Whether you have been in business for many years or are just starting out, selling is one of the most critical, yet often least enjoyable, aspects of your company.
In order for a company to succeed, they must get their products and services into the hands of customers and this challenge may seem tremendous.
Although there are people who are naturals at selling, most find it difficult, even when they are passionate about the product or service they are promoting.
These tips can help you develop more productive sales skills and could move your business to the next level.
The Mind of a Winner
The power of positive thinking is critical to success in anything, but it is especially true in sales.
Negative thoughts allow your mind to make negative decisions. In addition, if you do not have it in your head that the product or service you are selling will solve a problem that the customer needs, you will not convey that to the customer either.
Too often, we enter a sales pitch automatically planning for the “no.” By doing this, we often send subliminal messages to the client that the person selling the product may not necessarily believe in it either, even though we are promoting it to the best of our ability.
Instead, enter the meeting believing that a “yes” answer is coming so that you speak with more confidence and convey to the potential customer that your product or service is the only one that can solve their particular problem.
Building Business Rapport and Relationships
Another way to improve your selling ability is to build rapport and relationships with businesses without attempting to sell to them. People tend to purchase from those that they trust which is why building a relationship can help you get your foot in the door.
When you think about your own buying process, you often reach out to friends and family to determine the best place to find whatever it is you are looking for. You may reach out to someone you met at a Chamber of Commerce mixer who told you what their company did and that product or service is exactly what you are looking for.
By building strong relationships and rapport with other business leaders, you develop a network that can be extremely beneficial when selling your goods or services.
How Many Contacts Does It Take to Win a Client?
The truth is that the number of contacts it takes to achieve a sale really does depend on the customer. Some purchase right away while others take some time to make a decision. However, Dr. Jeffrey Lant, a marketing expert, has developed what he calls “The Rule of Seven.”
According to Dr. Lant, the average buyer’s consciousness must be penetrated significantly, which means that you should contact that client no less than seven times in an 18-month period. Unfortunately, statistics show that most salespeople never reach that pivotal number of contacts.
In fact, only 10 percent of all salespeople make more than three contacts, yet 80 percent of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact.
Referrals Add Value
According to Dale Carnegie, 91 percent of consumers say they would give referrals, yet only 11 percent of salespeople ask for them. People respect the opinions and views of their acquaintances.
If a family member or friend recommends a business, they are more likely to purchase from that company than another. Never hesitate to ask people to refer your business when family or friends are looking for similar products.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for the Sale
One reason that people are not successful during sales calls, and this may be especially true of women, is that they are afraid to ask for the sale. The best way to do this is to build the question into the sales presentation rather than leave it as a closing statement.
One of the best parts of the sales pitch to place the question is after discussing a proposal that resolves a problem for the customer. Once you have addressed the problem and explained how your product or service could resolve that problem, stop and ask if there are any questions.
- If there are none, you can ask “So, would this product or service be the answer to your problem?”
- If they agree, you can continue explaining or begin making specific offers.
- If they hesitate, you can continue with further details on how this solution will work.
Weaving the question asking for the sale throughout the pitch will make it less of a selling point and more natural for the consumer.
Too often, when we hear the word no, we give up. However, in sales, no often means not now as your product or service may not be what the client needs at the moment, but that does not mean they will never need that product or service.
It may also mean they are not ready to commit at the moment and that they need to take some time to review it.
Instead of giving up, leave the information with the client letting them know you are available if they change their mind.
Every so often, reach out to them again. Notify them of new products or services that may help them or send them a “thinking of you” note. The old saying “Out of sight, out of mind,” is very true in sales. The more the customer sees or hears of you, the more likely they are to rethink that “no.”
Sales is one of the most difficult parts of any business and not everyone is a born salesman. The key is to develop strategies that will help you promote your products and services so that your business can grow.