Selling is one thing many people find extremely hard to do. Even those who do it for a living have problems in the beginning, despite the training they receive from their employer. It’s not natural to try and persuade people they have to buy your stuff. Actually this is the wrong way of selling and it is also the reason why these sales persons don’t enjoy it.
In fact, selling is a skill that can be taught and learned. Nobody is born with it. It’s true, though, some of us are more gifted when it comes to finding the words that resonate with potential customers, making them want the products and take their credit card out of their pocket.
As hard as it may seem, there are some people who enjoy selling. These people with innate skills can perfect their art by learning persuasive techniques that enable them to actually sell without selling. This article will give you a few tips, but if you really want to master this art, you have to learn it thoroughly and practice it a lot.
The first thing newbies do when they have to sell something is to ask the potential buyers if they would like to buy the respective products. In this stage of the conversation, selling will make the customer go away before actually buying anything. The biggest mistake is to assume the other already needs your product and all you have to do is offer it and eventually describe it a little.
The first and foremost step in any professional selling process is to identify a need of your discussion partner. This comes, of course, after the usual ice breakers like weather considerations and similar other topics meant to warm a little bit the atmosphere.
In order to spot a need, you can simply ask the other “do you need this?” and see if you get lucky. If the other doesn’t need your product as such, starting to emphasize its features and benefits would be a big mistake. You need to make the other realize he has a need and only after that supply the product benefits that support that need. You can support the stated benefits with features of the product, that’s a good idea in this stage of the selling process.
Sometimes, spotting an opportunity is really hard work. If the person in front of you doesn’t actually need anything, you have to ask questions until you find this window of opportunity and take advantage of it immediately. This means you should turn it into a need. To give you one small example, imagine you can determine the other agree he doesn’t enjoy cooking a lot because it takes him too much to clean the kitchen afterwards. You can ask further questions in order to determine what part of the cleaning is actually the most complicated for the person in front of you. Of he says his pans always stick and they are very hard to clean, you’ve got an excellent opportunity here.
Suppose you sell non-stick, ceramic pans that can be cleaned with ease. Now it’s the time to ask whether being able to clean the pans easier would make the whole cooking process faster and more fun. If the answer is yes, you can start introducing the benefits of your pan and support them with features such as the non-stick coating and the possibility of cleaning it in the dishwasher.
If you follow this scheme, you can actually make the interlocutor believe he really needs your product. Actually he might have needed it from the very beginning, but if he is not aware of the needs, all your efforts are going to be in vain. This is what skilled sales persons do: they don’t speak just for the sake of speaking. They are always actively looking for opportunities, even where it seems they are just enjoying the conversation. They never sell before being positive the other is ready to receive the sales pitch. This is why their success rate is huge compared to average sales persons.
When you’ve got your potential client to agree with you that your product does fulfill a need he has, it’s time for the second part of this process: closing the sale. If you don’t close, you may have worked for nothing, The other person might change their mind after they leave the room. You shouldn’t allow that to happen. You need to walk away with a firm promise, that’s when you maximize your chances to effectively sell your product. If the other person doesn’t want to sign a firm purchasing agreement, you still need to leave with a firm promise, even if it is that you are going to meet another time at a date you set on the spot, right there.
Another thing to remember is that the selling process doesn’t end right when the potential customer agrees to buy your stuff and shakes your hand. The sale is complete only when the money changed hands or bank accounts for that matter. If you deliver the product but you don’t get paid for it, that’s not selling, that’s charity. If you are not into the charity business, you have to get paid for your efforts, so make sure you follow up with your customers until you see the money in your bank account.
Before any sales meeting, you should prepare yourself by learning everything you can about your product. You have to know all its potential benefits and what features actually support them. This will be very useful in case the client raises objections. You have to be able to deal with both objections and drawbacks if you want to be good at selling. This is the art that makes the whole process seem like a casual talk about issues and things rather than a hard selling process you are eager to close and make some money as soon as the other buys into your words.