The thing, however, is that a business will not be successful if it does not sell. Whatever product or service you are offering, you need to sell it to people, or it will never count for anything.
Why is Training Important for Sales Skills?
Training your employees to have the right skills is important. You create a very important asset: the asset of differentiation. By giving your employees sales skills, you will give them (and by extension) your company an advantage that cannot be replicated by your competitors. It will set you apart in the market.
In the marketplace of today, differentiation makes all the difference.
Where it was once enough to offer a product or service that is unique, it is becoming more important to find ways to differentiate yourself from the competitions in other ways since products and services are becoming more and more uniform with lower barriers to entry.
Why not differentiate yourself through the selling skills of your company?
A Closer Look at Selling Skills
Selling skills are the collection of all the skills that make a salesperson good at their job. Think of them as a collective muscle that the salesperson uses when they’re trying to close a sale, and they have to consistently exercise if they’re going to remain strong.
There are at least 2 ways to develop sales skills: experience and training.
- While experience is a powerful way to develop these skills, it takes a long time and a lot of mistakes.
- Training, on the other hand, especially in the hands of a professional and using the right methods, takes much less time and takes most of the guesswork out of sales.
While the strategies a salesperson will apply change with the time and the situation, the basic principles that all salespersons should have tend to remain the same.
7 Crucial Tactics to Include in a Proper Sales Training
If you’re going to make great salespeople out of your employees, there are 7 crucial tactics you’re going to have to teach them.
One of them is all about the mindset they should be placing themselves in.
The other 6 is about various ways they can effectively close a sale and get a prospect to buy. While there are many aspects to effective selling and the subject is certainly wider than 7 core elements, these tactics are definitely important and should not be overlooked in any sales training class.
1 Remember That Sales Is Not About What You’re Selling
This is perhaps the most important thing a salesperson should know. If you teach nothing else to your sales team, then teach this one principle, and they might still go on to become a great sales team.
It may seem counterintuitive, but it is the heart of sales. Most entrepreneurs have the problem of focusing too much on their product. They toil and toil to create this wonderful product or service, and they fall in love with it; it’s their little baby,and they are very proud of it. However, that pride will not get them any customers, and it certainly won’t help their sales efforts.
The modern customer is a discerning one.
They know what the industry is like and they know what your competitors are offering relative to you. When you lead with your product or service, you are taking the wrong approach to a sale.
The customer really doesn’t care about your product, especially if it’s one in a sea of identical products from many different businesses. What the customer is really looking for is a solution. They really want help solving their problems, which are countless and keep increasing every day.
Your job as a salesperson is to figure out what the customer’s problem, their needs, are, and then try to meet those needs and solve those problems.
The customer should not see you as a salesperson; they should see you as a problem solver; their proverbial savior. If you can show them how your product meets their needs, and in a way that the products of your competitors cannot, then they will most likely buy it. That is the secret.
Types of Sales Closes
The next section is about important types of sales closes you should train your team about to improve their chances of closing a sale. Without these crucial tactics, they can never hope to convert a prospect into a buyer.
2 Closing with Urgency
When a salesperson uses the urgency close, they try to close with a benefit or feature of the product that encourages the prospect to purchase immediately. You see this everywhere as it is a fairly common tactic.
For example, the salesperson could point out that the item is the last one being offered at that price and that all subsequent identical items will be at a raised price.
The salesperson could also offer a discount to all customers who purchase the product on a given day. If it’s an online product, it could be an x% discount on the item for all those who sign up on that particular day.
If it’s a service with an especially long queue, the salesperson could promise to fast track the process and take the prospect to the front of the queue, provided them make the commitment to purchase the service immediately.
This particular tactic is very effective because urgency is a good motivator for buying things. The inertia the customer may feel is overcome and they pull the trigger immediately. The trick, however, is to make the product or service seem valuable first before you actually introduce the sense of urgency. It won’t work if the customer isn’t convinced of the value of your product.
3 Closing by Summary
This tactic involves repeating all the benefits and valuable features of a product to the prospect in order to give them that final little impetus that gets them to make the purchase. If you’re selling a washing machine, for example, you could summarize its technical features, any guarantees or warranties, and any extra offers on it in order to encourage the prospect to purchase the washing machine.
The whole idea behind the summary method is to make the features and benefits of the product appear as a compact package. The assumption here is that you have already given the prospect an in-depth explanation of all the features previously.
If the product has a lot of features, explaining them each in-depth has the danger of causing the customer to lose track of what truly matters. The summary at the end brings their attention back to the most important features of the product in order to ground their perception of the product.
By summarizing the good aspect of the product in the form of a package, you basically draw a picture for the customer that shows them how they stand to benefit from the deal.
4 The Sharp Angle
Customers often know they have the upper hand in negotiations and they will use it to ask for extras or reductions in price. They often also know that you expect that angle in the negotiations and so you probably already have approval from your manager to offer these discounts and add-ons.
You can regain the upper hand in the negotiations using the sharp angle close. If the customer asks for add-ons, for example, you can tell them you could offer them the add-ons provided they close the sale immediately.
The customer will be surprised on two counts in this case: they will be surprised because you agreed to their request so quickly and they will also be surprised because you used it to hurry the deal.
This technique can prove quite effective, provided the customer finds the product valuable enough. The fact that they asked for add-ons or a price reduction means they are already considering a purchase; they just need that little extra value. What this tactic does is offer them that value they’re seeking while extracting value from them in return.
5 The Question
This is a more modern type of sales close. Basically, there are two goals a modern sales rep should have. One the one hand, they should seek to discover the needs of the customer; on the other, they should seek to convince the customer that their product or service will meet those needs in a manner that is both satisfactory and affordable. As long as those goals are accomplished, the sale should be easy to close.
The question tactic seeks to achieve those goals by probing the prospect with questions. By asking questions, the salesperson seeks to build up desire for the product in the prospect while getting rid of any objections they might have.
You could ask the prospect if they feel the product you are offering meets their needs. If they answer in the negative, then you have to keep going until you can turn that answer into a yes.
6 The Assumptive Close
This modern sales technique is based on positive thinking. Basically the salesperson is supposed to believe, right from the beginning, that they will close a sale. It tends to make the whole process miraculously successful.
As a salesperson, to apply this technique effectively, you should constantly watch your prospect for their level of engagement and interest. Ask them questions along the way to figure out whether the product and interaction are aligning with their expectations while assuming that they have good intentions. This allows you to take the sale in a direction that you would find hard otherwise.
7 The Take-Away
This is based on the old psychological principle that people tend to focus more on what has been taken away from them. Rather than what’s given.
If you notice that the prospect has issues with the price, you can offer them a discount while removing a feature from the service or product. This puts more focus on what you took away than the discount you offered.
Selling skills are invaluable to teach your employees. Their ability to sell can either make or break your business. By teaching the right things in training, you set them, and your business by extension, up for massive success in the field.
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