The quick buck? Or meeting your customers' needs?

So, you have the appointment to see a prospect. All you have to do now is to close the deal, yes? So why is it that you walk away empty-handed? Do you find selling really, really difficult? If you are, you’re not alone. It isn’t unusual to find that business owners find it hard to sell their product or service even when there is a perfect fit for the needs of the prospect. Why is this?

There are many reasons why the sale doesn’t happen and I’m not going to list them all here, but a leading cause why an otherwise good opportunity comes to nothing is the fact that the salesman is not comfortable with the role he is playing.

What comes to mind when you say salesman? A straw poll recently found the people associated the following words with Salesmen:

  • Pushy
  • Unreliable
  • Liar
  • Untrustworthy
  • Try to sell me what they’ve got rather than what I need

And that is why many people find selling difficult, because they don’t like those words being applied to them personally.

Let’s face it, we all have to sell. I met a business owner once who said he doesn’t sell, he waits for people to come and buy from him. Sadly, not many people came and bought, which was part of his problem. When I probed further he found it embarrassing to overtly push his service and ask for the sale.

So, the first thing which we need to do is to get past that negative connotation, and create a more positive image of ourselves as sales people. Get to the point where we believe in ourselves as providing a useful service at the right price to the people who need it. Feel good about selling.

In order to sell well, you have to believe in yourself, believe in your product, and believe in your business. In that order.

For simplicity I am going to define four types of sales person:

  • Order takers; the marketing has done the work, and people just come and buy
  • Product pushers; “You actually need this car/TV/answering service”
  • Oversellers; “The answer is yes, now what’s the question?”
  • Problem solvers; listens to what is needed and comes up with the right solution

The point is, if you listen to the prospect and understand what problem he is trying to solve, you are in a much better position to know whether the product or service that you have in your portfolio is going to work for them. If you gain a real insight into what his problem is, and then are able to articulate with passion how the benefits of your product or service can help resolve it then the prospect will gain confidence that you are the person to help him. And that is the vital word. Help.

Then, instead of selling a product to the prospect, you are helping them buy the solution to his problem. You might say that you are meeting the customer’s needs, and making a profit for yourself at the same time.

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

If you'd like to talk about how you can change your approach to sales, just use the form below to get in touch, and we can show you how to meet your customers needs, profitably

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