You will meet many types of prospects and potential customers that may need different approaches. But there are seven key points that are universal to a successful sale. Here are the seven steps and why they work.
1. Ask questions
Too many sales people babble endlessly about the features and benefits of their products and services, often in a way that insults the customer by acting as if they’ve never seen this product before. This approach works if you’re selling something that has never been seen anywhere before but not when you’re selling saucepans, food processors or vacuum cleaners. Take the time to ask your customer what their needs are and what benefits they’re interested in. Ask them to tell you what they want, then offer the solution.
2. Set daily targets
Many sales networks chase as many customers each day as possible, hoping a couple will buy. But this is hit and miss, with no definite numbers to work on. A better approach is to keep track of how many customers buy on average from a given number of leads and then rework the sales strategies to lead to a higher conversion rate. Track the results, as you and your sales team embark on each modified approach to determine which one works best. Set daily targets and assess your team’s performance against these figures so every member will learn how to improve their results.
3. Use sales scripts
Your customers expect you to be consistent. There are ways to implement a sales script without your customers knowing you are reading from one. How do you come up with the perfect script? Call me to find out. The best script is one that you can transform into a conversation without losing what you need to say to your prospect.
4. Make an irresistible offer or guarantee
Why should someone buy from you and not from a competitor who can provide the same product or service at the same price, or even lower? What is it you offer or guarantee that differentiates you from the competition? What is your ‘Unique Sales Proposition’ (USP)?
It could be a more solid and reliable guarantee, a more attractive after-sales service package or a rewards program. Your offer should generate excitement, value and benefit to get your prospects to choose you.
5. Solicit the sale without really asking for it
A common failure in sales is not asking the prospect to buy, largely due to the fear of rejection. But there are ways to get the sale without blatantly asking for it. You must approach the sales process assuming people will want to buy. After you have asked the questions and provided the answers to why your prospect will benefit from what you have to offer, confirm the sale by asking for details such as delivery date or address. This sounds more professionally inviting than begging for a sale. Just do it. If it doesn’t work, learn from those who say no so you can improve on your conversion rate over time.
6. Learn continuously
Never stop learning. New trends and approaches emerge each day. Needs are constantly changing, so you need to form a habit of learning to find success in sales. Learn from experts, books, prospects and customers and from your past experiences. Learn from your failures, as they are actually your little steps to success. Note them down so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
7. Use testimonials
We need to be reminded of what we’re doing right and why our best customers love to do business with us. You can get your customers to write testimonials and use these in your marketing strategies to provide your prospects with genuine reasons why they should also be doing business with you. Customer testimonials attract more customers because your prospects get a view of your value and benefits from their perspective, not from someone who they think is just out to close a sale.
Q: When is the best time to make a sale?
A: Just after you made the last one.
Ever heard of those professional golfers who stop making the cut, seemingly marking the end of a great career? Often they are taking time off to change something about themselves, their attitude, superstition or habit, and soon they’re back in form, perhaps even as a more formidable force to contend with.
When the same thing happens to you during your sales process, remember it’s just a temporary thing. Step back to change something and return to improve the score.