Some people are born salespeople — and others have to work at it. However, contrary to some critics, anyone can reinvent themselves as a selling machine. But first, you must learn some very important lessons.
Follow these tips:
1. Scrap your elevator pitch. The concept of a canned spiel is so tired. Think about it this way: how on Earth do you know what to say to a prospect if you have no idea who they are? Ultimately, your elevator pitch should be based on who you are in the elevator with. Consider your audience first — and then deliver your pitch.
2. Build the relationship — and then close the sale. Salespeople who solely focus on selling a product and getting a signature oftentimes come across as abrasive, brash and maybe even slimy. Channel your thoughts toward creating a lasting business relationship first, and closing the deal second.
Only by building a relationship and creating a dialogue will you be able to discover if the prospect is a viable one. If it is, and you invest your time into development, you have the chance to form a relationship that outlasts the product or service you are selling today and transcends into future ventures and opportunities.
3. Focus on the benefit — not the function. Steve Jobs, Apple’s visionary leader, also happened to be the ultimate salesperson. He is famously quoted as saying, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology — not the other way around.”
This speaks volumes, no matter what you are selling. Start with what is important to the customer, what’s their benefit in using your product or service? Why will it make their life easier/better/improved? Once you connect with them over this, then it’s time to get down how your product delivers these benefits.
4. Recognize that the selling begins when the first objection is given. The moment someone says, “Yeah, I don’t think this is right for me,” is not the moment you pack it in and go home — that’s the moment the selling starts. There are both psychological and logical reasons at play here — and if you are able to address them, then you might get this deal.
Realize that a prospect offers objections because there is an unanswered question or concern. They are expressing a fear and are asking you to quell this issue for them. If you simply pack it in and call it a day, the prospect will likely go to your competitor — who will answer their questions that come in the form of objections.
5. Ask for the deal. This particular rule applies to anything in life. In order to inspire action and get something done, you need to ask for it. There is a common theme in the recruiting industry that states that candidates who ask for the job at the end of an interview are more likely to be hired. The same holds true to the world of selling. The moment that the presentation is over and Q-and-A is done, that’s the time to close.
You’ll never become a better salesperson for your company if you don’t know when and how to ask for the deal. Realize that both you and your prospect know why you are meeting — don’t dance around this integral part of the process. Close concisely with conviction and confidence.
About the Author
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, Calif., and Dublin, Ireland.
Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.
How do you motivate your salespeople to sell, sell, sell? Leave a comment below.