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This may seem obvious, but it cannot be emphasized enough: You are not selling to an organization or to a conglomerate, but to actual, real people. It is important to remember that all people are different, so you cannot sell the same way to everyone.
Second, no two sales are the same, even if they are made to the same company under similar circumstances.
To become a good salesperson, it isn't enough to know how to sell. You must aim to become a people expert. It may sound shocking, but the best professional salespeople actually like people!
Remember, people buy from people -- they always will.
Principle 2: You Have To Sell Yourself
Just as you are selling to people, you must also remember that you are not only selling and representing a product or service, but you are in effect selling yourself. When beginning a sales relationship, it is important to remember a few key aspects to representing yourself well.
First, be interesting. If potential customers are bored by you, they have less of a chance of being enthralled by any product or service you are representing.
Develop intellect. Of course, you are an intelligent person, but can you converse in an intelligent manner? Can you discuss related subjects with thoughtfulness and hold your clients' interest?
Never be arrogant -- never talk up or down to your potential clients. It's rude and will serve only to alienate them. Respect the buyer, and they will respect you.
Along the same lines, develop your empathy levels. If you can relate to your customers' situations authentically, it helps to build rapport. Finally, control your ego levels. A good salesperson is patient and respectful, not an egomaniac.
A good salesperson knows what questions to ask, and when. Develop your questioning techniques, always remembering the traditional rules of questioning: What? Where? When? Which? Why? Who? And how?
Continually test your understanding of the situation by asking questions and verifying that everybody's on the right track.
Principle 4: Listen To Understand
Remember, God has given us two ears and one mouth; we should use them in that order! Successful sales professionals talk for 20 percent of the time and listen for 80 percent of the time. It's crucial for new salespeople to develop their active-listening skills.
Principle 5: Features Must Be Linked to Benefits
It's a standard sales component, but the features-and-benefits connection bears repeating and reminding: Features are common, but benefits are personal and specific. When describing the product or service you are selling, use "link phrases" when outlining the benefits of the features you are showing. Say, "Such and such is a feature of this service, which means that . . .' Remember to be specific.
Principle 6: Sell the Results -- Paint a Picture
You want the outcome for your prospect to be rosy, but you need to convey that. Discover your prospect's "prime desires," and personalize the benefits to him or her. Describe the end results of the transaction and how it will improve the life of your prospect.
Emotion drives 84 percent of all buying decisions, not logic. What are the chief buying emotions? They include ego, security, pride of ownership, greed, health, prestige, status, ambition, and fear of loss. Be well aware of these emotions as you approach, engage and deal with your customers.
Principle 8: Selective Product Knowledge Is the Key
A good salesperson realizes that buyers buy solutions and results; they do not buy products or services. Know the specific aspects of your product or service that will create your client's desired result.
Principle 9: Aim To Be Unique
You want to convey to your customers an attitude of "me first," rather than "me too."
Every business, every company, every product has something that is unique, and this is what you need to stress. Look outside the square, and identify the uniqueness of your product, your service, your company -- and yourself.
It ’ s always a big mistake to “ show up and throw up ” a bunch of slides. That ’ s just asking for trouble, because the prospect will know that you ’ re not really prepared to talk about the prospect ’ s real issues. Therefore, before you present to a prospect, there are six key perspectives that you absolutely MUST have (if you want a fast sale). Here they are:
#1: Their History . Where are they coming from? How did they get here? What do they know about your and your firm? What dealings have taken place in the past?
#2: Frames of Reference. What ideologies and situations might affect their decision-making? Do they have a certain way of viewing your offering? How do they feel about their own firm?
#3: Needs and Desires. Where do they want to go? How do they expect to feel when they get there? How do they think they ’ re going to get there? What do they think will prevent it?
It is the potential cost to the individual customer if he/she makes a mistake.
It's not just the money, although that is part of it.
It is also the social, psychological and emotional cost that your customer will pay if your choice isn't the best one.
The lower the risk of the decision, the more likely your customer will say "yes" to you - regardless of the price.
In order to really understand risk, you must first see this issue from your customers' perspective.
Try to put yourself in their shoes, and calculate the amount of risk that you expect your customers to take when you offer them an opportunity to say "yes" to you.
Put yourself in the customer ’ s shoes.
Suppose the equipment didn't work the way it was supposed to? He could shut down production lines, spend weeks trying to make things right, cause all sorts of havoc in the plant, and potentially even lose his job. Now that's risk. If you were that plant manager, how much more than the original $20,000 quote would you spend to reduce the risk? It wouldn't be hard to justify a price double that.
Selling When You're Not The Lowest Price 09/08/11
3. Reading too many "Relationship Selling" books.
It ’ s good to build positive relationships with customers, however, people don't become lifelong pals after one or two sales calls.
Pushing the issue too quickly to "buddy up" may cause some people to back off instead.
Another difficulty is when salespeople spend too much time with non-selling conversation about personal matters, sports, family, the list is endless.
Always remember your customers are in the middle of doing a job that feeds their family and are expected to produce results, taking too much time with small talk or hanging out at a customers business breeds resentment.
Be respectful of other people's time.
Good business relationships develop slowly based upon mutual respect.
Keep initial sales calls cordial but professional. Being attentive to customer's needs so they see you as a dependable problem solver is one of the best ways to develop a long term business relationship.
Some salespeople enjoy the chase of obtaining new accounts so much they tend to ignore their established business. One of the most powerful marketing tools today is good customer service. Never allow customers to be treated as poor relatives looking for a handout. They are your most valuable asset.
Remember, your best customers are your competitor's best prospects!
Reason #3: Competition. It might first be necessary to unseat a competitor before the sales takes place. That can take time, especially if the competitor is internal to the customer, as when you ’ re selling outsourcing.
Fix: Discover the competitive landscape and who has the inside track. Build a campaign that specifically addresses the competitor ’ s weaknesses.
Reason #4: Priorities. As important as the sale is to you, it may not be all that important to the customer. People can only focus on a few things at once and your offering may not yet be at the top of the stack.
Fix: Revisit your customer contacts and build a stronger financial case. Get the customer to agree on how much it will cost them if they don ’ t buy now.