them later on.
  5. Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. It’s not about you, your products or services; it’s all about them, so find a way to serve the customer.
  6. Follow the Golden Rule principle when selling. “Sell to other people the way you would like to be sold to”.
  7. Never talk poorly about a competitor to a prospective customer. It is not attractive and makes you look bad.
  8. “You never know until you ask”.  Asking a good question is one of the most important things a salesperson can do to start the close.
  9. Similarly, “You miss 100% of the sales you don’t ask for”. At some point you will have to sell your product, your service, your concept, and even yourself.
  10. You have to learn to fail to win. You have to fail in order to find out what you’re truly capable of achieving.

There is a lot of great advice, wisdom and anecdotes about successful selling. Each of the above rules of sales have merit, and should be included in your sales toolkit for future reference.

However, at the end of the day the #1 rule of sales is that it doesn’t matter. Much like the 2, 6 or 7 steps to a perfect golf swing. It is not about the number of steps. It’s about focusing on the goal – to hit the little white ball 275 yards straight down the fairway toward the pin.

This same logic applies to sales. In reality, there is no clear-cut #1 rule when it comes to sales. It is about one thing and one thing only, “if you take care of the customer everything else will fall into place”. Does that mean we have a new #1 rule of sales? (Just kidding).

Don’t focus on the rules or steps to successful sales, put your emphasis instead on taking care of the customer and building great relationships. Success will follow.

Which of the above rules do you find easiest to apply, and which one is the most challenging for you?

Editor’s note: To learn more about John Carroll’s perspective on selling, you may refer to his on-line training class Discover Your Formula for Success.

John Carroll

John Carroll is a Business and Leadership Strategist, Best-Selling Author, Blogger & Speaker. Top 100 Leadership Expert to Follow. Who's writing your story today?

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Author: John Carroll