Do you think of a good salesperson as being a good hunter? Unfortunately, that is the perception some people have about sales. They think of the skillful of hard driving individual who “closes” a client. This is not today’s sales. And here is another fact. We are all in sales no matter what our job because we seek, at some time or another, to influence others. Therefore, we need to build relationships first. That is to say that we should be farmers growing relationship rather than hunters going for the close.
Here are 7 ideas that will open your current sales thinking and help you become more effective in your selling activities:
1. Don’t use a sales pitch but instead start a conversation.
When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves
2. Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit.
Let go of trying to “close the sale” or “get the appointment.” If you simply focus your conversation on problems that you can help potential clients solve, and if you don’t jump the gun by trying to move the sales process forward, you will find that potential clients will bring you into their buying process.
3. When you lose a sale, it’s usually right at the beginning of the sales process.
When you use traditional sales language, potential clients can’t help but label you with the negative stereotype of “salesperson.” This makes it almost impossible for them to relate to you from a position of trust. And if trust isn’t established at the outset, honest communication about the problems they’re trying to solve and how you might be able to help them, becomes impossible too.
4. Sales pressure is the only cause of rejection. Rejection should never happen.
To eliminate rejection, simply shift your mind-set so that you give up the hidden agenda of hoping to make a sale. Instead, everything you say and do should stem from the basic mind-set that you are there to help potential clients.
5. Never chase a potential client—you’ll only trigger more sales pressure.
Instead of chasing potential clients, tell them that you would like to avoid anything that resembles the old cat-and-mouse chasing game by scheduling a time for your next chat.
6. When a potential client offers objections, uncover the truth behind them.
Rather than trying to counter objections, you can uncover the truth by replying, “That’s not a problem”—no matter what clients are “objecting” to—and then using gentle, dignified language that invites them to reveal the truth about their situation.
7. Never defend yourself or what you have to offer—it only creates more sales pressure.
When a potential client says, “Why should I choose you over your competition?” your first, instinctive reaction is probably to start defending your product or service because you want to convince them to buy.
Rather than defending yourself, try suggesting that you aren’t going to try to convince them of anything because that would only create sales pressure. Instead, ask them about the key problems that they are trying to solve, and then explore how your product or service might solve those problems—without ever trying to persuade. Let potential clients feel that they can choose you without feeling “sold.”
You too can improve your sales effectiveness if you are open minded and willing to try a new and more natural selling approach. For a similar post on our web site see RELATIONSHIPS FIRST SALES SECOND.
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