Selling doesn’t come easily to everyone.
I remember absolutely freezing during my first sales call. Lost for words and utterly unsure what tack to take.
Luckily, I had the chance to learn some basic and very easy to learn principles. While I will never be a hard sales expert, I am now confident in using my own unique style to close that sales opportunity when required.
Some people think that it’s all about the confidence and the determination, I say – it’s all about the psychology and understanding what your customer wants. And while confidence can’t always be taught, the latter certainly can.
7 tips to improve your sales technique
Know your customer
If you don’t know who you are selling to, you’re really going to struggle. For every product and service there will be a range of reasons why someone might be interested. If you pick the wrong reason to focus on then you’ll find your task very difficult.
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» Free Webcast: Build Better Products by Identifying and Validating Your Riskiest Assumptions
In broad terms – know your target market. Know what age they are, what they like to do in their spare time, if they have a family, what their likes and dislikes are. Draw yourself up a customer profile and target all of your marketing efforts to persuade that person to buy from you.
In specific terms – get to know the potential customer who is talking to you. What can you find out about them? We all appreciate it when people take the effort to get to know us. The smallest of personal details (showing you pay attention and care) can help you to close a sale.
Explain the benefits
The reason why you need to know your customer is because it helps you to explain the benefits of your product.
Listing the features of your product or service isn’t persuasive as it doesn’t immediately make it clear what this service can do for you. Remember that potential customers don’t care about your product or service. They care about what it can do for them. Will it save them money? Time? Create peace of mind?
Don’t leave it for your customers to figure out what the benefit of a particular feature is. Spell it out for them and make it easy for them to see why it is such a helpful thing to buy.
What is even more effective than mentioning a benefit, is explaining how your product or service solves a problem; we are simply hardwired to avoid and solve problems.
By creating an obstacle and then removing it you are emphasising the immediate benefits, and making the reason to buy more psychologically enticing.
Remove hassle, prevent a catastrophe, and cure those pesky annoyances. Who doesn’t want to do that?
Paint a picture
Anecdotes and stories are a powerful thing. Did you know that once we believe a story that no amount of statistics will make us change our mind? Or that using a story to prove a point is 66% more effective than using a stat? Do yourself a favour and start using stories today.
In sales, they are a godsend. Whether you are painting a hypothetical picture or simply telling a true story you will find that they are a very effective way of drawing together the problems you solve, the benefits you create and getting your potential customer to imagine themselves in that situation.
Know the answers to every objection
Whatever may stop your ideal customer just as they are about to buy, you need to be able to overcome it. Draw up a list of all the objections that a client might have to buying your product or service, and think about how you would address each one.
What you don’t want is to get caught out – if you stumble then your prospect may lose faith in you and what you’re selling. Prepare yourself thoroughly, and if possible try and overcome all objections before they can even be raised.
That way, your customer won’t be able to think of a single reason not to buy – so why wouldn’t they?
Get to the point
No one has the time to figure out what you’re offering. Even though a little small talk can be good as a filler to build a relationship, getting to the point is vital – you don’t want to annoy by wasting time (this is one of the main reasons why cold calling doesn’t work).
Believe & be happy
Genuine belief that your product or service is the right solution for the people you are talking to is far more than half the battle. If you believe then you’ll be confident, and you will want to use everything in your arsenal to persuade them that if they buy they are making the right decision.
Moreover, belief and knowledge about what you are selling will make you happy to sell it – you’ll be improving the lives of your customers. And to quote that wise salesman Nev from The Call Centre “Happy people sell”.
P.S. If you want an entertaining way to see how top sales agents go about making sales I couldn’t recommend The Call Centre enough. It is a surprising watch that is a fascinating insight into the ‘factories of our time’ and what it is like to be a young sales agent (among other things).