Selling isn’t easy. But remembering a few truths about what it takes to sell successfully can make it easier … and more likely to end with a positive outcome.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when selling is it’s not about you. The successful salesperson always keeps the focus on the customer: the problems she needs solving, what she wants, what she needs to know and do. With your attention properly paid to the customer, selling becomes a win-win venture, where you win (ie, make the sale) only when the customer wins first.
Following are several keys to help make that happen:
- Selling is believing – If you don’t see the value in what you’re trying to sell, your customer won’t either. It’s important that you believe the product or service you’re selling is worth the cost, delivers on its promises and genuinely makes your customer’s life easier or better in some way.
- See the person, not the sale – Converting a prospect to a customer requires that you get to know the person, talk with him (not to him), and understand his interests, challenges and needs. Establishing a genuine rapport, as opposed to having a “Me salesman, you buy” encounter, can pave the way for lasting relationships that could translate into many more sales over time.
- A sale = A problem solved – Not your problem of closing the sale, but your customer’s problem, whatever that might be. When people decide to buy something, they do it for a reason. Someone with an old laptop that crashes a lot sees a new computer as a solution. Someone with aging office lights and rising electricity bills sees energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs as a solution. So speak with – and listen to – your customers to identify the problems they have that your product or service can solve.
- Highlight your past successes – Again, this doesn’t mean going on and on about how many millions in sales you racked up last year, or rattling off your brag list of big-name clients. It means telling customers about how your product or service has helped other people who faced the same challenges they’re facing.
- Deliver what you promise – Would you return to an expensive restaurant that promised five-star food and service, but delivered only one star? Probably not … just as your customers aren’t likely to take your calls again if you don’t do what you say you will. Stand behind your promises, make things right when things go wrong, and your customers are likely not only to return but to recommend you to others.
- Don’t disappear after the sale – Keep in regular touch with your customers, even if it’s just a short email every few months to see how things are going. They’ll appreciate your interest in them rather than in the sale you made. And, as a result, they’ll probably think of you when they do need a new product or service down the road.
Enjoy this post? We publish a regular email newsletter featuring the past week’s blog posts, as well as tips, event information and special offers. Click here to sign up for free.