Selling has evolved greatly in recent years. The idea that to succeed in sales one must have the ‘gift of the gab’ is extremely old fashioned. The modern customer is not looking to be sold to, rather have a discussion with someone who can solve his (or her) problems.
The most important skill you can have is the ability to listen to the customers’ needs and provide solutions to those needs. If you follow the 5 steps listed below you will be well on the way to becoming a sales expert. The following sales advice is based on many years selling experience.
This is designed to make the other person feel at ease and to break the ice. Introduce yourself and tell him a little bit about yourself and the company you represent. Thank him for agreeing to see you. Ask open questions to relax the other person and to get them to talk about themselves. Mirror their attitude towards you. Get into the same frame of mind. However, do not spend too long on this as it is important to remain business like at all times.
Establishing the need
Listen to what you are being told to establish what is required. Ask if it is OK to make notes. This will confirm that you are a professional and interested in the customers’ business and do not want to miss any important facts. If a need is not apparent make suggestions as to how the business could be improved based on your previous experiences. Relate real-life scenarios where you have helped other customers in the same situation without giving away confidentialities.
Presenting the solution or the benefit
The objective is to illustrate the benefits of using your company’s products or services. This means suggesting the right product for the right application by demonstrating the features, advantages and benefits of the product.
Feature What the product is
Advantage What the product is designed to do
Benefit What the product will achieve for the customer
There are a number of ways of doing this but one of the best ways is to demonstrate how your other customers have benefited in the same way as your prospect hopes to.
Closing simply means ‘asking for the order’ and there are many ways in which you can do this. The easiest way is to be assumptive. Talk as though the customer has already purchased from you by talking about the difference your product or service will make. The biggest mistake that salespeople make is to walk away from a customer who clearly wants to buy without recognising the buying signals or being simply too scared to ask if it is OK to go ahead.
Objections are the reasons customers give you for not placing the order. Rarely is the real reason one of cost. There are a number of ways in which these objections can be dealt with. If they are not genuine they should be recognised as such and further clarification sought. Some objections cannot be overcome but their impact should be minimised and put into perspective if the reasons for buying outweigh the reasons not to go ahead.
The way to handle these is to agree, re-state the benefits and close again.
If you require further training on this, or any other sales and marketing related topic, please contact The Last Hurdle Business Development Specialists