The Nuts and Bolts of Selling: Common Sense Approaches to Selling Today
By Thomas Young
A Definition of Selling
Selling is defined as a transaction that adds value to the buyer by meeting their needs and results in mutual benefit for the seller and buyer. This rather simple process is actually very complex and demanding and the driving factor in any economy. There are fundamental basic principles to selling that can make the sales process effective and rewarding for both buyer and seller. Successful sales people develop and learn these approaches until they become instinct and second nature.
Sales involves developing a relationship with the customer and approaching each situation in a unique manner that adds value to the client. To make this work, you must believe in what you are selling with all your heart, mind and soul. It must tie into your personal mission statement and make you happy. Trust, honesty and integrity are essential parts of selling, without these qualities you cannot build successful relationships or add value. The sales paradox is that you give of yourself in order to get back the sale. For example, give trust and receive trust in return.
Successful sales people get into the mind and thoughts of the prospect and out of their own minds. They focus on the needs of the client and how to best add value. The goal is to be the person that customers want to hear from and to help solve the customer’s problem. If you do not understand where the customer is coming from, then ask. Find out what the customer does and find a way to help them do it better.
People are interested in the value that you, and your products or services can bring to their work and lives. They will buy based on the benefits they receive from the product or service you are selling. The customer, not the seller, defines these benefits. The customer will determine how well your products or services meet personal needs, usually on an emotional level. It is very important to understand what you are really selling. You are selling how the customer feels after they buy the product or services.
The actual sales process can be divided into four key areas:
- Prospecting– Searching for potential business and customers.
- Qualifying– Asking questions to determine the potential interests and viability of a sale.
- Presenting– Actually pitching your services or product in a way that meets the needs of the customer or adds value, which is determined in the qualifying step.
- The Close– Writing the order and concluding the sales transaction.
Prospecting is the foundation of the sales process and should be the most time consuming. It is the most important step in the selling process. Keep prospecting calls brief and to the point. More in-depth conversations with the prospect will take place in later stages of the sales process. Know how much your time is worth. Time is more important than money because how you use your time determines how much money you make. Spend your time in the most productive prospecting methods, and most of your selling time should be spent prospecting.
Run the Numbers
The key to prospecting is persistence, because in many ways prospecting is a numbers game. The more calls you make the closer you are to a sale. Play the numbers’ game effectively and make as many calls as possible. This is where persistence pays off. Determine your conversion rates and use those to motivate you towards the next sale. Track prospecting numbers such as dials, decision-maker contacts, appointments and other activities. Each call brings you closer to a sale. Prospecting is not a chore, but an essential part of selling.
Determine a dollar value for each prospecting call based on your conversion rates and improve your prospecting skills to improve your conversion rates. You should be able to predict how many sales you will make for each 100 prospecting calls.
Here is a simple formula for setting prospecting goals and tying those goals to your personal sales objectives: I want to earn _____ dollars this year. I need to close __ % of the people I prospect. This means I have to make _____ prospecting calls per day, week or month. The amount of prospecting done today determines your future revenue.
The Impact of Fear
The biggest obstacle to prospecting is fear. This is why many sales people do not prospect effectively. Fear is a normal feeling, but not an emotion that should be a barrier to your success in prospecting effectively, selling or even life. Take a look at these numbers:
- 80% of sales come after five or more calls to same customer.
- 48% of all sales people make only one call per customer.
- 25% quit after the second call.
- 12% quit after the third call.
- 10% of all salespeople keep calling until they have a sale or a very definite no from the prospect. These salespeople are the most successful and some of the highest paid people in the world. They strive for excellence, not perfection, and quality not quantity.
A few of the main causes of fear are:
- Lack of skill or confidence
- Poor preparation
- Poor self image
- An unhealthy need for approval
- Negative thoughts or self-talk
- Becoming emotionally involved in customer decision making
These issues can be overcome through personal development and by changing your outlook, or paradigm, in how you approach prospecting. The most important thing you can do is be aware of your fears, explore them and confront their impact. Try saying your fears out loud to people and see how irrelevant your fears can be. Fears are usually based on deep emotional issues and not often reality.
Fear can also lead to desperation. You should not want the sale so badly that you scare customers away. Prospects do not want to do business with sales people operating out of fear.
In sales, you increase your own wealth by bringing value to others, if you do not contact people to do this, you cannot bring value and therefore not create wealth for yourself. Contacts are made through prospecting. If you do nothing else but prospect, you can achieve moderate success in sales. Without prospecting the other steps cannot happen, except by random chance. Work to remove fear from your professional life and as a barrier to prospecting.
Know Your Marketplace
The first step in prospecting is to identify the target market of your sales efforts. Implement and use sound, basic marketing principles and market research to identify the target market. Perform market research, a necessary component of successful sales and marketing efforts. Set goals or standards for yourself as a prospector to help keep you on track.
Know your target market and the key hot buttons that need to be pushed to stimulate action in your prospects. This will be revised during the qualifying stage. However, hot buttons must be pushed ASAP during prospecting. The best way to find prospects’ hot buttons is to first establish a profile of your customers and determine why they buy. This can be done in a variety of ways. The best is to look at your existing customer base and identify common characteristics or traits. This function is usually the responsibility of the marketing department, but it does not hurt to do your homework and acquire in-depth knowledge of your target market. Actual names can be acquiring from several sources including CD-ROMs, the yellow pages, networking, the Internet, associations, directories and your local library.
The First Impression
A first impression is usually made during prospecting. It can be made on the phone or in person. Although a first impression does not always make or break the sale, it is very important. Do not make up your mind about the prospect based on your first impression. However, make sure the customer’s first impression of you is positive. Do this by being confident, but not cocky or superior. Present a neat appearance and speak pleasantly, educated and well. Smile and use the prospect’s name. Do not apologize for taking their time or minimize the importance of your visit. Dress appropriately for the prospect and be positive and enthusiastic. You never know where the next big account will come from. Be clear about the impression you want to leave with people and ask those close to you what kind of impressions they think you leave with people.
Get Organized and Use Time Properly
Time management and organization are key areas of prospecting. This is true because it is necessary to track a large amount of contacts and set prospecting priorities. One of the best ways to organize your prospecting time is to acquire a contact management software program. There are many solid programs on the market today. Look for the program that best meets your needs and evaluate at least three products before making a final decision. The productivity increases of these software programs over paper systems is phenomenal.
Set daily, weekly and monthly prospecting goals and stick to your schedule of calls and callbacks. There is no quick fix solution; this takes hard work, persistence and a commitment to prospecting. Unless you are one of those rare people that love to prospect and make cold calls, try to work your prospecting in blocks of two to three hours at the most. Take breaks to perform other sales functions. Set aside time each day to prospect and mix up the your call times so you can reach prospects who are available at different times of the day.
Establish an organized call back system. Most of your prospecting will be made up of repeat calls as you try to connect with busy decision-makers. A contact management software program can handle this task with incredible efficiency. However it is up to you to prioritize the importance of your callbacks.
You can easily determine how much your time is worth per minute, per hour, per day, etc. By doing this you will see how much it costs you to perform non-related sales activities such as busy work or unnecessary gossip and conversations with coworkers. As Stephen Covey writes, put first things first, and avoid wasting time.
Dealing With Rejection
Dealing with rejection is part of prospecting. Be ready for it. Rejection is not about you. It is usually about the idea, product or service you are selling. Some prospects will not be interested, others will. See rejection as part of the process and be ready to move on from that point. You now have more information and you are one step closer to a sale. Rejection is far better than maybe, uncertainty or delaying tactics. Rejection gives you a solution and you can move on to the next prospect. It is natural if some, or even most, do not want your product, so stick to those that want what you have to offer. The best way to handle rejection is to make another prospecting call.
Prepare a Prospecting Script
Prospecting is critical to the sales process, and for this reason it is essential to have a clear purpose or reason for calling in mind. It is very helpful to have a brief prospecting script to keep you focused and consistent. Prepare a script that has at least three different approaches to vary your presentation and better find fits with prospects. Improve the script over time to increase your conversion ratios. The prospecting script should include an introduction that is brief and identifies the reason for your call. Practice and role-play your prospecting scripts before you make a sales call.Ask for referrals as part of your prospecting routineand include this in your script. Avoid weak openers on the phone, have a strong introduction and have confidence that your message is important and will add value to the customer.
Prospecting is like planting seeds and tending them with loving care until the harvest. You don’t know which seeds will be the best or bear the most fruit so you tend them all the same. Patience, persistence and proper technique leads to a great harvest.
A few final tips on prospecting. Find productive calling periods in your market, generally it is a good idea to make prospecting calls early in the morning. After three rounds of phone tag explore other options such as fax or email. Call once a week, unless given permission to call more often. Always leave a message and let the prospect know you will be calling back.
Through persistent and organized prospecting you are finally speaking with the potential customer. Now you are ready to begin the second part of the sales process, qualifying. Begin by asking probing questions. These are questions that help you determine the level of interest the prospect will have in your product or service. Ask prospects about their work and probe into potential benefits about your relationship with them. You do not want to waste time on people that will not buy.
Use probing questions to determine their basic needs and explore options to meet those needs. Check out the budget, scheduling and time issues. Probe the amount of urgency in the area. Ask where they get their information. Who makes spending and budget decisions and at what price break? Probe and intuit the individual’s values and loyalties.
Ask both open and closed questions. When asking closed questions that will be answered with a yes or a no, ask those questions that will be answered with a yes. If the prospect answers no it could begin a downward spiral that could end the deal.
Listen more than you speak. If you speak more than you listen then you need to find a career other than sales. The qualifying stage should be comprised of 95% listening, or more, on the part of the sales person. Control your emotions and focus on what the customer is saying. Keep them talking and listen behind the words. Empathetic listening is key. Take notes and repeat back what you think you heard. People love to talk about themselves and their company. They also love an attentive audience. In all parts of your life, let people talk about themselves and fight back the urge to jump in and talk about you. This will build a relationship and lead to mutual benefit. People will tell you how you might add value.
Here are a few things the customer is thinking about you: Are you dependable, reliable, honest, and competent. Can you be trusted? Do I like you or do you like me? Do you know my business? Stay focused on what is going on in the mind of your prospect.
Use the qualifying step to diagnose the customers needs, their ability, desire and need to buy. Find out about problems defined by the customer and work to proven solutions. Stay focused on the big issues and get to the details later. Agree that everything is open to discussion until the deal is closed. Inquire about the customer and their company, past, present and future. Stay in the question mode, even when a customer attempts to get you talking again. Finally, make sure you are talking to the right person, if not find the true decision-maker.
The goal of qualifying is to determine why the prospect should buy. The best qualified person to answer this question is your prospect.
The presentation step is the actual conversation to discuss how the prospect’s business can be improved and how you can add value to their business. Presentations can be formal or very conversational and low-key. The idea is to keep the presentation unique to the company and based on your initial qualifying meetings and other research.
Presentations should be interactive and dynamic. By this point you should know your prospect’s hot buttons and be pushing them frequently. The customer should be listening to you. Keep the customer focused by making the presentation personal and focused on the customer’s needs. Request feedback and be honest and genuine. This will lead to trust and credibility.
Use the prospect’s name at the right time and put them up. Use power words and relate to personal experiences of your customers and benefits they have received. Speak in the customer’s language. Make ideas tangible by giving concrete examples.
During the presentation display relaxed attentiveness. Silence and clear your mind as you listen to the customer and mirror back to the customer. Do not resist their feedback. If a presentation begins to go south, be prepared to walk away. Do not compromise on you core principles or values to make a deal.
Objections will often arise in the presentation phase of the sales process. The first step in dealing with objections is to validate the objection. Then probe to find out what stage of the selling process you are really involved in. Find the real concern and help solve the customer’s problem. Treat objections as questions and uncover solutions. Work to develop a win-win situation. Ask for clarification, maintain good eye contact, monitor nonverbal messages, and take responsibility for miscommunications.
Objections are good, they mean you are being taken seriously and you need to work towards resolution. Make a list of the common objections you hear and be prepared to solve them with the prospect. Let the prospect know you have heard the objection before, but still are able to help the company.
The final step in the sales process is the close. This step should be easy and quick. It is the cumulative effect of all your hard work in the first three steps. If there is no sale at this point than something was missed in your presentation or qualifying stages. The customer should know you plan to ask for the sale after the presentation. There should be no surprises at this point.
Forget closing “techniques.” There is no substitute for the hard work that takes place in the sales process. Do not look for magic bullets or quick fixes. In fact, a customer will see through these tactics and probably delay the sale or end the process altogether. If they are not ready to buy, you are not yet at the closing stage.
It is important to ask for the sale at the appropriate time. Most sales people never ask for the business. This is best done with trail closes and honest discussions with the prospect. Be careful, because attempting to close too early can put the client on the defensive and jeopardize your sale. For this reason it is important for you to recognize where you are in the four step selling process. Do not jump ahead.
This four step sales process should be learned and implemented until it becomes second nature. The key is to know which step of the sales process you are in and follow effective guidelines to reach your sales goals. Be aware that the four steps can become intertwined and mixed together during the sales process. This is especially true of qualifying and presenting.
Before you begin selling, carefully plan out your activities in each of the four areas. Prepare a checklist of information you need to know prior to beginning each step. Prepare a feature/benefits worksheet, and script and set objectives for each step. Write down a list of probing questions and gather information to determine benefits that appeal to customers. Research and understand the customer’s business and related issues. Determine materials to use in presentations and practice your pitch. Be ready for objections and responses and know your competitive advantage. Ask advice of your prospects and build a relationship with them. Cultivate even the brief conversations you may have and use these interactions to build your knowledge base.
When possible, focus on selling high price point products and services. It takes the same amount of energy to sell high price point products and services as it does to sell more inexpensive products. The rewards are usually higher with more expensive products. Successful sales people usually sell high-ticket items. Low priced items do not usually produce high rewards for sales people, unless they sell them in large quantities.
Selling is both an art and science. It is creative and analytical. Develop the qualities of the scientist and the artist as you work through the four steps of selling and build successful relationships with prospects and customers, relationships that provide mutual benefit to both the seller and the buyer.
Becoming the “Sales Master”
(Advanced Selling Knowledge)
By: Thomas Young
A small percentage of sales people can be described as “Sales Masters.” These talented individuals have worked hard to develop unique traits that put them well ahead of the average sales person. They have mastered the art and science of selling effectively. They are analytical and logical, while being creative and flexible in their relationships with people.
Sales masters have a clear mission statement that defines who they are. From this mission statement, they have developed goals and objectives that keep them on track towards their vision. These masters of selling are some of the wealthiest people in world, much of their income coming as a result of successful sales transactions with clients. This article will review the high level selling processes of “Sales Masters.” It will explore the key behaviors and traits that define the sales master.
Search for Deeper Meaning
The true sales master goes beyond common sales approaches to find deeper meaning in selling. This individual flows through the selling process like a stream flows down a mountain. The sales master is true to his/her self and relies on core values, principles and deep sense of how the universe operates. This is defined in a personal mission statement and appropriate, clearly defined goals and objectives. The sales master has let go of old beliefs and paradigms and searches for the answers within themselves. They are true to deep beliefs, values, principles and their personal mission statement, especially in troubled times. They understand that if they do these things the universe will respond and success will follow. The sales master defines success as the fulfillment of a personal mission statement.
They know when to stop selling and develop a deeper relationship with the client. They become a valuable resource to the client. They are creative thinkers who understand their customers on deep levels. They know the difference between fact, opinion and assumption and recognize bias and emotion. They identify the core problem, not the symptom, and create solutions that add value to customers.
The most important trait of the sales master is their ability and willingness to learn. They open their minds and are constantly discovering and learning. In fact, an essential part of being human is the ability to learn. This leads to self-development, which leads to greater value to prospects or customers. Sales masters have given up trying to control, and replaced it with learning. They hear and see without judging. They have let go of their ego and observe the good and bad in a situation and learn from it. Sales masters approach sales and marketing from an objective point of view. They remove themselves from the situation and make objective decisions. These decisions result in a win-win between the buyer and the seller. They do not personalize their role as a sales person and keep their egos out of the sales process. Sales masters have a plan and stick to it, yet they are flexible when needed. Flexibility is very simple when the need for control is not present.
Master sales people guide customers through the learning process. They know that people learn differently and retain what they understand and have interest in. People are very interested in what will add value. Learning in sales is the process of finding out what will add value. The idea that we have endless amounts to learn is a basic principle of the sales master.
Selling is the process of building a trusting relationship with people. For the sales master, this is not a passing trend or sales technique, but a way of life. Sales masters think of themselves as a partner with the customer. Their goal is service to the customer. They ask, “How can I help my client improve and grow their business?”
Sales masters build long-term relationships with customers that result in a healthy sales dependency, verses short-term quick in and out approaches. They understand that people have comfort zones and want to develop a relationship with someone who is dependable and meets their needs. In this way, the relationship becomes more important than the product or service. The relationship actually becomes a competitive advantage for the sales master and a real benefit to the customer. The customer buys the sales master, as much if not more, than the actual product or service.
Trust is the glue that holds this relationship together. Trust is expressed repeatedly by the sales master in his or her actions. Simple things such as returning phone calls immediately and doing what is said. In this way, trust is an absolutely essential part of sales. If trust is not present, customers will not buy. Trust is built by showing competence to get the job done right, better than competitors. The character, integrity and honesty of the sales master builds trust. Trust is also built through frequent communications. The sales master contacts his or her customers on a regular basis and makes use of check-in, cycle, and new product announcement calls. They inquire about the needs and thoughts of their customers. Sales masters stand above the rest by:
- Sending thank you notes
- Doing something different and special
- Understanding customers on deep levels
- Handling complaints promptly with empathy
- Being extremely dependable
- Offering great customer service
- Showing sincere appreciation
- Valuing their customers
Sales masters do these things because they understand that people want to feel important and be valued by others. More importantly, sales masters do these things without any expectation of a return from the customer. They understand that if they give one, they will be rewarded with ten.
The sales master has learned to work with the customer, not against them. Yet, they understand that one cannot possibly please or receiving approval from every one. For example, in an election a candidate can win, yet still have 49% of voters wishing someone else won. The sales master understands this balance of not being able to please everyone. He or she remains objective and build relationships with many different personality types.
The goal of the sales master is to allow people to be who they are; to understand them, not to attempt to criticize and correct them. When a challenging customer comes along, the sales master spends more time listening with empathy and works toward a win-win. This is done without compromising key principles, values or mission. The competence of the sales master is expressed through knowledge of the client’s needs and the ability to work with others. Their character is composed of an abundance mentality that is expressed through giving and unselfish behavior. The sales master is a person that customers want to see and meet with because they add value in the form of a productive and effective relationship. There is mutual respect and appreciation.
Master of Personality and Emotion
The sales master understands that we all see the world through different lenses. People respond and perceive situations differently. People have a paradigm about every one they meet, including the sales master. The sales master has learned to recognize this and work with it. The sales master attempts to see the world the way their clients see the world. They do this by understanding personalities and human emotions, including their own perceptions, biases, and paradigms.
Isabel Briggs-Myers and her mother Katharine Briggs developed a personality profile test based on the findings of Carl Jung, a Swiss-born psychiatrist who worked on theories of personalities in the 1920’s. Myers-Briggs found there are four key areas of personality classification. These four areas help the sales master learn how people cope and deal with their environment and respond to life situations. They are:
- Extravert verses Introvert
- Sensing verses Intuitive
- Feeling verses Thinking
- Perceiving verses Judging
Here is a brief description of each personality type:
Extraverts– These individuals get a charge from people. They think out loud and are good talkers, but not always good listeners. They process ideas through people and by talking. They need stimulation from interactions with people to keep them motivated. They tend to see introverts as cold, uncaring and not friendly.
Introverts– These personality types are charged by processing within themselves. They need time alone. They are good listeners and may not speak up with their ideas or thoughts. They tend to see extraverts as time-wasters who state the obvious and talk too much.
Sensing– They like specific factual answers and information. They are grounded in what is real and actual, they do not relate well to speculation or approximation. They are very literal and do not get caught up in fantasy.
Intuitive– These are creative daydreamers who look at the big picture and tend to jump to conclusions without evaluating all the facts. They rely on intuitive thoughts and feelings to make decisions. Feeling – They are concerned with others and their emotions. They tend to make decisions based on the feelings of others and themselves.
Thinking– These personality types tend to make decisions based on rational thought and logic.
Perceiving– They are spontaneous and very adaptive. They love to explore new possibilities and go off the beaten track. They may look disorganized and appear confused, but can actually be very much in control. They start many projects and have difficulty completing them.
Judging– They are on a schedule and into a routine, they do not like surprises. They know what they plan to accomplish each day. They make lists and mark them off as they go and become upset if they do not stay on schedule. They love to complete a job and move on to the next.
The sales master intuitively and rationally understands and relates to each of these personality types. They understand these are really preferences and individuals may exhibit different traits at different times. None of these personality types are better than another. People can be successful in any combination of these traits. The sales master understands his or her own personality preferences. This enables better communication with customers by realizing the pros and cons of similar, verses opposite personality types. The sales master is very aware of his or her own strengths and weaknesses and is ready to adapt in relationships with customers. They do not try to change people. No one can be made to change. People change on their own terms, and for many change is very difficult.
Learning to deal with personalities is a skill that is to be learned and practiced. With each sales call, or meeting, the sales master learns more about the traits of his customers or prospects. They understand that respect crosses all boundaries of people. The sales master will keep promises and knows that to build win-win they must help the customer. In selling, help is more important than persuasion.
The master seller can communicate the message that effectively meets customer needs and adds value better than any other marketing tool available to organizations. They are truly masters of the communication process used to build relationships and conduct business transactions. They understand that most of what is heard in a communication is nonverbal, even on the telephone. In fact, only 7% of the actual message is spoken in words. Thirty-eight percent is the tone of voice and 55% is nonverbal expression. Nonverbal communications dominate all sales conversation.
There are two processes happening in any communication. The first is the actual negotiation or sales transaction. The second is how the communication is meeting the emotional needs of the parties involved in the sale. These needs include power, self-esteem, control, fear, and other emotions. However, the real power in the sales process is the ability of buyer and seller to create an efficient, effective outcome. The sales master avoids the power struggle and control of ego based conflicts and nurtures teamwork and shared commitment.
The sales master is aware that people pull their own strings. Nothing can impact a person unless they let it impact them. This is a powerful step to becoming a sales master. It results in communication without judgment or criticism. This draws people to the sales master.
The sales master communicates in the following ways:
- Creates a balanced and friendly dialog making it a pleasurable experience
- Asks skilled, open-ended questions
- Matches product or services to the customer’s need
- Turns a negative around to a positive
- Does not give up on the sales process too early
- Compliments the customer on what they do well
Sales masters connect with the customer through communications. They work with customers to help them determine what they may not know and explain the costs of not acting. The sales master clarifies shared intentions and works toward agreements in which the customer is a part of the discovery and problem-solving process. They ask questions and get the customer talking, about feelings, needs, perceived problems and other thoughts about the situation. They practice active listening and show true concern. This adds value to the customer.
The sales master understands that the customer does not share their thoughts and feelings about the product or service that is being sold. In order to bridge this gap, the sales master communicates in the words and thoughts of the customer. The sales process evolves out of what is in the customer’s mind.
Master of Effortless Selling
The sales master perceives selling as a flowing process with high and low points. What separates the sales master from others is how he or she adapts to the ups and downs of the sales process. The key is to remain focused and constant in the sales efforts, without responding or engaging, to the highs and lows. The sales master is calm and collected when they are facing the loss of a sale or signing the biggest sale of their career. They can accept and deal with the many obstacles and challenges that face them and move forward towards their goals. This is effortless selling because it does not drain emotions or waste energy. It is effortless because the sales master listens to the customer and learns the proper response and action.
The sales master rarely gets objections and when they do occur they are seen as part of the sales process and a request for more information. Objections are buying signals that are anticipated. The sale master responds to an objection with a probing question. The true meaning of the objection is not in the words. The goal is to find the real reason for the objection. It is important to support the customer’s statement and clarify the objection before responding. The sales master never responds to the objection immediately.
It is understood that price is a relative issue. The key is perceived value and return on investment. The sales master knows it is unwise to pay too much, but it is much worse to pay too little. When one pays too much they lose a little money. When one pays too little they risk loosing all value because of an inferior product or service. The sales master understands that product knowledge is important only if the customer demands it. It is far more important to have customer knowledge.
The sales master understands that there is no place for fear in the sales process. Although fear is a basic human emotion, it should not be a part of decision making. Fear and negative thoughts have no value. Dealing with rejection is a step forward in the sales process. It is a normal part of selling and master sales people remove their egos from rejection and move on to the next customer. This is another example of effortless selling.
Creativity is absolutely essential to sales success. Potentiality is expressed through imagination and creativity. This action brings new benefit to customers, society and the world. The sales master is incomplete without creativity, which is a key element in effortless selling. The sale master is the source of new ideas to a customer. They understand the paradox that we get what we want by helping others get what they want.
The master sales person can measure the results of their sales activities and has prioritized their time around the most important tasks. They have set a dollar sign on each hour of their time and use their time effectively by focusing on the activities that bring them closer to their goals and objectives. The sales master never uses closing techniques or quick fix objection responses. They understand that customers are less likely to buy if a sales technique is used.
Master of Buying and Selling
The sales master understands why people buy. The root of any buying decision is based on an emotional response that is based on perceived value or filling a need. People may rationalize a decision to buy, but buying is determined on an emotional level. This is especially important to understand given the amount of options buyers have. Many times, the only factor that differentiates a product or service is what best appeals to the buyer’s emotions.
People buy based on benefits defined by them, not by their sales person. Those benefits are perceived differently by each customer based on what will make them feel good or meet emotional needs. The master sales person will find out those real benefits and emotional needs and push the hot buttons that result in a sale. People resist buying when their hot buttons are not identified.
During the sales process a client will communicate buying signals. The sales master realizes that every thing the customer does or does not do is a buying signal. Successful sales people can read and intuit these signals. The sale master works well with multiple buyers and decision-makers by identifying roles, concerns and issues. The sale master understands what is going through the mind of the customer during the sales process. The customer is often thinking the following:
- Can I trust the sales person?
- I do not have time for this.
- I do not want to hurt the sales person’s feelings.
- What are his or her motives and intentions?
- Is it safe to open up?
- Everything is OK the way it is now.
- What will others think of this?
- There may be a problem, but what the sale rep is offering is not the solution, I want to find my own solution.
- How can I postpone this?
- The sales person’s solution is too risky.
- The benefits do not outweigh the risks.
- There is no solution to this problem.
- How can I buy?
The sales master engages customers in areas that bring these thoughts to the surface. In this way the sales process becomes much more effective and focused on the core needs of the client.
The sales master always asks for referrals, even though many times they do not have to ask. Finally, the sales master asks for the sale.
If selling is your chosen profession, focus on becoming a sales master in your own unique way. Implement the tools and behaviors discussed in this article and you will find that you enjoy your work like never before and you will reach new levels in your sales career.