Sunday, 23 June 2013

"What makes a good Sales Person?"

Lively and enthusiastic people sell
Confident people sell
Happy people sell   
Even cheeky people sell

A good product sells. But does a good product sell itself?

When you look at it, selling has more to do with the interaction of people than anything else.

How many times have you been into a shop and come across a sour faced, unenthused, even slightly rude shop assistant, not bothered to buy anything and vowed never to return.

What about the product? Do you have faith in your product?

Is there something about your product that you think is flawed or won't hold up to the scrutiny of the customer? Whatever you think about your product and regardless of any thoughts you may have, you need to first have confidence and certainty of your ability to sell. After all most sales people sell on behalf of someone else who has designed or developed the product. So your enthusiasm for selling something you may never want or own yourself has to be established in other ways.

How does the customer know it’s a good product to buy?

Well they don't. That is, unless someone they know recommends it. They have heard it’s the latest 'must have product' to own.They’ve seen it advertised. They have owned an older version of the same thing. Or the sales person makes them aware of how this product will enhance or benefit their life in some way.

So without the knowledge of what a product can or may do for a customer, they will always fall back to the sales person’s ability to make that product shine and be something they must buy, right now. Because if they don’t do it there and then, they are more likely to leave it and never give it a go. Which is why sales people sometimes come across as a bit pushy. Because they know that too and what they want to do is ‘close the deal’ and make that sale.
Always prepare yourself
When making a cold call or before speaking to a customer as they walk into your shop, remember to talk to them as if they are already a valued customer and they know you personally. Smile before you speak to them. Even if you are on the phone, especially if you’re on the phone and imagine they have been waiting for you to speak to them. A customer will know even with a phone call if you are smiling or not smiling. They can feel the difference! Remember, happy people sell.

Selling is a state of mind
This state of mind needs to say ‘I care for my customer’. If you care for your customers, then you will make them feel comfortable. So when you then ask probing questions, suggest the right products and justify those products  and handle objections confidently. Closing the deal will then be a lot easier.

Develop empathy
Put yourself in the customer's shoes and try to put forward a proposition that you yourself would like to receive. This requires focusing on your customer’s needs, not your own.

Quickly drop down barriers
Introduce yourself by name and occupation and explain what your job role involves. Then follow this up with: "My job is not to sell you anything (customer name), my job is to present you with financial solutions from which you can make an informed decision." A surprisingly simple yet a highly effective way to bring high customer resistance to a rapport building level.

The sales persons questioning should always be attempting to help the customer to understand and express what they need. This usually and naturally causes the customer to ask the seller if the solution can be provided, by the seller or their product.

Diagnose before you prescribe
Sales people should see themselves as problem solvers. To solve problems correctly they must first understand the nature of the problem they intend to solve. So if you’re selling websites, then how is it that by not having one there is a problem for the customer? Rather than,“you need a website in this day and age otherwise you’ll losing out.” Losing out how exactly?

Objection to the price
When a customer says to you, “I can't afford it.” Well maybe that’s just fair enough. After all you don't have access to their bank balance. So how about saying to them, “I am glad you said that. Some of my best customers said the same thing. Let me show you what I mean.” This enables you to get back into your sales pitch by giving examples of your happy customers following their purchase. It is a simple, effective and importantly non-confrontational way to get back into the pitch after a price objection.

Another way to deal with price objection is to ask the customer; “If we were the same price as (name another company’s product) would you buy from us?” When the customer says "yes" (which they normally do), ask why. They will then list all the USP's/benefits that sparked their interest in your product and you can explain that your price is what it is because of those benefits they just listed. For most people this convinces them of the value in your product.

Value for money
Everyone is looking for value for money. So how about offering two products together at an attractive price. This extends value to the customer and helps to reduce stocks of the slow-moving items.

Also toward the end of the sale focus on two or three options for the customer, instead of focusing purely on 'the sale'. Give the customer two options like “How about we look at option A or B for you today?” This way the customer's attention is drawn to two positive choices and not the 'whether or not to buy' aspect.

Closing the deal
When it is time to create a commitment from the customer and close that deal you can either ‘propose’ something or you can ask the customer ‘how they want to proceed’. If the customer is indecisive, use the ‘propose’ tactic. If the customer wants to take charge, ask ‘how they want to proceed’. Either way, you make it easy for the buyer to buy.

Your integrity as a sales person
Always do what you said you were going to! This will mark you out from many of your competitors from the start.

A successful sale is in your hands.
Blogger for Bath Business Web Ltd


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