Becoming a more successful sales professional today does not usually require a major, dramatic shift in one's sales skills. As with other world champions, products and services are sold today by one person, and not another, because someone got the edge. Someone did something, perhaps unnoticeable, which created that 1/1000th of a second difference that made him or her the winner who got the sale.
One of the most critical reasons salespeople aren't more successful is because they become discouraged. They began to doubt themselves and their products. Like many of us, they lose sight of their real purpose as a sales representative.
One solution is to be reminded of the importance of salespeople in world society. Without them we never would know about products and services that may save and enrich our lives. Salespeople are the "doctors" who uncover our wants and needs and provide us with goods and services which make us more successful, look good, feel good, be healthier, happier and, in every way, better off because of them. Salespeople have a high calling, an important and critical purpose in the world.
1. Salespeople Fail to REALLY Listen .
Commentary: The 80/20 rule. Listen 80% of the time; talk only 20%. This is very tough for many salespeople. By asking a lot of questions you'll be listening to the answers more. Learn to take written notes and ask for more information.
Tip: Listen to your customers actively; be really interested. No, be fascinated! Sit on the edge of your chair, literally.
2. Salespeople Jump into the Presentation too soon.
Commentary : Ask more questions until you're sure that you fully, completely, 100% understand your client's needs, wants, expectations, and feelings and then, and only then, give your sales presentation.
Tip: Wait before you explain your product or service. As David Sandler, says, "Don't spill your candy in the lobby," don't tell the good news on page one.
3. Salespeople Presume the Prospect's Need.
Commentary "I know exactly what you need," is probably the dumbest thing to every say or even think. No medical professional would ever prescribe a cure until after much questioning and examination. Neither should you.
We are "sales doctors." So, in uncovering the need, remember, most people buy things to make them look good, look clever, and appear successful. No kidding. The second most common reason for buying things is to make the person feel good or to overcome some pain, real or imagined. These two motives, looking good and feeling good, lie at the heart of nearly every buying decision.
As a sales doctor, make sure you thoroughly understand your prospect's "ordinate" pain, the one that your product or service will solve.
Tip: Be a "sales doctor." Be sure that you've thoroughly explored exactly how your customer wants to look and feel by using your product. Then support them in their conclusion.
4. Salespeople Fail to Uncover the Budget, up front.
Commentary: Everyone saves time when all concerned know the budget range, up front. Not to do so wastes everyone's time. Since we're all slightly wacko about money, it's hard to get to the truth about financial matters. But, if you're asking a lot of clear questions per #1.-3., above, you'll probably create enough trust and professional rapport to ask for and get an honest budget amount.
Tip: Ask for a ballpark budget number, a range, "off the record," "in round numbers," and then refine it.
5. Salespeople Fail to get a buying Commitment, from someone with authority to buy.
Commentary: Many great sales presentations are made to folks who can't say yes. You must find out who can. Maybe it's a committee, maybe it's a spouse, might be the owner, or the CFO, better find out. Be ready to reschedule the sales call, if necessary.
Tip: Give your sales presentations only to those who can make buying decisions.
6. Salespeople Chat and "Make Friends," Building Rapport for Hours.
Commentary: Making friends is great, but it doesn't necessarily make sales. So, what's the answer? Find one thing, ONE thing, in common. That's enough rapport. Notice the golf trophy, if you're a golfer, the college pennant, if you relate to that university, talk about it for 2, TWO, minutes then move on to your client's needs, budget, and buying authority. This is not a social call.
Tip: As a salesperson, be friendly, don't make friends.
7. Salespeople Answer Unasked Questions, especially "Objections."
Commentary: This is my personal favorite goof. "Uh, you're probably wondering why our prices are so high. Well, in fact, they're not really that high, they're..." Got it? Don't do this. Don't "know" what they've maybe heard. Should a customer raise an objection, don't answer it. It probably isn't a question anyway. Ask why they raised the "objection."
Tip: Assume that prospects know nothing about you, your products, or your organization and don't tell them until they ask.
8. Salespeople don't understand or properly relate to the Client's Unique Personality.
Commentary: Each one of us is unique and special. We all want to think that we got a bargain, that we got special treatment. We all operate from different levels of im-maturity, yes, immaturity all day long. Knowing this is an advantage to you, an edge.
Many of us, not all, just about 30 to 40 percent of us, are overgrown two-year-olds! We're all mostly acting like selfish egomaniacs, complaining that the world won't devote itself to making us happy. We're looking out for Number One.
Our best advice about this to you, as a sales doctor:
1. Make us, your customers, as happy and comfortable as you possibly can;
2. Ask Questions and listen more attentively;
3. Say "That's interesting," "Tell me more," "How did that feel?" and "You're right" a lot;
4. When we ask about you, let us know that you and your firm are absolutely "number one;" and,
5. Be prepared. Make each sale unique, give each person something special a unique discount or add-on.
Tip: Everyone's a "Number One." Let us know, that you understand that we are.
9. Salespeople Try to Control and Manipulate the Sale.
Commentary: We all like to shop and buy stuff, some of us even like to sell, but we all hate to be sold. We all say "No Thank You, I'm just looking." when the sales person says, "Can I help you?" Why? Because we don't want to be controlled. Our guerrilla advice is: Stop selling.
Start listening to what your prospects want with respect to your product or service. Find out what they really need. Does your product match or fulfill that need? If not, be willing to leave. You'll never be invited to do so. Let the customer's needs and priorities govern the call.
Concerning the match between your product and your customer's wants, needs and budget; when you admit to any negative, the customer will come up with a positive; and you'll look great.
Tip: Everyone knows when they're being controlled or manipulated and we resist it. Don't do it. By actively inviting your customer to be "in control," you are really in more control; because you're the one who's giving it out!
10. Salespeople Have no Systematic Approach to Sales.
Commentary A lot of selling is "hit and miss." It's sometimes called "Good Ole Boy-Good Ole Gal" Selling. The salesperson shows up, chats a bit, asks a few leading questions and/or launches into a sales presentation.
Time is very valuable to all of us. You don't need to memorize pages of a sales presentation. Follow a successful model or sales track. If you get off course, use it to get back on. We teach a simple memory device which will keep you on a proven track to dramatically close more sales. We call it NaB & CaPTuRe. Two good guerrilla words, easy to remember. We spell them with the consonants capitalized to remind you of the most successful and most efficient track to professional selling.
Follow these six steps, NBC/PTR:
1. N stands for Need. Find out your prospect's needs first;
2. B stands for Budget. Uncover the prospect's budget second, after you're sure that you understand the need fully;
3. C stands for buying Commitment (Who has the authority to buy),
4. P for your sales Presentation;
5. T for Transaction (the paperwork); and,
6. R for Reward. (Great sales agents are taught to regularly throw in a little something extra with each sale. It makes customers feel special.)
Tip: Nab and capture more sales with the winning NaB & CaPTuRe Sales Track!
Tip: Nab and capture more sales with the winning NaB & CaPTuRe Sales Track!