Selling - What's the secret?

“He’s a born salesman; he could sell ice to an eskimo”

 “I’ve never been able to sell; I’m not aggressive enough…..”

“This product is brilliant - if only I knew how to sell I could be a millionaire”

There is no doubt that there are natural salespeople, those who don’t have to think too hard about it, but are just very persuasive and always end up landing the deal. But for a lot of us, selling can be daunting, and we find that our sales results never quite match up to our expectations. We struggle to get in front of prospects and then, when we do, we fail to convert them into customers!

So, Selling – What’s the secret?

Well, as with many things in business, it’s a process and one of the most widely used is the 7 Step Sales Process. Now, if you google 7 Step Sales Process there are about five or six variations on the theme, and Brian Tracy’s version  goes along the lines of:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Building Trust
  3. Questioning
  4. Presentation
  5. Overcoming objections
  6. Closing
  7. Follow Up

But the first, the very first thing , before you even approach is customer, step 0 if you like, is preparation.

Are you prepared? Consider the following:

How well do you know your products?

Do you know the products inside out, and are you able to answer any questions which are going to come up during the sales process?

Do you have belief in your products?

If you believe in the product and that it does what we say it can do, then you will be more confident in finding a way to convince the buyers that this is the product for them. If you don’t believe in the product then that lack of faith shows through.

What makes your offering different from your competitors?

What are other competitors able and likely to offer? What makes your product offering stand out and meet your customer’s needs better? If you know this, you can then explain the benefits to your customers.

Do you understand who your target customer is and what they want from their purchase?

You have a product and you need to make sure you know who the customer is likely to be for it. To do this, you need to know what it would be about the product that is attractive to the customer, as well as understanding the language that they would respond to as a result. As is often said, you need to be able to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes, so that you understand what makes them think this would work for them.

Of course, there can be more than one type of customer. For example, let’s pretend you’re selling skateboards. One type of customer will be the 14 year old boy, who sees the skateboard as a provider of thrills, excitement and speed and which he can use to develop his skills in the skate park (and look cool of course). These are the sort of things you will need to focus on as you look to attract him as a customer.

But, if you were looking to sell the same skateboard to his grandmother, who is buying it as a present, you might focus on different features such as the stability of the skateboard, the non-slip deck and so on. You may even bundle it with helmet, knee and elbow pads so as to enhance the safety aspect of the sale.

Do you need to work on yourself?

Do you have the confidence to get your messages across in a positive way, so that the prospect is more likely to buy from you than someone else? Have you got a positive attitude and demeanour that instils confidence in you in the eyes of the prospect?

Have you qualified your target customer?

Three questions:

  • Do they want to buy?
  • Can they afford to buy?
  • Are they ready to buy now?

Sales meetings often fail because you haven’t done your homework and as a result the prospect isn’t a prospect at all. If you keep going to sales meetings and find that the customer doesn’t want what you have, you need to think about how you are qualifying them. Going to a poorly qualified sales meeting is just a waste of time, both yours and the prospect’s. The knock on effect is that, if you fail to sell a lot of times, your confidence wanes and failure becomes almost a self-fulfilling prophecy

So, to improve your sales performance you need to follow a sales process, and to be really successful you need to do the preparation so your efforts will bear fruit:

  • Be sure you know what you’re selling
  • Be confident your products meet the needs of the customers
  • Understand your selling advantage over your competition
  • Know what makes your prospects tick and what they will get through buying from you
  • Be confident in yourself and champion the product you are selling
  • Do your homework and qualify prospects so you know they are genuine buyers
  • Be ready to deal with buying objections so prospects will be confident in buying from you

If you have a great product, but do not seem to have enough sales or your conversion rates are low, contact us and we will show you how you can build a complete sales process that will help you to maximise your sales.

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