People hate to sell because they think it is about manipulating people into buying something from you … something that they don’t need / can’t afford and don’t want. We conjure up a picture of the dodgiest, slimiest sales person in the world … and we would do anything for people NOT to think of us in that way. We are so scared that they will think we are being pushy and manipulative that we forget that we actually might be able to help them.
Tell me about a great sales experience you have had … can’t ? That‘s because when you have had a great sales experience, it just feels like someone helped you to buy. That’s what great selling is. It isn’t pushy, or self-orientated, it’s about helping people buy.
If we are going to help someone, then first we need to know what they want and don’t want. Sometimes this is an easy process and sometimes you have to glean it from their actions and reactions.
Listening involves all your senses and is done in isolation to the rest of the sales process… what I mean is that until you are sure that you really understand the person – you can’t move onto the next step.
People buy something because they have a problem or a need. You are there to help them uncover and understand that need … that’s listening.
Where are we … they have a problem and you have a potential solution to that problem.
Now we have to see if we can make it fit their budget, timeframe and other needs. Fitting things together is about now explaining how your solution meets their needs and solves their problem. The best way to demonstrate this is to use stories of people that you have helped in the past. What was their problem, how did you help them and what was the resolution?
There is never going to be one story that encapsulates your clients needs and motivations and so it is important to explore different solutions until you are sure you are on the right track.
How do you know you are on the right track … well that involves more listening! Listen with your eyes and brain to see and interpret facial expressions and body language.
Yes! Look for objections. They are there lurking … and the sooner you get your customer to bring them out, the sooner you can answer them. If there are common objections that I think will be relevant to this client, then I often try to bring this up first.
“I have worked with a number of clients that have a similar business and initially they were worried about xxxxxxxx. Once we had been through the solution and they had spoken to some of our clients, they were happy that this wouldn’t happen with our solution.”
You know when a sales relationship works well because you create value for all parties. At a minimum this is you, the client and your company. But may well encompass the community and other stakeholders.
A great sale is one where all parties win.
If you take this view that you are always looking to create value, then the other precursor steps make perfect sense.
For the love of selling,
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