There’s a big difference between being clever and being smart. This is why surpassing your goals is directly influenced not only by your education, but also by your skills of persuasion and ability to forge intuitive connections with prospects and, for that matter, with people in general. The truth is that even the most knowledgeable of salespeople and marketers know their expertise are limited, and that the kaleidoscopic nature of the business world means our learning curve is a never ending one. There are some basic things which, amid the complexity of sales and marketing, are easy to forget, but that every sales and marketing professional should remind themselves of daily if they want to reach their potential and become a badass. Here are some of those things.
You don’t buy a power drill- you buy a hole in your wall
The benefits of a product are the most important factors in influencing people in their decision making process, and it’s for this reason that salespeople should describe the benefits of a product in order to best describe the product itself. Translating each specification and feature of a product into potential benefits will enable you to increase the chances of selling it. A tablet doesn’t have 64GB of storage- it has the ability to store thousands of songs, photos and videos. A car doesn’t have good green credentials- it can save you X amount per month in fuel costs, road taxes and insurance. It’s simple: the more you talk about benefits, the more you will benefit.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens
As most salespeople use a script of some sort, it’s often difficult to remember that communication is a two-way thing. Listening to your customers’ wants and needs will enable you to understand what their real problems are and, through this understanding, provide them with the products or services to match. Encouraging your customers to talk about what they need, expect or require will determine them to be more likely to listen to your advice and suggestions, and in turn, the odds of you selling your products will increase substantially. Consequently, you will be able to promote its benefits as described above, and convey its potency of satisfying subjective needs accordingly. The better you are as an active listener, the more likely it is that people will gain trust in you, which is one of the key ways of building good rapport and succeeding as a salesperson or marketer.
Objections aren’t rejections
Objections will always be present regardless of how well you frame your product or service and its benefits. You can please some people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Realizing this ensures that you can prepare yourself for overcoming potential objections. To do this properly, you should do research on customers’ concerns regarding other products, then write down questions along with their corresponding answers. Keep in mind that your customers’ concerns will be varied, ranging from color options and freebies to adjustability and support. Make sure to familiarize yourself with those questions and their answers, so that you will be able to convey these points to your customers with confidence.
Ask the question you want the answer for
One of the key problems with sales (here in the UK, at least) is that prospects are often too polite to say no, even though they know full well that they aren’t going to say yes. As a salesperson or marketer, your job revolves around judging the right times to throw out the line, change the bait, or move the boat altogether and acknowledge that a prospect merely isn’t going to bite. Once you finish framing your product and its benefits, you should never be afraid to ask your prospects whether they’re actually interested in what you’re offering. This will help you cut to the chase without cutting corners, saving you time and energy to be applied to worthwhile prospects.
Your pager should be playing golf
You should know that by now your Filofax should be working on its tan and your pager should be practicing its swing with a 9 iron. Why? Because this isn’t the 90’s, and they should’ve retired a long time ago.
Technology exists which can assist the modern salesperson in various ways. Implement the right software tool and you’ll know exactly who to call, why to call them and when to do so. Business Intelligence software (BI) turns all of your unmanageable data into actionable sales patterns, which you can use to plan ahead and sell more effectively. By investing in and utilizing a good BI tool, you won’t just stay on top of what might be going on, you’ll stay steps ahead of your customer, maximizing your chances of achieving more sales and improving as a seller. Think of what you’re doing without a BI tool as going into battle with a sword and shield, and think of going in with a BI tool as going in with a bullet-proof, bomb-proof, nuclear warhead-proof, all-singing, all-dancing, fire-breathing tank.
P.S. If you are interested in seeing what Business Intelligence software can do for you, your sales team and your marketing team, you can find more info or book a free online demo today here.