I hear it all the time. “I hate selling”. It seems most small business owners would rather clean the toilet than focus on selling for their own business. While it’s an understandable resistance it’s not acceptable IF you want to make money. Chances are you didn’t start your business to become a sales person, but – as reality dictates, this is a skill you must develop in order to be successful.
The critical shift in perspective that will begin to turn your sales resistance around is this – be yourself, and ALWAYS be true to your values. Being a good sales person never means selling out on what’s truly important to you and your brand.
Think of it this way – each opportunity to sell is the beginning of a relationship. After you confirm the sale, and have delivered what you promised, you have built a new, mutually beneficial relationship. That means – a relationship that goes both ways. Not only do you have a new source of revenue, your customer has gotten their needs met as well. Why is it so easy to forget that selling your product or service to someone who actually NEEDS it is a good thing?
We all know the hardest part of learning something new, or recommitting your energy to something important is getting started. Here are 10 steps to follow as you begin to train yourself to embrace rather than resist sales. Why not get started today?
Believe in what you are selling. If you don’t believe your product will make the customer’s life better, you need a new product to sell. If you can’t tell your prospect why they need your product you can’t sell it.
Know your product. Know why your product is different than others in the same industry. Know all the technical, physical, emotional, and cognitive differences between your product and everyone else’s who competes in the same industry. Know everything about your product in detail.
Know the other products in the industry. In order to help the prospect make a good decision, you must be able to honestly discuss the other options in the market.
Make the right contact. Don’t waste time talking to the receptionist, clerk or the assistant, when they can’t make a purchasing decision. Ask enough questions to make sure you are talking to the right person. Go higher up the organizational chart, rather than lower. Someone higher on the food chain can influence someone lower on the chain. It will rarely happen the other way around.
Ask Questions. You have to have a conversation with each prospect. You have to determine if your product will help them or their customers, or enrich their lives, or solve a problem that they have, or not. Ask questions that will uncover their needs and wants. Provide information about your product that will help them decide how your product or service may help fill the stated needs. (The needs will have been stated if you asked the right questions). Don’t be afraid to acknowledge gaps in your knowledge regarding their specific needs or situation. Telling the truth and sincerity is critical in any healthy relationship.
Propose a Solution. If you have the product that may be right for the prospect explain how your product or service will specifically solve a problem or handle a need.
Don’t be afraid of objections. If your prospect has no questions or objections, it may be too good to be true. If they don’t seem to have any, encourage them. You need to find out what their concerns are, and if you can satisfy them, do so. If they have too many concerns, you may not have the product for them at this time. This is ok. And also remember, they may not be your customer today, but if your treat them the way you want to be treated, with respect and with truth, they will be your customer some day.
Confirm the Sale. Don’t focus on “Closing the Sale”. This term indicates the end of a process. Confirming the sale actually indicates the beginning of a long term relationship in which you will be continually making a positive impact on the customer’s life. You will be solving problems, providing great service, and helping them grow their business, or enriching their lives. It is the beginning of a relationship which will be built on trust, respect, and mutual rapport.
Deliver. Often the sales process is thought of as “finished” with the confirmation of the sale. However, as discussed above, the “order” is only the beginning of the relationship. And there is no sale if the is no delivery. You must provide what you said you would provide, and it better show up the way you said it would show up.
Follow Up. This is often more difficult than the initial sale. Now is where you find out how your client likes your product or service. Now is the time to discover any problems the customer may have, AND FIX IT. Hopefully, this is the place to begin the repeat business and/or get referrals to new prospects.
It’s YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!