Small coffee shop owner standing in front of store.As you are aware, selling is an art that’s crafted through education and experience. It takes time and training to master the process. And though there are different styles of selling, there are some basics that seem to work well for most. These are grouped into three parts that when implemented, can produce great results!

Before we jump into these import parts of selling, it must be said that there is a difference between skillfully selling and order taking. Selling is the journey you take with a customer that produces an unforgettable and favorable experience. Order taking is simply a transaction with no adventure. The first gains loyalty.

Now let’s take a look into the three essential parts of a selling journey that potentially can lead to much greater sales. Do understand that this is not an all inclusive listing for each section, though it is a great start for most.

#1 = Approach

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression. So make it count.” Though that can be applied to almost anything, it resonates greatly with your business and your customers. And selling starts with approach.

How you approach a customer will never be the same for each one. You must quickly adapt and learn to “read” swiftly as they draw near. However, you can use the following 5 steps as a starting point for a positive approach in many cases.

5 Steps To A Positive Approach

  1. Smile: Non-verbal communication makes up most of your connection. And it starts with your facial expression. Smiling sets people at ease and is a silent invite to connect.
  2. Greet: Extend a greeting of “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” to all you meet. This instantly puts a positive tone on the meet up.
  3. Welcome: During the approach, a solid and genuine welcome goes a long way. If they walk into your store, welcome them there. Say something like, “Welcome to ____.”
  4. Introduce: Never miss the opportunity to introduce yourself. This gives you the easiest way to learn their name which you will want to remember and use later in the interaction.
  5. Question: Give them a chance to state their reason of interest. Do this by a simple question.

So an example approach would be:
[with a smile] “Good morning and welcome to ABC Store! My name is Jason.”
[wait for their name] “It’s a pleasure to meet you Allison. What may I assist you with today?”

#2 = Align

Have you ever had a car that was in bad need of an alignment? Yea, it stinks to try and travel any distance when it is not aligned because there is a resistance that is constantly happening.

This is the same with selling. For an enjoyable and frictionless sales journey, you must get into alignment with your customer. Once done, you both will enjoy the ride and may even travel further into a larger purchase.

3 Ways to Align With Customers

    1. Fully Focused: During your time together, that customer is the most important thing to you. Give him or her full attention and focus on what they say both verbally and nonverbally. Look them in the eyes when talking and resist the urge to glance elsewhere.
    2. Ask Questions: Questions are the keys that unlock reasons of purchase. When you ask great questions, you gain great insight. This will also help you gain trust from the customer because you are showing them you care about their wants and needs.
    3. Bridge Building: Because we are bodies of emotion, we love to make connections. Find a way to connect with your customers each time. One easy way is to simply call them by name. When you do this, it tells them you cared enough to learn and remember their name. Another fantastic way is through laughter. With every interaction, find a way to laugh and get your customer laughing with you. Laughter is one of these most powerful emotions and once you share a laugh or two, there is a bond formed between you and them. A by product of this is trust and people buy from those they trust.

#3 = Action

Once you aligned with your customer, you then move into the third stage. This is where the sale actually happens and you move your customer into Action.

Oddly, I have witnessed many times a great Approach and Alignment but when it comes to moving the customer into Action, the sales rep shuts down.

3 Steps to Action

  1. Benefits over Features: A major part of the selling process is understanding why the customer wants to purchase. You should gain that insight through alignment questions. If you did, then you can speak to the benefits of what you are offering. You see, no one buys because of the features. They buy because of what it does for them…the benefits.
  2. Visualize the Transformation: Once they understand the benefits your product or service offers, it’s easier for them to visualize the positive transformation they will gain. Be sure to help them in this and provide examples of just how different and better their life will become from the transformation that is gain through your offer.
  3. Invite them to Purchase: The invitation to purchase should always be offered. Even if they had already mentioned a lack of interest in immediate purchase. Also, even though other customers will tell you they want your offer without the invitation, always try to offer the invite. It adds to the enjoyment of the experience. This makes it exciting and it even helps those that may have reservations make a move to purchase. And it’s not hard to do.

The Sales Challenge

Ask yourself if you or your team is executing these properly and effectively. Find the opportunities to improve and challenge each other to raise your level of excellence. Focus in on one area and see how you can tweak it for best results.

Do some A/B split testing as well. See which way works best and gets the greatest results. Record your results and share with others. Collaborate and progress as a team, fine tuning your 3 A’s and increasing your sales.

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