Have you ever wanted something from someone? Do you know what to say or do to get it? Everyone can get frustrated with the sales process – you, your customer, your prospects, and even onlookers. The key to success is to learn from people who have mastered sales and apply those lessons to your sales strategy. Here are my top nine ways to master the art of sales.
1 – Be Original and Genuine
Everyone likes originality and a genuine, caring nature. When engaging with your customers and prospects, make sure what you say, your tone of voice, and your posture reflect originality and genuineness.
Show a genuine interest in your customer’s or prospect’s needs. Engage with the prospect or customer’s business, job, and role in his company. Understand their value and how to champion them so that you make them look great for choosing your product or service.
2 – Careful Reciting Sales Material you just Learned in a Sales Course
If you have taken sales training and are excited to try the new techniques you just learned in the next sale, be careful. Chances are that the person on the other side of the desk you are talking to might have his staff on similar sales training and if any coincidence it might just be the sales course you just took. Good example is SPIN Selling. This is one of the most widely used sales courses in professional sales. While you are “SPINNing” your prospect, chances are he already knows what you are trying to do to him so be careful and make your SPIN original. Only ask questions if they are applicable within the sales process and don’t force it, any unauthentic sales pitches set off red flags in buyers fast and can kill your sale right then and there. Leverage what you learn from a sales course by demonstrating your knowledge through your action. Use it to guide you, not to unintentionally “retrain” others who may have been exposed to the same sales materials.
3 – Do Not Feature Dump
I call this 80’s style selling, meaning it’s how things were sold in 1980’s, where you are super excited about telling the magnificent story of how your product has the best features on the planet and the buyer should buy what you are selling today. I don’t recommend this. Features are important but benefits are much more important. This ties right into listening. If you don’t listen to what the buyer is really saying, how will you know if the features will even benefit your buyer? Try to focus on key features your buyer seems excited about or asks about then confirm by asking them “Is that feature important to you”? After you have taken inventory of all the features they are looking for, it’s time to educate them about how the features they showed interest in will benefit them.
4 – Listen
One of the most difficult things to tolerate as a buyer is a salesperson that doesn’t listen. In fact, in my experience, if you are caught “not listening” to your client’s needs or just them telling them anything, chances are you have already lost that sale. This also includes talking when the prospect or client is talking. Let them talk. Based on my experience and observations, the more you listen, the easier the sale. How do you know that potential buyer isn’t “talking” themselves into making the decision? Or maybe this is their way of convincing themselves. The best advice I have ever been given in life is be a good listener; so listen up. Sometimes hearing “no” means you didn’t listen enough. Understand why they say no and adjust your technique accordingly. This means that you may have to listen more, listen carefully, and listen to learn.
5 – Ask Questions
Questions are a fundamental part of developing a good dialog with your customers and prospects. When you ask questions, they will feel like they are part of the buying decision, and as a result, they will more likely buy. Ask the right questions so that you can engage them in the conversations. Buyers are more likely to engage when they feel like you’re talking directly to them about a mutual problem that your product or service may solve.
6 – Develop Relationships
There is nothing worse than a salesperson that only calls customers when they want to make a sale. If this is you, here’s a tip that might help your career tremendously. Schedule a day a month to call or visit all existing customers. Remember you are a relationship manager and need to cultivate your clients relationships. This will enable you to build that strong foundation and be trusted within the account; therefore adding massive credibility to your recommendations toward their business. Like Zig Ziglar always said, “being trusted is essential”.
7 – Be Forthright
Remember the sales process is different for every client. Most buyers purchase things in their own accord. With the evolution of sales over the last 20 years, I’d have to say it is majorly a relationship selling that wins over the pushy used car salesman approach.
I’m sure you would agree the cliché “slimy used car salesman” didn’t just come out of nowhere. If you aren’t passionate about what you are selling, then don’t sell it. You are much better off finding something you are passionate about in life to sell or do. If you are not passionate about what you are selling, do you really think you will be able to transfer the enthusiasm needed to close the deal? Probably not, and it will show in your sales totals ever day.
8 – Never sell on Voicemail
If you are going to make the effort to phone a prospect, whatever you do, do not sell over their voicemail. Do not leave a 5 minute message about your company, products or services. If your prospect didn’t answer, I would recommend making a note in your sales schedule and calling them back to get them live at a later date. Remember, people buy from people and this initial phone call is probably your only chance to getting a live appointment, and you will want to do this live one on one making a great first impression.
Consider these tips in your next sales opportunity, and notice the positive impacts they have on the sales process. Remember, sales is not easy, but knowing how to do it can make a difference when closing a deal , building and retaining customers, and engaging your customers. What lessons have you learned that you apply to your daily sales routine that help you? I’d like to hear your thoughts.