My favourite definition of sales is ‘a transfer of enthusiasm’. I learnt this many years ago, when working in the media industry and from that point I realised that if I love what I have to offer, it’s much easier to espouse its benefits!
Since then, I’ve been encouraging clients to utilise their enthusiasm as their main sales tool. That and the understanding to only sell something that the customer needs. Fulfilling a solution to a problem is likely to result in a customer – or friend – for life. Whereas a quick sale is just that, a lot of effort for a one-off sale that is unlikely to bring you repeat business or recommendations.
The Pain/Pleasure Principle
People want a solution to their pain or to take pleasure in your product. No good can come from selling snow to the eskimos – there is no need there!
So how do you get a conversation to the point where your enthusiasm for your product/service can come through? Here are the four simple steps:
1. Get to the point at the start
People like hearing about themselves, it’s just human nature.
Break the ice with something related to them - perhaps mention how you met, where you came across their name, that you saw them cited in a newspaper – anything that mentions them. A long drawn out chat about the weather is never going to go down well with a busy, prospective customer!
So practice your one line that will gain their attention to open the conversation.
2. Put yourself in their shoes
Remember, it's all about their needs. Does what you have to offer benefit the person you are pitching to? Do they aspire to own your product? If it’s an organisation, are you speaking to the right person? Please research before you make contact.
Although the best way to find out their need is by asking them!
Ask them a couple of key open questions about their needs or wants in relation to your business. You will gain more respect from your prospective customer if you take the time to ask them what they need and see if you can fulfil their wish. If the answer is no, walk away. If you are pleasant throughout, you are more likely to have them recommending you to someone else who will benefit!
By far this will be the longest part of the conversation, possibly up to 90%. This is about you asking the right questions and them opening up to you.
3. Paint the picture
Once you have a need, give them a concise picture of what they will gain when they buy from you. There are features and then there are benefits – they need the benefits.
Note: There is no point in selling denim jeans to someone who only wears tailored clothes. Just as it's senseless trying to sell website services to a company that offers this as a provision!
4. Take action
End the conversation with your plan of action. If there is a potential need, are you going to follow up with a proposal on an email or arrange a face to face meeting?
After all that work you have put into the call, come away with something that both parties commit to that will move the conversation forward. At the very least, you may pick up a name of someone else who would love to know all about you!
Would you like some tailored tips that will work on your business? I'd love to work with you! Email me or tweet @RickieWrites