The biggest myth of professional selling is that good salespeople are born, not made. This myth should be relegated to the scrap heap, says Clive Price, sales training guru, who is not known for holding his tongue when talking about his favourite topic…………selling.
He believes that selling is a profession that is learned, not something with which we emerge from the womb. How many born accountants or lawyers do you know? The problem is, like so many clichés in sales circles that people have heard this myth so often, they start to believe it to be a fact. Sales Directors start thinking that they all they need to do is to find born sales people and their sales team will rock. The fact is, to be a great salesperson, you do not need the gift of gab but a basic set of sales skills.
Based on the famous 80/20 Principle here the essential skills and rules that Clive recommends for your Sales Tool Kit:
1. Active Listening
Think of the last time you felt as you were being sold to. It probably made you feel that the salesperson wasn’t listening and
didn’t really care about you, and you are one hundred percent right.
Show that you’re listening by:
- Not trying to jump in at the beginning.
- Hearing them out fully
- Not anticipating or interrupting.
LISTEN as if your very life depended on it!
2. Questioning Skills
Asking intelligent open probes is the least-known skill in sales today and yet it is the most critical skill in your Toolkit.
Focus on discovering their agenda not telling them about the numerous benefits of your service.
ASK DON’T TELL NEVER ask a Closed Probe as it often leads to a NO answer.
3. Research, Research, Research
What does your customer do, what makes them tick, what turns them on and off, why should they buy from you? What are their goals and HOW can you really help them achieve their aspirations?
4. Do a GAP Analysis
Simply, the gap is where they are now and where would they like to be. Find 3 Gaps before even thinking of a suitable close.
5. The Close
BEFORE you ever try to close, SUMMARISE all the points of agreement. Be up front and restate all the positives that have occurred during the meeting. Collecting all the small and large “YESES” and getting the prospect to say “Yes” is the 5th Rule and the reason why we are selling in the first place, namely TO CLOSE.
6. Be Open to Objections
“If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.” – Anonymous You need to remind yourself that prospective clients who buy are known to have 60% more objections than those who don’t. So relax rather than run when it comes to rejection.
Never interrupt because if you do it then appears you are objecting to their objection.
To get to the basis of your client’s objection, be both serious and curious. Opt for the line, “I’m curious…”, or “Can you elaborate on that?” in order to truly hear and understand where they are coming from. You’ll find that these three tried and tested answers work a treat:
“Many of our other customers felt the same way. However, what they found is that…”
“Lots of people are in the same boat. Then they found out that…”
“Many people have the same idea. Until they realise that…”
7. Divorce Yourself From Your Service
How on earth can you conduct a dispassionate and objective analysis of a prospect’s business or personal requirements, when you are married to your product or service? Remember business partnering only begins when you put the prospect’s business first. Do yourself a massive favour and get a divorce from the passion you have for your brand if only, to help you sell more!
8. Start Courageous Conversations
Are you nervous at the very start of your sales pitch?
Thousands of salespeople who attend our sales courses answer “YES”.
Instead, before every sales call, replace that objective with: “I want to start a conversation.” This will help you instantly overcome two very important call obstacles.
First, it will relax you, and take the pressure off your client, freeing them to stop looking at you as an adversary and start viewing you as a trusted advisor. Second, adopting a conversational frame of mind will encourage you to ask more questions and bring you closer to that 80% listening “golden rule.”
Most salespeople are caught up in their own thoughts:
“How am I doing?”, “Is my pitch ok?”
“Does my USP sound good?” “Do I
STOP thinking about yourself.
STOP focusing on your Value Statement.
STOP worrying about your pitch.
START concentrating on how they will
BENEFIT. Find out what turns them on, what turns them off and most importantly why will they buy?
Clients are multi dimensional and buy for different reasons – like Price, Pleasure, Status, Convenience and Security.
Find out their Unique Buying Point – UBP–and pinpoint what turns them on.
Put them 1st not you or your company and watch your sales soar!