How To Sell: Even If You’re Not a Polished Salesperson


Today we’re talking about how to sell even if you’re not a polished salesperson.

Learning how to sell is important no matter what business you’re in… yes, even if you got into business because you don’t really want to talk to people and you prefer to spend time alone in your home office.

I don’t consider myself to be a great salesperson, but I have learned what works for me… and I’ve also learned that like most things in life: you get better the more you practice.

How To Sell: The Simple Formula

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Check out the podcast version here.

6 Steps For How To Sell Anything

I’ve taken a ton of different sales training courses with complicated scripts to follow. I’ve read sales books. I’ve gone through sales training programs and gotten coached on my sales skills many times.

I learned something from each of these experiences, and today I’m going to give you a shortcut… but the most important thing I learned is that there’s no better teacher than actually having sales conversations and getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

Here’s the basic structure for how to have a sales conversation when you don’t feel like a confident salesperson. By the way, this structure also works great if you’re writing a sales page instead of having a live sales conversation, too.

1. Ask about the person’s current problem, pain, or frustration that relates to your business… For example if I were an intuitive healer I might ask what’s ailing you? Or as a designer I might ask what it is about your current website that isn’t working?

2. Get them to talk about the consequences of their current situation. You want to know why it’s important for them to solve this problem and what benefits they’ll get.

3. Ask them what they’d like to see happen to solve their problem, you know the ideal situation for them. This is my favorite part, and I can live in this world of possibilities with people, I just need to make sure that what they want is clear and attainable. We all want world peace and a healthy body, but what does that mean specifically and is it achievable?

4. Confirm how important it is for them to solve this problem right now. Not everyone is ready to take action, some people are okay with their current situation and others are chomping at the bit to get going. You can ask them to rate their commitment to solving this problem on a scale of 1 to 10.

5. Ask if they’d like to know how you can help. This is the magic question, because it allows you to talk about what you offer without feeling like a sleazy sales pitch.

If they say yes, you can talk about how you can help and how they can work with you. Otherwise, no problem, you can end the conversation.

6. Finally, you need to handle objections. After you tell someone your price or ask for the sale, you might hear a “Yes, but…” The trick to handling objections is to be prepared.

Most people have the same objections: time, money, and is it going to work for me? Come up with answers for these common objections, and write down any new ones you uncover.

Sometimes objections can help you design a better service or product, and they definitely help you understand your customers better.

One final tip on how to sell better is to not depend on each sales call. People can feel desperation.

If you have a ton of potential client calls lined up, you don’t need to feel attached to the outcome of each conversation!

Ready to practice? Click to tweet and share this post with your audience.

What tips do you have to share?

Leave a comment below if you’re a pro at making sales, or if you have questions about how to sell better!


  1. Julieta on August 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Excellent post! If you are human, you are in sales!

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Julieta! That’s so true, and sometimes we forget that. ;)

  2. Lori on August 14, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Love this Natalie…simple, clear, and really easy to follow! Thank you!

  3. silvia on August 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’ve been a pro salesperson and these tips are spot on. And in my current role as a chef, even though my clients come to me, they’re a reminder to speak to their specific needs by asking questions first. Thanks Nathalie.

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Glad to get your feedback as a pro salesperson, woohoo!

  4. Jules Taggart on August 14, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I love your tip for waiting until you get their permission before launching into ideas. I often jump into ideas right after a potential client talks about their pain, but it sometimes feels too early. I am going to try this next time. Thanks Nathalie!

  5. Gabriela Pereira on August 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Love this! Such a great video and so timely because I’m writing up a sales page this week.

    Also, I love, Love, LOVE step 5. I hate feeling like I’m giving that sleazy sales pitch so that step really resonated with me! I’ve seen lots of different sales pitch formulas and yours is the only one that includes that question.

    Question: I can totally see how step 5 fits in a phone or in-person conversation, but how would you suggest using that technique in a static sales page?

    Thanks again, Nathalie, for a great video!

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Hey Gabriela! When it comes to writing a sales page or in a sales video, you can still use step 5. You might use the words: “If this resonates with you, then keep reading to find out how I can help.” Or essentially, asking if what you’ve described so far lines up for them, and if so, then they should keep watching/reading to find out how you or your product can help. :)

  6. Elyse Sparkes on August 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

    This is SO helpful, thank you Nathalie! I really struggle with this part even though I know I have a great service…it’s really difficult for me to have the sales conversation. I’m bookmarking this page!

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Awesome Elyse! Make sure to practice, it gets easier over time. :)

  7. Craig Worrell on August 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Hey Nathalie,

    Great post!

    #5 is my fav. An interesting transition into “the dreaded close”. One that I will definitely implement, soonest.

    Also I was happy that you confirmed one of the keys to my sales growth….practice. It has been a key ingredient.


    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 9:47 am

      Absolutely Craig! Glad this was helpful and it seems #5 is going to help a lot of us reframe the dreaded close. :)

  8. Siri Mera on August 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

    This is exactly what I needed today. Thanks Nathalie!

  9. Karen Andrews on August 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I think the prinicples of motivational interviewing are extremely helpful, which you touched on by asking people how motivated they are to change their situation, on a scale of 1- 10. I believe the next step is to ask them how they might get from # 3 to say, # 7, what's standing in their way of feeling really jazzed about doing or having this. I like this very succinct approach. Also, Robert Middleton is a fabulous resource.

  10. Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks Karen, that's a great addition! I think some people are ready and others need more time, but figuring out what they need to get motivated is a wonderful idea!

  11. AnaGoncalves on August 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you Natalie, for a very helpful and insightful video. This is exactly what I am learning and re-framing at the moment as I am starting out. Having had my first two strategy sessions I now see that the route needs to go deeper and that in order to support others in a wider way I need to be willing to find out how much of a change they want and step out of my own comfort zone to facilitate them to that awareness.

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Absolutely Ana! Glad this is helpful and came in time for your 3rd strategy session! :) Let us know how it goes!

  12. Kate Edgar on August 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    If I’m not an ace at sales yet, I will be with these tips. So thank you; I intend on getting them down pat!

  13. Allyson on August 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Great video, Natalie. I don’t think I do a good enough job trying to fully understand what my ideal customer wants or feels a lack of. I think I too often provide the content that solves my own problems. Thanks for a good reminder not to do that!

    • Sarah Noked on February 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Nathalie, great article. What a great formula. I would agree that we sometimes provide the content that solves our own problems. We forget to listen to what the customer needs.

  14. The Body & Soul Coach on August 15, 2013 at 3:17 am

    awesome video :)

  15. Jess on August 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Awesome tips Natalie, they have really helped me improve my sales conversations. Thank you x

  16. Nicole Bathurst on August 15, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Really helpful thanks Nathalie.

  17. Don T Ashley on August 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Great points, the only thing I might add is your level of enthusiasm…when people believe your "sold" on your own product, it's contagious…I'm excited about my product, the potential clients senses that as well; when I hit the right level of excitement, my close rate goes WAY UP…again, thanks for the great offerings.

  18. Leanne Jones on August 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks Nathalie, this is really helpful for me! I also just took at look at LeadPlayer that you are using for your video's, I'm just starting out with doing video so I've been researching the best way to do this, LeadPlayer looks great. Can I ask you how do you put the block of text on the right of the above video? I use iMovie on my Mac to edit video's and there are options for creating various titles etc, but I'm trying to figure out how to put a title on each video that is visible on the still thumbnail or if I include it in a blog post. Thanks!

  19. Nathalie Lussier on August 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Leanne! That's done after the video is done and uploaded. We take a screenshot, and then in a program like Skitch, photoshop, picmonkey, etc – we add the text and graphic on top. Then we upload it as the thumpnail for the video. :)

  20. Nathalie Lussier on August 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    That's an awesome point Don, thanks for sharing! The more you love what you do, the more people will see the magic in it, that's for sure. :)

  21. webly on August 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Awesome video Nathalie. Going through those points that you mentioned will save my time as well as the prospect client time. I am not too crazy about selling stuff but by now I realize that you are selling something all the time when you are in business for yourself.

  22. Michelle M Arsenault Author on August 16, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Love your training videos, you are such a doll! My issue is sort of unique. What if you are trying to sell products but not directly from your site. I'm an author trying to sell more books but the challenge is capture people's attention and stand out against the many, many MANY other authors out there:-)

  23. Leanne Jones on August 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Nathalie, that is so helpful. I'm off to play with picmonkey now! :-)

  24. Siri Mera on August 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Woo hoo…several days later I just finished my sales letter for my new program. I used this post as an outline for the video sales letter I’m going to create. Except for numbers 5 and 6, which I figure can be used when people actually respond to me. I’m really excited about this now. Thanks so much Nathalie!

  25. Nathalie Lussier on August 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Michelle! I think it's a matter of capturing the people, as you say, so that you can market to them over time. So essentially building an email list of interested prospects, whether they buy your book right away or in a few months.

    Then it's a matter of making offers to these people, so they know what you have for sale (your book, etc). :)

  26. Michelle M Arsenault Author on September 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Nathalie Lussier Thank you! Once again, love your training videos. I learn so much…

  27. Wendy Schultz on August 8, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I think the number one thing is to be personable and likeable! I’ve been in vendor selection in my day job for 11 years and I rarely do business with someone I don’t like.

  28. Jennifer Bradley on January 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Excellent video.

    It helps to have a great product. :)

    If you have an outstanding product that you truly believe in, you should never put too much pressure on the buyer. You should present the questions, the answers, the icing on the cake, and leave customer with the feeling that they LOVE YOU for giving them solutions, even if they do not purchase immediately. They will, ultimately buy from you because, guess what: they LOVE YOU

    AND the product is amazing, which will make them love you that much more.

    Thank you, Natalie for the great video!

  29. Dennise Lannister on April 7, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Hi Nathalie! I really like your tips. I admire how you positively deliver and explain each step. They are really helpful. This is very applicable to every individual who wants to engage in selling even if they don’t have any skills to do so or any experiences and training to assist them. I can add another step or tip. Whenever you start engaging with your prospective client/customer, find out if he or she is willing to share opinions and if he or she is willing to let you into his or her shoes. This is helpful because it’s the best way you can understand the person you’re dealing with. In this way you can have a great bonding relationship with them. I hope it helped. I can use these tips and apply it to my current job. And I can use this in my extra job in I just joined though I don’t have the exact skills of a sales professional, the company provided me with access to companies and match me with them accordingly at the extent that they choose the right job for me. Invisume shows me my worth as a salesperson and gives me time to work privately with it. Thanks for this. It surely boosts my sales skills. I will continue to read your next posts.