By Scott Hammond
“Nothing happens until something is sold.”—Unknown
Sales as the backbone of the free market enterprise system. It is the core of commerce.
It can be the quintessential win win-win scenario. Everybody wins; you, your family, the customer, your company, your community, the nation, and the world at large. … If it is done correctly.
What is a sale? What is it we do? What is it we sell? And what is a sales job?
The definition of sales is the transference of a feeling. Persuasion requires empathy with others and listening to their needs, wants, and desires. Enthusiasm and empathy are key in selling.
Belief in yourself, your product, your customer and the selling process is vital to being a successful salesperson.
The fundamentals of selling include appearance.
First impressions really do count!
1. Clothing is important. You must wear decent/clean clothing.
2. How you look is also important in sales. Your hair, makeup, scent, and cleanliness all make a difference.
3. Your speech is also vital. Is it pleasant, kind, logical, and gracious?
4. Mannerisms and expressions. Demeanor is crucial. Greeting people correctly is vital.
5. Attitude. Your nature: Are you helpful, listening, empathetic, and truly caring?
6. Ask and listen. You must be able to ask great questions. Then really listen to the answers.
The selling sequence goes something like this:
it is sequential… it has an opening, body, and close.
The opening has to do with asking questions and general conversation.
Ask a good question: probe for dissatisfactions and for problems for you to present solutions to.
Qualifying, a prospect has to do with looking for buying signals, and probing for buying objections.
The next step in the sequence would be solving the objections.
Can you solve an objection with your product features, advantages, and benefits?
The close of the sale is vital. You must always ask for the order and get approval to go forward.
Old vs. New School
The old school method of selling as much to do with being selfish, money based, steered by the salesperson, and isn’t always effective. It is blatantly one-sided and disingenuous.
It is telling versus selling. It is usually salesperson driven and doesn’t always have the customer’s best interests in mind. The consultant of sales model is new school, and we will talk about that now.
Relationship driven sales has more to do with the customer needs, wants, and motivation.
A sales consultant is able to customize for specific customer needs.
1. It all starts with the customer needs analysis. These are questions designed to really get into the nuts and bolts of a client’s needs and desires. Done in an informal style, the CNA is discovery based in discerns needs, trends, wants, desires and offers solutions and opportunities to it both customer and sales person.
It helps you create tailored solutions for customer’s needs.
2. Creating solutions from your customer questionnaire. The survey looks for weaknesses and offers strengths.
It can help you highlight your core competencies. You can propose concrete plans, ideas, and solutions.
You can propose out-of-the-box, customized, tailored solutions, ideas, and compelling offers to your client.
3. Compelling offers. Compelling offers are not always dollar-based.
After you gather your data you can now process, and create a customized proposal.
You’re now ready to propose your ideas to your client and ask for their agreement.
Compelling offers are unique, individualized, and tailored to the client. They’re like having a personal shopper at Nordstrom’s.
4. Closing the sale.
If the above is done correctly, closing the sale becomes natural, no pressure exercise.
It’s easy to ask for the sale because of it flows from an assumed culmination of the aforementioned process.
The sale is assumed. Therefore the closing is low-key, and a natural end to the exercise.
The benefits of the consultant of sales style.
The style offers everyone a partnership approach.
Customer’s tell you their needs, and you present solutions in a relaxed, nonthreatening style that builds relationship quickly. The style focuses energy and resources and carries with it reasonable expectations of success.
In conclusion, the Old versus New schools of sales have fundamental differences and benefits and the new consultant style should certainly be part of one’s sales lexicon. Remember, “Nothing happens till there is a sale.”
We are all in sales in way….Therefore, be the best salesperson you can be.
Prayer From The Greatest Salesman In The World … by Og Mandino
Oh creator of all things, help me. For this day I go out into the world naked and alone, and without your hand to guide me I will wander far from the path which leads to success and happiness.
I ask not for gold or garments or even opportunities equal to my abilities; instead, guide me so that I may acquire ability equal to my opportunities.
You have taught the lion and the eagle how to hunt and prosper with teeth and claw. Teach me how to hunt with words and prosper with love so that I may be a lion among men and an eagle in the market place.
Help me to remain humble through obstacles and failures; yet hide not from mine eyes the prize that will come with victory.
Assign me tasks to which others have failed, yet guide me to pluck the seeds of success from their failures. Confront me with fears that will temper my spirit; yet endow me with courage to laugh at my misgivings.
Spare me sufficient days to reach my goals; yet help me to live this day as though it be my last.
Guide me in my words that they may bear fruit; yet silence me from gossip that none be maligned.
Discipline me in the habit of trying and trying and trying again; yet show me the way to make use of the law of averages. Favor me with alertness to recognize opportunity; yet endow me with patience which will concentrate my strength.
Bathe me in good habits that the bad ones may drown; yet grant me compassion for the weaknesses in others. Suffer me to know that all things shall pass; yet help me to count my blessings of today.
Expose me to hate so it not be a stranger; yet fill my cup with love to turn strangers into friends.
But all these things only if thy will. I am a small and a lonely grape clutching the vine yet thou hast made me different from all the others. Verily, there must be a special place for me. Guide me. Show me the way.
Let me become all you planned for me when my seed was planted and selected by you to sprout in the vineyard of the world.
Help this humble salesman.
How Sales Parallels Parenting
Everything we do from our communication style, our dress, to our understanding of the customers wants and needs can affect our success or failure in closing sales. The way you close a sale depends as much on the product/service you’re selling as it does the customer you’re dealing with. There are many reasons why sales don’t close … here are 7 of the most common mistakes.
1. Not asking questions. Too many times we pre-judge or jump to conclusions about what our customers want or need. By asking open-ended questions to determine such things as lifestyle, hobbies, spending limits and previous experiences we can get a true picture of what our customer really wants. By understanding the customer we can then focus on the right products and services to offer.
2. Not communicating in the communication ingredients important to the customer. If we communicate to everyone in our primary communication style then we will lose about 75% of our sales. In other words everyone is different and therefore everyone needs to be treated differently. For example, some people just want the facts and details about a product or service where others may be more comfortable if you tell stories or anecdotes. So, to persuade, motivate and influence others, communicate in the ingredients they find important.
3. Interrupting the prospect. Whenever you interrupt someone, sensitivity, commitment, closeness and rapport are lost. In addition, by interrupting we may miss what benefits the customer is really seeking
4. Not paying attention to the prospect. To develop the like and trust that are essential in developing any relationship we must give our full attention to the prospect. Taking calls, talking to other customers, looking bored or uninterested can detract or enhance from the relationship we develop with our potential customer.
5. Showing no empathy or sympathy. Empathy means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. For example, if a potential customer wants to go on an adventure trip we offer, but has had bad experiences in the past, we must first understand those experiences before we can discuss why our trips are a best buy.
6. Not selling benefits .. only features. Understanding the difference between features and benefits is crucial to your success. Features are about you, your product and service. Benefits are the specific results your product or service offers to your client or prospect. When meeting with a prospect we need to address the buyer’s critical self-interest questions such as, “so what?”, “who cares?” or “what’s in it for me?” You see people don’t buy things, they buy results like happiness, making and saving money, saving time, comfort, safety, security, and easier ways to do things.
7. Pressuring Prospects. People don’t like to be pressured. They like to buy but they don’t like to be sold. By planning your presentation carefully and understanding the wants and needs of the potential customer, you’ll make more than your share of sales.
How To Make Your Sales Presentation Come Alive!
Arnold Sanow- www.arnoldsanow.com
Just knowing the features and benefits about our products and services does not guarantee sales. To sell our products and services we must be able to tell stories and create pictures in the minds of our customers to excite their imagination. A story can either be dull and uninteresting or it can come alive. To put imagination into your sales story and increase your closing opportunities answer the questions below.
Get out the list of your product and service’s persuasive features and benefits to your customers. If you don’t have a list make one. Next to each feature and benefit put the answers to the questions below. (a feature is the characteristic about your product or service and the benefit is the result)
1. What’s the most dramatic statement I can make about this feature and benefit?
2. What’s the most arresting visual presentation of this feature and benefit to set a customer thinking about it?
3. What’s the most searching question I can ask about this feature and benefit to set a customer thinking about it?
4. What are the most interesting success story or sales examples I can give to back up the claims I make for this feature and benefit?
5. Which are my best, most impressively written testimonials, the ones most likely to get attention either because of the person giving the testimonial or of what it says.
6. What is the most dramatic action I can perform to hold and impress my customer while dealing with this feature or benefit?
7. What is the most compelling logic I can find in relating this feature and benefit to others?
8. What is the most effective demonstration I can make of this feature and benefit?
9. What customer participation can I devise, in this feature and benefit so that my customer becomes part of the act?
10. What practical test can I suggest for proving the validity of my claim for this feature and benefit?
To further increase your opportunities and kick start some life into your business, ask yourself, your staff and your customers these questions about your product and services:
Can the products/services be put to other uses? Can it be adapted? What else is like this? What other ideas does this suggest? What could we copy? What could be modified?, Given a new twist? Changed in color, meaning, sound, motion, odor, form, shape? Any other changes possible? Can it be magnified? What can be added? More time? Greater Frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Shorter? What can we substitute? What else instead? Other ingredients? Rearrange? Change the schedule? Reverse it? Combine it? Different Purposes?
Remember that you only get one chance to make a good impression. By putting some “zip” into your sales presentation you’ll close more sales and see your business skyrocket to the top!