Engage the customer interest
When you are out on sales calls, engaging with the customer is one of the most important things you can do. If you are going through your sales pitch and the customer starts to get bored or glassy eyed, you should always try and re-engage them … quickly!
Always focus on the customer
In the bad old days salespeople used to focus on the products they were trying to sell, not the market, and because they hadn’t done any research into the market place they didn’t know anything about the market place they were launching into!
Sounds bonkers these days but it happened. A Lot!
So, sales people would then have to try and sell their products to a market that didn’t really want them in any way possible, whether it was fair or unfair to the consumer, legal or illegal.
Now, in modern times, we know that selling is all about the customer, and about putting the customer at the heart of our business. We now know that the customer has got to be at the centre of every business because the customer is the one who pays our wages.
As soon as you change your sales thinking from how great you are as a company to focusing on how you can meet or exceed the customers’ needs, then, and only then, can you really start to sell to your maximum potential.
Do not sell straight away
One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is going for the BIG sale straight away. They don’t try to build any sort of rapport but instead, as soon as they walked through the front door, they are there with their hands open waiting to be paid.
That is not the way to the business in the 21st Century.
You need to listen to what your customers want even if you think you already know what they want, because people want to have their problems heard, and you can’t do that if you try to sell to them straight away.
Remember selling is all about satisfying the customer’s needs and seeing how you can match your services with the customer’s needs.
People will not be impressed if you immediately go for the hard sell and will almost certainly lead to failure of the transaction.
Offer opinions and recommendations
Remember you are the expert. Generally the customer is not. As long as the customer trusts you to be the expert in your field, one of the most powerful sales lines in the world is
“ For you in your situation, I recommend x product because…”
And you then go on to list all the benefits of the product you recommend that matches your prospects needs.
This not only shows that you have listened to her needs but it also sets you up as a professional to be listened to, and it shows excellent product knowledge too.
Find out about exact requirements and clarify
It is essential that you find out exactly what the customer wants and what solution or outcome she wants from your interaction. It will be incredibly difficult to make a “clean” sale (a good, open and honest sale) if you don’t know what it is your customer wants from you!
It is also essential that you clarify what you think you know about the customer’s problem to confirm that you have fully understood what it is the customer really wants before you state how you would solve the customers’ problems and deliver the price.
Asking questions ensures that you are able to provide the customer with exactly the right product or service that suits their needs. Questions are great because:
- it shows that you are focused on the customer
- it shows that you really want to fulfil their needs
- questions help keep the sales process on track
- questions help keep the sales process flowing
- questions, when repeated back with a positive “yes,” make the price so much less relevant
But how do you know, I mean really know, that your product is the perfect answer to her needs?
You ask lots and lots of questions.
It is the sign of a true sales professional to write down the answers to the questions the customer gives you, and then to read them back just before you state the price to show how you can meet or exceed their needs and demonstrate that your company can indeed help her with her problem.
Build a checklist of questions
Why not build a checklist menu of questions to ensure that you don’t miss any important questions? This will show you are extremely professional and will once again help ensure that you have fully met or exceeded your customers needs. This will also ensure you sell a lot more too by making sure you don’t miss any totally scrummy potential up-sells.
Sales is a system
On a sales quotation you must be crystal clear about what you want the outcome to be, and it may not always be a sale either. For example if you know that in your business it could well take three or four “sales touches” before any prospect would even consider buying from you then:
- a successful first meeting may be just to get their e-mail address.
- After that you can email them and ask them to “like you” on Facebook.
- Then you could send them a promotional Facebook message
- …and then send them promotional emails that are full of benefits of your products or services.
No matter what your sales process is, it is essential that there is actually a “sales process” and that each customer meeting or stage has a definite outcome that you want to achieve.