Some people are born salespeople, others learn the ropes on the job. Whether or not you were born with the gift, every sales professional has their own technique when it comes to going in for the sell.
“How do you make sure you get that sale?”
It’s the golden question for salespeople, and we’re certain that if you asked a room full of them what they think the ultimate tip for making a sale is, you’d get an endless list of different answers.
The difficulty facing salespeople is that every client, every seller, every deal and every situation is different. So it’s extremely hard to create the perfect manual for selling. That being said, there are a few sales tips you can bear in mind to help you to increase your chances of closing the deal.
1. Earn it
Have you ever received a sales call on a Saturday morning and pretended you were just headed out of the house? Or even that you were someone else, just to avoid the call? Don’t worry, we’re guilty, too. This is because scripted, rehearsed, impersonal and unsolicited sales pitches very rarely work.
Successful sellers earn their sales by putting the legwork in before even proposing the deal. If your potential client has questions, make sure you answer them in detail and promptly. If you’re attending a meeting with them, make sure that you’re on time and well-presented. Any calls, emails or correspondence from the prospective buyer should be responded to in good time. It’s all about building trust; if you make the client feel like you have their best interests in mind and that you are reliable, they’re much more likely to buy from you.
2. Be prepared
Part of the thrill of a career in sales is the varied and fluid nature of the role; things can change so quickly! In order to seal the deal, you need to be prepared for every eventuality.
Make sure that you’ve done your research before any deal is put forward; you need to know all about the client, their business and industry, and get to know their competitors too. This way you can tailor technique and pitch to the specific needs of that particular client, and knowing what the competition is up to might spur them on (everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses!). Additionally, it always helps to be ready to answer any questions your client may have and anticipate any objections that may arise – doing your research will mean you’re well-equipped to do so.
Make sure you have everything you need before any meetings with clients or prospective clients. Remember that seeing is believing; just because you’ve done a wonderful job of selling the product and the details of the deal, your client is much more likely to sign on the dotted line if they have something in writing. Therefore, it’s helpful to carry with you a paper copy of any contracts or proposals for your client to refer to.
Oh, and if you want your client to sign that contract, don’t forget your pen!
3. Build rapport
How many David Attenborough documentaries have you watched? If you’re anything like us, the answer will be a lot! If there’s anything we can learn from watching predators at work it’s that you have to bide your time. Like lions stalking gazelles, don’t go straight in for the kill – you’re more likely to send them running! This is extremely true when it comes to selling.
Invest time in building a personal relationship with your potential client; get to know them as a person, be yourself, try to inject a bit of humour when possible (and appropriate). This is why many companies take clients out to a sports event or to dinner – it’s a real opportunity to get to know one another before talking business.
Knowing your client on a personal level will help you figure out what you need to do to make them want to buy. More importantly, buyers are more likely to agree to a deal with someone that they feel that they know and like!
Creating an open and honest relationship with a client relies on good communication. We’ve already covered the fact that any correspondence from your potential buyers should be responded to quickly and in detail, but we want to stress just how important it is!
Be clear in any communications you have with a client, whether that is face-to-face, over the telephone or via written mediums. Don’t leave room for them to feel confused, uninformed or that you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes, otherwise you run the risk of undermining the trust that you’ve worked so hard to build.
Body language is also important, it communicates more than you think. Keep your handshake strong, your posture tall and your smile genuine. When you’re talking to the client in a face-to-face setting, maintain eye contact and ensure that you come across as confident. That way they know you’re no amateur!
Don’t talk your way out of a deal – once the proposal is on the table, don’t keep bombarding the client with information or chatter on too much. Sit back, be quiet and let the client think about it – then let them speak.
Successful salespeople are skilled influencers, and one way to influence others is by making them feel like they need to act fast! In Dr. Robert Cialdini, the renowned psychologist’s famous works on ‘the power of persuasion’, he explains that a scarcity makes people want.
In sales terms, if a client thinks they’re going to miss out on a good opportunity or they feel like time is pressing, they’re more likely to say yes to what you’re offering them. So, whether your deal is only available for a short amount of time or there is an incentive for buying before a certain date or the stock levels of what you’re selling are running low, these are all things that could help your client come to a decision faster.
This is a clever technique to bear in mind when selling, however, proceed with caution. Although a little white lie can be forgiven, try not to bend the truth too much; even if you’ve got the deal done and dusted, trust and maintaining your reputation are still important – you want repeat business!
Follow these top sales tips and work on honing your selling techniques, soon you’ll have very happy clients which means lots of sales!
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