Although making a sale should be relatively simple, especially when you are offering the right service or product, many people miss their opportunities because they have not done their homework and prepared effectively to be successful. That happens because many sales people make the process much more complicated than it truly needs to be, and in the end, lose the sale.
A successful sales person does his/her homework before approaching a new prospect and then gets right to the point. They begin the “pitch” by offering a solution to a prospect’s problem with their product or service. Because remember, sales are more about the needs and concerns of the potential customer than about your service or product’s features or benefits. If you can provide a viable, feasible, cost-effective solution to an issue this organization is facing, they are definitely going to be interested in the features and savings you will describe for them.
Here’s an example: A web designer calls your company and starts by telling you that he found it difficult to find your contact information on your website. As this is one of his specialties, he wanted to show you how they could easily and quickly make the changes that would fix this and reduce potential customer frustration when they wish to be in touch with your organization. He offers to review your site and see if there are any other changes that would improve the site navigation and drive more people to your site. You are likely going to be interested in meeting with this person as they have identified a problem you actually did not realize you had. Because he did his homework and found it for you, you are willing to listen to what he has to say. His research has opened the door for a possible sale.
Even if your product is a rather technical one, you need to find a simple way to explain it so that anyone can understand the benefits to their organization. Customers want to understand right away how this will be advantageous to their company. When you can describe the features and benefits using terms that resonate and make sense to a prospect they are certainly going to be likely to at least consider the purchase. Also, make it interesting, you need to peak their interest so that they will ask more questions….once you have engaged them, again, you will have a better chance to close the sale.
As you may not always be able to meet with your prospect face to face, being able to describe your product in a meaningful way so that even if they have never seen it, they will be able to visualize it from your description. If you can do that, you will have a far better chance that they will want to meet you face to face and have a look at what you are offering. Remember, getting that meeting is truly the first step to completing the sale!
Again, your most important skill is to listen to your prospect to learn what is causing them pain (if you have not been able to learn this before approaching them), and then you will know how to demonstrate the benefits of your product or service and how it will meet their specific needs.
When you are speaking to a potential customer, focus on learning about the customer and their concerns rather than making your pitch. Be sure to ask open-ended questions; attentively listening to the answers so that you can develop a more meaningful conversation. The more you can learn about your prospect, the better chance you will have of tailoring your pitch to their needs. Yes, your basic message may be similar, but the “packaging” must suit each individual prospect so you have be creative and innovative in your approach.
Your product or service likely has many benefits, but they are only valuable if the customer needs them. Be flexible enough to reframe those specific benefits so that each customer appreciates the positive impact it will have for their business. When you can provide them with a viable, fiscally responsible solution that will improve their bottom line, why would they not be interested?
When you create attraction, great customer service, deep knowledge, and expertise, you will be offering aspects that many others may not be providing. Always remember; perception becomes the reality. Determine the value that you bring to your customers and try to make it obvious prior to the sales presentation. If you create a strong value proposition and can effectively articulate it in advance, you will heighten the perception of that value you are offering. When people understand the value of a product or service they are more likely to consider it.
You might want to imagine selling as a journey on which you are taking your prospect. If the customer does not understand where you are going or if they should come along, they will either choose not to take the trip, or wander off in a different direction before they have completed the journey. Your role is to get them excited about the destination and all the wonderful sites they will enjoy along the way. Be sure to offer your prospects plenty of opportunity to ask as many questions as they wish in order to make them comfortable, trusting, and satisfied. The more rapport you build the stronger will be your relationship with them…..always a good start to more sales!