Many companies rely on salespeople who are "gifted talkers" or who have charismatic personalities. So why do some reps make it and others fail, even while trying to sell the same product to the same kind of prospect?

Based on years of research on this subject, we can say: "Whenever an interaction between two or more parties takes place, for the purpose of establishing new ideas, exchanging goods or services, or the development of a relationship, some form of selling will occur and the skills of the communicator will determine the outcome."

You Need ...

So what are the skills necessary to sell a home improvement project? It all boils down to understanding your prospects and what they are saying, although this isn't as easy as it sounds. Here are three simple guidelines:

  • 1) Stop telling. Selling requires a lot of listening; needs assessment; determining how the prospect is thinking and feeling.
  • 2) Listen and process information ? particularly in the early stages. Doing so is perceived by customers as helping and caring.
  • 3) Sell efficiently. You are selling efficiently when the buyer is convinced that it is his or her decision to buy. Notice that the satisfied customer often says, "I bought this from ..." rather than, "What's-his-name sold this to me."

Sell With Science

There is a science to selling home improvement projects in the home. You must work at it and understand that you have certain cultural, emotional, and perceptional blocks that may prevent you from doing or saying what is in your best interests and the best interests of your customers.

Scientific selling could be described as "a problem-solving discussion between salesperson and prospect that leads toward a meeting of the minds that deepens the dependence on each other (a collaborative effect)."

?Dave Yoho is the president of the oldest, largest consulting company representing small business ( His newest CD is The Science of Successful In-Home Selling. Listen to the chapter, "Debunking the 7 Myths of In-Home Selling," at