Every communication screams SALE and something OFF! The impression given is that the earth is going to end in the next 48 hours, and that puts you totally off!
How many of the offers did you respond to that tried to influence you through those snail mails, those door to door salesmen (no gender offence meant, women also included), canvassers at public places, telemarketing calls, and now emailers, SMS and other promotional offers!
The truth is we are all selling, ourselves, our offerings, our services, and when the other person sells, we get hassled – ever wondered why? When it becomes a monologue, it irritates us!
The biggest mistake that many salespeople commit is to rant about their product stories with great enthusiasm, not bothering whether the recipient is listening.
How basic it is when one says instead of just talk, indulge in a dialogue so you can hear too and find the needs and wants of the customer. Those who adopt a customer-centric exchange of information that begins and ends with the customer whose needs must drive the conversation, taste success.
The script should be such that you communicate a message, wherein you add value, provide perspective, and show how your features and benefits apply to and satisfy customer needs, rather than blowing the trumpet about the product/service or offering,
The old woodcutter story comes to mind. When a woodcutter was asked if you were to cut down 100 trees in an hour how would you go about it? He replied I would sharpen my axe for 40 minutes and chop the trees in the balance time. Would that have happened in reality is something we can debate about, but the approach is important?
Impressive Articulation only makes sales people good, but not having adequate preparation to follow the process prevents them from becoming superb.
Irrespective of the size of your organization, sales and marketing must never be considered the responsibility of a single individual; they are an important part of every employee’s job. In order to satisfy the service expectations of a customer, all salespersons need to capitalize on their abilities to:
- Interact with people,
- Continually learn new skills, and
- Take responsibility for managing the sales process
from the beginning to the end, with a focus on results.
The relationship between a customer and salesperson can be a delicate balance between
- Success and failure,
- Profit and loss.
This has to be converted to a long lasting and very powerful relationship to ensure that it is mutually beneficial to both the parties.
Having enough customers helps you to shape a profitable and continual high level of business.
Rather than doubt your ability of `Can you really sell? one has to aim at excelling in this function and as a quality, everyone irrespective of their department has to:
- Relate to customers
- Be alert to the needs of others especially — customers/clients
- Have sharp interpersonal skills
- Be open to change
Think of situations where you are always presenting a product or service to a customer, how can I capture their full attention from the get-go? To capture the customer’s attention your presentation has to spark their interest.
- Does it hook their interest
- Will they perceive value in what you are saying
- Will your opening sentence make their ears perk up and want to hear more.
- The best presentations are those that focus your language from the customer’s point of interest.
- Present the benefits, not the features.
Selling as a skill becoming more demanding, the medium to reach customers has surely changed, but the basic sales process has not. The age-old formulas of selling features and benefits are still around.
As business becomes more challenging, salespeople need a higher level of skill. One needs to practice `Need-based consultative selling’ to achieve trusted-advisor level with their customers, and create sales talk that sells. Just remember these words and use them the next time you try to sell something and see the difference!