Changing the Image of Sales

July 3, 2012 by  Filed under: Sales 

Sales are one of the most tedious jobs within the business. A lot rides upon ones shoulders when performing this task, especially when you are commissioned. You not only have the responsibility of selling a product, but you also are presenting the image of the company as a whole, in whatever period your interaction requires. On top of this, you are ensuring that you are providing the client with the most amount of information that will benefit their situation, and attempting to make money to put food on the table. The worst part about sales, the way people look at you thinking you are just trying to sell them something. While part of this is true, it should not be entirely true. Obviously I cannot speak for all companies while I am writing this, but most companies want to do what is best for their clients. They do not want to shove something down their throat. The company that does what is best for their client will see return business, and referrals to friends and family. So how do we change this image and show our client that we truly care? I am going to provide you with some unique information that some may already know, and others may not. Most of this information comes from life experiences in sales.

One of the first things that one can do with a client is listen. Listening to the customer is going to be key. Any book can tell you this, but there is one special key to listening. Listen attentively for key information related to your products. Talking with customers about their day to day operations whether it be business related, or consumer related is key. At my current job we do what is called a needs assessment. During this needs assessment we talk to our clients about what they do, and why they are meeting with us. Over 99% of the time I can pull out every product that we offer that could benefit the client within 90 seconds. It sounds so simple, but so many people mess it up, or just fail to do it. Without this 90 second conversation you could possibly over sell the client, or even undersell the client. This is why this part is so important.

Another thing that you can do to enhance your interaction is to personalize the experience with your client. Get to know your client in regards to some of their hobbies and interests. Not only may you be able to pull additional benefits out from this, but when you have a repeat client you have small talk. Asking how the family is doing, or how little jimmys football game went can go a long way in making the sales process personable. I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with sales people that are boring, and it just makes me not want to buy.

The next thing I would recommend is to not overwhelm the client. Giving the client too much information can be suicide when trying to close a sale. The more information that you give a client, the more reasons they have to want to “think about it.” When giving a client information about products or services, only give them information that is pertinent to their specific needs. If you have done the needs assessment that I recommended previously this will be no problem. Giving them just the right amount of information keeps the client focused, and it keeps them from getting confused. It is acceptable to mention bits of additional information if you think it will be necessary in the future as many companies are growing constantly.

One thing that I should not need to mention, but will, is confidence. Confidence is always key to a great interaction. A confident sales professional is a knowledgeable sales professional. If you do not know what you are talking about the client will know. I have heard the term “fake it til you make it,” and that is not true with sales. I can tell you numerous times that people have tried selling me items that they had no clue about. They truly thought they could get away with faking it, but I could see right through them. The slightest stumble on a question, or going back on something you previously said, will kill your sale on the spot. Know your products inside and out!

The best tip that I am going to give will go against everything that most sales training books, videos, and personnel has ever said. DO NOT USE ASSUMPTIVE CLOSING TECHNIQUES! Using these closing phrases like “lets get this started”, or “I have everything you need here I just need to confirm some information,” will get you nowhere. There used to be a time where these phrases worked. Now people look at you like a used car salesman when you say these things. People do not want to feel pushed. The greatest way to gain a sale without asking is to recommend. This is something my company is doing, and something that I have believed in for the last 5 years dealing with people. After you have talked with your customer and went over the information, put together either on paper or verbally what you would recommend for the client. Use something like, “Based on the information you have given me I would recommend… ” This will go much farther than you think. Recommending something to a client puts your own personal stamp on it. You listened to the customer, you went over the information, and now your recommending products that will best meet the needs of your client. This by far is much better that the outdated assumptive closing techniques. Clients will appreciate that you took the time to listen to them, and put together what you believe would be best for them. This has been the most successful sales approach that I have used to date.

The last tip that I am going to leave you with is something that many have heard over and over again. Overcoming objections… a customer with an objection is more than likely an uneducated customer. Even when there is an objection to price there is still more information that you can give to the customer. Pricing objections can sometimes be the easiest to overcome. The best thing you can do is to provide the benefits of the product to overcome the objection. Tell the customer: “yes I understand you are concerned with the price, however you are getting… ” This technique definitely works. Many times customers do not see the value in what they are getting, and often that is what is most important.

Chris Glass, Sr. Consultant, helps businesses to realize their true potential in the internet world. Chris provides information to businesses seeking advice in many focuses online. Check out his blog at http://www.mediamarketingtechnology.com

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