Sometimes back i had a discussion with a friend on how everyone should have sales skills these days. The discussion reminded me of Phil Knight the founder of Nike. who used to sell shoes to athletes from his car boot. In his biography Phil mentions how easy it was for him to sell shoes to athletes compared to selling stocks. So even though i agreed with my friend that everyone needs sales skills i don't think we can be equally good at selling everything.
I think, a sale is a complex transaction with a lot of components that need to fit together. To be a good salesman you have to believe in your product and gain your customers trust. But the most important thing would be your interest in your buyers general benefit.
Have Belief in your offering
One of the key components when it comes to closing a sale. You have to believe in your product and solutions . You have to be convinced that your solution is a fit for the problem your customer is trying to solve. This can’t be faked as the passion or lack of it will be obvious to your prospects when you are pitching your product.
Gain the Trust of your prospect
Its unreal when a total stranger walks up to your door or calls you and speaks as if they know you for years. The only out come of this would be our Lizard brains kicking in making it even more difficult to convert. You can’t sell to someone who doesn't trust you. The Pros know this and spend quality time building trust & understanding their prospects needs. So work hard to earn your prospects trust and the more they trust you and believe you the better it is.
Make the right Pitch
Many people think of a sales pitch as a single interaction where you show the product and ask for a sale. Nothing could be further from truth. A pitch is not about closing the deal it's about expanding the trust you gained and providing value. Once you are at the pitch stage it's all about building a relationship with your customer. This can sometimes be a long winding road and might test your patience but you got to consistently keep providing value to your prospect.
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Close the Deal
A typical online purchase will make you question your decision to buy at least in 3-4 places i.e. should you add the product to the cart ? Should you check out ? Is the shipping address correct ? Is the credit card correct ? etc. So many deals are lost at these stages that it's not even funny.
If you have bought anything online you would understand how powerful and game changing patented ‘ 1Click Purchase’ button from Amazon is. It removes the hassles from the transaction making it super fast to close the deal.
Once the prospect is convinced about your products it's time to close the transaction in a frictionless and minimalistic way. You have to keep simplifying and easing out your transaction process.
Get the Feedback
The last part of the equation is the customer feedback.. It's important to have a healthy business relationship with your customer even after the sales is complete. Remember, a sales transaction is a promise to serve and deliver a certain value to your customer. The after sales service and relationship defines how you keep your promise. This is where you build your tribe of trusted customers who can be converted into promoters of your offerings.
Think of the the last time you told a friend about a product you liked. Did you use the products sales pitch, or brochure ? We don't do that normally. We share experiences, benefits and reasons why we like or dislike the product.
People in general don't like to sit through lengthy slide based sales pitches. They want to know if they can trust the solution, if you can solve their problem, who else is using the solution ( social proof), what extra benefits ( value adds) the solution offers, how can the solution help them ? Note that the sales is always from the buyers perspective because they are the one’s looking to solve a problem or gain some value.