If you are in business, it is because you believe in your products or services are worth having. You know your potential customer base and you know they could really use what you have to offer. So, why are they not buying? Maybe it is because they do not know you are selling. Are you selling or telling? Does your presentation speak to their buying motives or is it about your product?
If you are having problems “making the sale”, consider the four question sets and suggestions below. Then create a plan to change your approach to improve your sales process.
1. Are you building an ongoing relationship? Or are you just trying to get the order today rather than going for a lifetime customer?
Research the customer and their industry before attending a meeting and learn to speak the customer’s language. Be sure to let them know you value their time and state the purpose for every encounter with them.
2. What value do you offer the customer? What makes what you are selling better than what your competition offers?
Better does not mean cheaper, instead it should provide a solution to the customer’s problem. Do they need speed, accuracy, ease-of-use, or something else? Selling values means matching your presentation to what the customer needs.
3. Are you hard-selling the customer? Or are you getting their requirements in order to help to ease their “pain” caused by not having what you are offering them?
You have to let the customer talk more than you do or you will not find out what they really need and want from you. If they are not talking, get their permission to ask questions. Then ask the right questions for the right purpose at the right time.
4. Do you use the words “but” or “however” when the customer raises an objection?
These are fighting words that put the customer on the defensive. Avoid them by getting the customer to talk more using questions or “and” statements to build bridges in the conversation. “And” statements are a way you can reiterate the value of your product or service as it relates the customer’s “pain” or latest objection.
These questions and tips should get you on the road to improving your marketing and making more sales. Remember every big business started as a small one. F.G. (Buck) Rogers once said “At IBM everybody sells! Every employee has been trained to think that the customer comes first – everybody from the CEO, to the people in finance, to the receptionists, to those who work in manufacturing.”
Selling must be part of your business. Selling is not a dirty word nor is it an unpleasant task if you do it right. Without sales, you have no business. So get out there and start selling!