Selling For Dummies (UK Edition)
With the right selling skills in your arsenal, you’ll have more happiness and satisfaction in all areas of your life, not just in your selling career (although your selling will certainly benefit too). To start down the road to sales success, you need to know how to make a good first impression, build a good relationship with your clients, give fantastic presentations, address client concerns and close sales.
Meeting Sales Prospects for the First Time
When you meet prospective clients during the selling cycle – or anyone, for that matter – for the first time, your goal is for them to like and trust you. You can accomplish that goal and be on your way to making a sale by completing the following steps, in this order:
Smile genuinely and warmly.
Make eye contact.
Offer a comfortable greeting.
Give your name and get the prospect’s name.
Long-term relationships begin in the first ten seconds.
Building Relationships and Friendships in Sales
Having contacted your prospect and arranged a meeting to discuss what you might be able to do for him, you need to connect with him on a personal level. Clients purchase from people they know, like and trust, so to help you here are a few thoughts to focus upon:
Show that you are genuinely interested in your prospect as a person by asking about his welfare, family and non-work issues.
Practice active listening, where you demonstrate your attention and interest by questioning and feeding back his comments rather than thinking about what you’re going to say next while he’s still talking!
Slow down your eagerness to win the deal, as this might feel predatory to your prospect. Instead, demonstrate that his time frame and speed works for you.
Always think of the bigger picture and find ways to help now, possibly by sharing useful business contact information. When a friendship is created, the long-term rewards are far greater.
By viewing your career as a series of constant meetings with friends, you shift your energy from hunter to colleague, and the client in turn sees you as a valued provider, not a predator. As you constantly work to genuinely attain the win-win scenario, you elevate your reputation and income and truly are on your way to your aspired-for success.
Making Winning Sales Presentations
Selling is about the client winning, not you! The client’s operational style and their feelings around what might or might not happen are what you skillfully relate to what you have to sell. Try remembering these key points:
People don’t buy logically; they buy emotionally, so you need to get them feeling how good it is to have purchased, rather than simply telling them that it will feel good!
Clients buy for their reasons, not yours. Always present your offering in their language and relate the benefits to their personal scenario by adding stories and illustrating benefits using images or situations they can see or feel as ‘real’ to them.
People don’t need to hear everything that you know about your offering, so don’t overwhelm them. What is relevant is the one or two key points that they’ve talked about in your relationship-building conversation.
Handling Objections as You Sell
An important step in the selling cycle is listening to and responding to your prospect’s concerns and objections. Objections or concerns are the prospect’s way of buying confidently. Allow them to talk about what concerns them and build their confidence in your product or service by listening, and the sale you make stays a sale after you’ve left.
Here are the steps to take when a person objects to something about the product or service you’re selling:
Hear the prospect out: Don’t be too quick to address every phrase your prospect utters. Give him time; encourage him to tell you the whole story behind his concern. If you don’t get the whole story, you won’t know what to do or say to change his mind.
Never be confrontational: Coming right back with a ‘That’s not the case, Mr Moore’ merely kills the sales potential.
Feed the objection back: By rephrasing what your prospect’s concerns are, you’re asking for even more information. You want to be sure that he’s aired it all so that no other concerns crop up after you’ve handled this one.
Question the objection: This step is where subtlety and tact come into play. Be sure to find out what feeling is behind that objection and reassure your prospect that your product or service is right for him.
Answer the objection: When you’re confident that you have the whole story behind your prospect’s concern, you can answer that concern with confidence.
Confirm the answer: You confirm your answers simply by saying, ‘That answers your concern, doesn’t it, Mr Parker?’ If you don’t complete this step, the prospect, in all likelihood, will raise that objection again.
Change gears with ‘By the way. . .’: By the way are three of the most useful words to move beyond the concern. Use these words to change gears – to move on to the next topic. Take a conscious, purposeful step back into your presentation.
Quick Pointers for Closing Any Sale
Most sales are lost because salespeople didn’t clearly ask for the business or asked at the wrong time. If your product or service has proven to be a truly good decision for your client, it’s your obligation to ask him to own it!
Develop your closing instinct with the help of the following guidelines:
When you feel the client warming up to the sale, say, ‘Mr Barnes, tell me, how are you feeling about all of this so far?’
Ask questions such as ‘That’s a really useful benefit to owning this, isn’t it?’ and ‘It will be great to be able to use that feature in the future, won’t it?’ These tie-down questions create a flow of mini yeses, which makes the big yes so much easier to get.
Be genuine. If you know in your heart your offering will benefit the client then allow your feelings to show. Nothing is wrong with enthusiasm and belief. Your feelings are key influencers; use them!
If the client says no, understand that no doesn’t mean no; it means, ‘no – based upon what you’ve told me so far. Give me another reason that I can accept and the no may become yes.’ Your task is to clarify which of the benefits of buying your offering are most appealing by asking, one at a time, ‘Would you like this benefit. . . ?’ Remember that the initial no might be nothing to do with you or your offering, so gently ask until you discover the real reason why your prospect is stalling.