Did you know that you can talk yourself out of a sale?
You have two ears and one mouth, you need to use them proportionally in sales, otherwise you run the risk of talking yourself out of the sale. The key to getting the sale is asking great questions. Let your prospect buy from you rather than you sell your prospect. No-one likes to be ‘sold to’ and as soon as your prospect feels they are being ‘sold to’ they will turn cold and it will be even harder for you to get the sale.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to increase your chance of getting the sale.
#1 You only get one first impression
Make sure that your first contact with the prospect has a good impact. You only get one ‘first impression’ and your prospect will be making their initial assessment of you and your product/service based on your first contact. In fact, you can make or break the sale in the first 3 minutes of contact.
#2 Have a customer orientated ‘purpose’
Focus on what your customer needs, not on the fact that you need to get the sale! This can be especially difficult if cash flow is tight or you desperately need the sale. Your prospect will know if you are genuinely interested in what they need, and if your purpose is to help them get to a beneficial solution, they will be happier to buy from you. If your only focus is getting the sale, your prospect will be harder to convert, possibly increasing your focus to the point where it is a vicious cycle. As you become more desperate for the sale, it becomes harder to get the sale!
#3 Create a sales kit
It is important that you have the tools you need to help your prospect understand what you have on offer. A good sales kit will also provide you with structure and tools to keep you focused. In your sales kit you should include customer testimonials, Product samples or photos, relevant agreements and paperwork and a visual sales presentation. Make sure you use a quality folder rather than a cheap one that will be falling apart by the time you have used it a few times. I would recommend spending the extra few dollars on a leather folder; it always makes a good impression.
#4 Understanding People
Different people operate in different ways. We all have a certain personality type and a preferred modality of communication. It is important to know if your prospect will need a lot of detail or not, will they want to touch and feel your products or would they rather see it or hear it? Will they need re-assuring or are they the type of person that will jump straight in and try new things? As a professional salesperson you should know how to work out what personality type someone is, what modality of communication they use and how they would most likely want to be dealt with.
#5 Ask Lots of Questions
The key to getting the sale is asking great questions. This has two main purposes. Firstly, it will help you gather information about what your prospect is looking for so you can decide what you are best to offer. Secondly, asking great questions keeps you in control, and positions you as the expert in your field, your prospect will think that if you’re asking the questions you must know the answers…
When asking questions start with open ended questions. These are questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Usually an open ended question will start with Who, What, When, Why, Where or How. Once you have started to gather information you can then start to get more specific with your questions helping you find out exactly what your prospect needs. You can then check their temperature by asking something like “would you prefer the blue or yellow one?” If they choose one of these colours then it is likely they are ready to buy, you can proceed by asking a more detailed question like “would you like that delivered Tuesday or Wednesday?” At this point they will either give you a delivery date or you’ll get an objection.
#6 Handling Objections
Too often I have heard salespeople get argumentative when they receive an objection. This is not an attack on you, it is the prospects way of telling you they either need more information or they don’t see value in what you are offering. Arguing with your prospect will turn them off, and you won’t get the sale. If your prospect has an objection… Listen! Be empathetic and help them work through the issues. Ask them if there is anything else bothering them and if you resolve their issue will they go ahead today?
#7 Ask for the Sale
Your prospect knows you are trying to get them to buy your product/service and will be expecting you to ask them to buy. However, sometimes salespeople fear that they will get a rejection and they do not ask for the sale! To help make this easier, ask your prospect for permission before your sales presentation by saying something like “if at the end of my presentation we both agree that there is a benefit in working together, we’ll get the paperwork done today. Is that okay with you?” This way they will be expecting that if everything is okay, you will be getting them to make a commitment at the end of your presentation.
#8 Have Fun!
Finally, have fun! Don’t expect that everyone you see is going to buy from you, you need to be realistic, I will finish up by leaving you with a saying that I love… “Some will, Some wont, Some do, Some don’t”
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.