If this got your attention then continue.
I guarantee that after reading this your sales success will go up at least 300% and I am so confident that I will give you your money back if they don’t. To prove I mean what I say, I will throw in a free months trial. But wait there’s more …. there always is.
What got me motivated to write this, was a conversation that took place with a group I am involved with, which strayed onto the topic of sales. The first cliche to arrive was.
“It’s all about Listening”.
I don’t know if you are like me but very often while listening to people talk I drift off into another place, only to snap back when something of interest reaches my ears or my head nods forward. This is not to say the person talking is boring me its just words trigger my thoughts and inevitably my thoughts are more interesting to me.
So if you want to be fully engaged in the conversation then I suggest you control it from the start. And you don’t achieve this by listening you achieve it by.
“Asking the right question”
Hint..”those are a nice pair of shoes where did you get them?” isn’t one of them.
Sales is about psychology not products so the question you could ask is “what would you like to get out of our conversation?” This is a way to discover the scope and expectations of the people in front of you. Don’t be put off if the response is not concise, great conversations are about discovery, for all involved. Never the less you want to ask questions that give you the opportunity to respond with sincerity and conviction, not ones that take you to a place called “I don’t know I will have to get back to you on that one”.
Unless that question is of a nature that can be answered by someone else in the organisation, this then becomes another opportunity for you to touch that person again at a later time and provide value as well as establish that you are.
“A person of their word”.
A person of their word, how hard can that be? Well if you live in a large city then you may not think that it is important at all. After all once you close the sale “job done” but just for a moment think how you would go about selling if everyone in the city knew each other ( Wellington is that city) then being a person of your word is survival. Trust is the most under used behavior in sales and it should be the number one, for without it we lose the opportunity to have a client for life. Also trust leads on to the best sales tool of them all.
“Having our clients sell us”
I know this isn’t news to you but its a rule you can’t go by. A recommendation by a third party is the most powerful sale of them all. Do not underestimate this potential and do not ask for it. When a client recommends you don’t offer to pay them, this cheapens the relationship. Show them your gratitude by doing something for them that is of a personal nature, find something for them that shows you understand who they are and.
“What makes them tick”
Now this is where sales becomes science and there are no hard and fast rules. I personally am fairly upfront and tend to be quite overt in sorting out who is what.
Where this becomes interesting is if you are thrown in a room full of strangers and you are doing a pitch. How do you find quickly who is on your side and who is not and who is going to sit on the fence.
Body language is a helpful tool, say something watch who nods and who doesn’t. Move you position and see who follows ( sometimes people who don’t appear to be with you still follow your body movements) this needs to be done with care as I always watch other people to see if they are doing the same.
Once I have split the room into for and against I sometimes say something challenging to see if things change. The most dangerous people in the room are the fence sitters, they can derail a pitch just for fun, because it looks like they might have to do some work, because it means the might have some responsibility, who knows. Fence sitters need to be brought into the fold. Whether they are for or against doesn’t matter just get them to move.
I generally do this by asking them direct questions, try to find out what they like or don’t and.
“Force them to be engaged”
Do not allow anyone in the room to non participate. People often don’t participate because they are timid, feel they don’t have the authority, or think they don’t have anything to offer. I directly ask people questions as listening to other people triggers those thoughts in us that lead to innovation, and innovation brings enthusiasm and enthusiasm brings engagement.And never underestimate (underestimation is the wisdom of fools) and even a fool can.
“Teach them something”
This is the most critical part of sales as it changes the experience from asking for something to helping them to better understand, both their own motives and requirements and how you can fit in and help them to get them. Sales people should be educators not, well er…salespeople. We don’t want to be told what we need we need to be asked what we want. and how do we get that? well its about.
“Asking the right question”
Disclaimer : These thoughts and ideas are from my experience and any similarity with any one else’s ideas is purely coincidental. Go forth and SELL