What is your perception of selling? Often times salespeople in organizations are associated with negative connotations of mistrust and a lack of care. Some people view salespeople as self-centered individuals who only think about how they will make a profit. You’ll find that this is mostly untrue. While there are a few out there that have an unethical approach to achievement, this is the exception, not the rule.
If you haven’t already, you will need to hone your sales skills in order to close more deals and find new customers. Although it takes time and effort here are a few selling tips to get started.
1. Show that you care.
Caring for a customer is exemplary customer service. More importantly, it shows that you understand the needs and pain points of your customer. So, how do you show that you care? Start by listening.
Novice salespeople talk about their company, product and issues. The customer doesn’t care. Most importantly, they will question your motives if you haven’t listened to a single pain point of theirs. Inquiring of your customer’s needs works in two ways:
- It qualifies the customer, which drastically cuts down on wasted time for both you and your client. The last thing you or they need is for a sales cycle to be moving, ultimately ending up nowhere after a few weeks.
- It allows you to fully understand the customer’s pains and thoughts. Understanding the customer allows you to construct the perfect solution that specifically helps the customer, while acknowledging the pain points clearly.
Chiefly, asking customers questions can also build trust and rapport.
2. Establish rapport early.
Failing to build trust or rapport from the early stages of a business relationship will create minimal traction in the sales cycle.
You’ll go through moments of long-term stagnation, which will either seem like the customer is no longer interested or that they are just dragging their feet. The problem with stagnation is that the process of qualification has to start all over again in order to understand the customer’s mindset.
The problem with a small business that has not developed trust and rapport with customers is that even though your price and pitch is perfect, the customer may still have doubts. For a B2B customer to go ahead with any sort of deal, all doubts need to be minimized.
3. Maintain excellence.
Salespeople have the tendency to promote and brag about their products, and if that doesn’t win over the customer they dip into the “bonus bucket”. Don’t be that type of salesperson — or hire them.
We’ve all encountered the salesperson that will promise you the world in return for your signature or money. The idea is that the he or she can and will make you feel like you’re their only concern.
Some salespeople get carried away and promise too much. When they’re headed back to their office, they may realize their mistake. The next step is to either drag their feet with the promises or try to completely get out of it.
These types of actions have given the sales profession a bad image. This stigma may be engrained in your mind as you try to sell your products and services to customers. Instead, it’s your team’s duty to maintain the excellence that you promise.
If you mentioned it, promoted it, bragged about it, or promised it, then you have an obligation to maintain it. Customer service and repeat business comes down to how you stick with your promises – this is how customer loyalty is created.
4. Paint the future.
We’ve all encountered the salesperson that can sell you “the dream”. During those encounters, how many times have you committed to purchasing the product or service? Probably almost always.
Customers need to be able to imagine themselves with the product because they’re able to relate to the problem. You need to paint the solution and describe how easy it’ll make their life. The mediocre salesperson will attempt to pitch the solution, but where they tend to fail is by not directly connecting to the problem that the customer is having.
If there is no connection between problem and solution, then the customer is unlikely to build the emotional desire to go ahead.
Sales is a rewarding if done right. It’s also the heart and soul of your business. In order to function without fail, you need to prioritize your sales strategy and ensure you’ve got the team in the know as well. However, having a sales strategy that focuses on pitch, qualification, and closing is just a small part of the process – remember to create a relationship with your customers so that trust doesn’t become a barrier.
Marius Fermi is Director of Online Communications at Tactical Sales Training, a UK sales training company focusing on B2B sales. Courses provided range from introductory sales to on-site training.