If you own a business, then your methods of selling are crucial to your business success. There is a tightrope you must walk when learning this process. You want to seem enthusiastic but not fake, you want to seem helpful but not desperate and you want to price yourself competitively but not undercut yourself. Every aspect of sale is a balancing act where either side of the scale has its challenges. We have found that some of the most effective sales techniques are the most simple, but are rarely utilised by the majority of businesses. Here are three killer techniques to help up your sales game.
TIP #1 Be helpful, not pushy
Okay this makes sense on paper. But what does it really mean? What is the ‘metric’ for being “pushy”?
In many ways, this tip goes against the normal aggressive sales techniques we learn from movies and outdated “SELL SELL SELL” books. In reality, people have been subjected to at least 30 more years of advertising since those methods were relevant. The advertising that they have been exposed to has also been more frequent, more intense and more intelligent. This means that the average person has developed better skills for tuning out advertising messages that are not relevant to them. As a result, people have looked towards more realistic forms of product information for their buying decisions. Sites like Yelp! And Urbanspoon are examples of a growing customer need for realistic, helpful advice concerning products or services.
So how does this relate to how you should approach your sales technique? You should aim to be helpful to your client during your sales pitch. This involves asking questions about what the client would like to achieve as opposed to telling them what they need from you. People are not as susceptible to the ‘hard sell’ as they’ve been in the past, they want real answers and to feel comfortable with your business.
TIP #2 Sell your client’s story, not your business’s story
How many times have you seen this? A sales rep meets with you and aims to give you their business’s entire success story. As they begin to ramble on about ‘quarterly goal’ this and ‘x% client satisfaction’ that, you find yourself thinking “but what are you going to do for me?”
In fact, everyone thinks that.
People want to feel like the product or service is being perfectly tailored to them. This may involve doing some research on your client’s industry or business before you meet with them. Figure out what the average business in their industry aims to achieve and then tailor your pitch to how you can help them do that. If it feels like you have considered their goals in your sales pitch, therefore they are going to have much more belief in your business.
TIP #3 Understand some human psychology
Remember that the people that you are selling to are just that – people. They have needs and desires, they get grumpy when they have under slept, they may be feeling hungry, they can feel socially anxious etc. The list goes on, but the thing to remember is that you are selling to a person, so an understanding of human psychology is something to seriously consider.
We aren’t suggesting any particular psychology programmes (although, most of Tony Robbins material is regarded as very useful), but we are suggesting that you familiarise yourself with some basic human psychology. Understanding the body language of someone when they look nervous, or when they need reassurance on a topic can be the thing that differentiates you from your competitors who simply learn a sales script perfectly with no real consideration for the human factor. The client may not be conscious of it, but they will get a “feeling” that they prefer you to the competition.
Sales is not always an easy thing to do, but it can be one of the most satisfying and empowering aspects of running a business. When you are confident in your selling ability, it massively boosts your success and confidence in other areas of your business life as well.