No matter what business you are in, creating sales is not some sort of automatic or instinctive process that just happens all by itself. Selling takes effort, and it also takes a plan and faithful adherence to long-established practices that have remained valid for centuries.
Every Business Sells
The first thing to realize is that selling is not optional. Sales are the life blood of business. If a company does not sell, it dies. At which point it will finally market itself– by having a Going Out Of Business Sale. Make your mind up to the fact that you must attract the interest of your prospective customers in order to prosper, and that you must make this effort every single day rather than just when things are slow.
The Best Salespeople do Their Homework
The key ingredient to selling anything is to have confidence in what you are trying to achieve. Mastery of your subject is what gives you confidence. So it is important to thoroughly understand every facet of the product or service you are representing. People will have questions. You must be able to answer those questions without being nonplussed in any way. Not only must you have all the answers readily at hand but it would be best if you have anticipated every possible line of inquiry as well.
Educate Before You Sell
Many people have an innate resistance to sales pressure. The way to overcome this resistance is not to pressure them even harder but to educate them so that they make the sale themselves once they understand the full ramifications of what you are presenting to them. Instead of “You’ve got to have this”, you want “I really do need one of those things”. If you have made your case well, the sale is really a simple anticlimactic outcome that was all but pre-ordained.
Understand the Problem
It is always easy to see the benefits that accrue to you and your employer when a sale gets booked, but you should not forget that there needs to be a true equal exchange of benefit between buyer and seller. Your problems are solved by getting the buyer to provide money but what are they getting in return? If the transaction is not going to benefit them as well, that is a problem which will severely undercut your sales counts. You have to understand what the customer’s needs are and meet those needs.
Once you have penetrated the thinking of your customer and have gained understanding as to what his needs in the transaction are, you can focus your pitch on ways in which you can meet those needs for him. You want your customer to realize that it is to his advantage to take you up on your offer. The only genuine way for this to consistently work is for it to be true and for you to be able to make him realize it.
Do Not Sell on Price
There is always someone who can beat your price. The trick is not to win on price– although this certainly helps with your proposal– but to convince your customer that he can get everything he needs and wants from you right here and now. There is, as a result, no reason to waste his time shopping around any further. His time is valuable. Even if he could save a dollar or two on price, it is your service and superior understanding of his needs that is going to clinch the deal.
In the long run, the most important aspect of selling is to get to your customer first. If you can get there before any one else does so and make a presentation that is convincing and meets all of his needs, you accomplish two important goals.
You set a high bar that anyone else who comes along afterwards will have to significantly exceed in order to have any impact. Plus you give your customer a good reason to not bother looking any further– but you must have a letter-perfect understanding of the situation in order to shut everyone else out before they even get a chance to play.