Sales are the lifeblood of any business.
If your business is unable to sell products or services in sufficient volume, then it ceases to exist. It is reasonable to expect that a high percentage of a business time and capital should be invested in the pursuit of a sale through its marketing and sales systems.
Peter Drucker, one of the foremost business thinkers of our time stated this concept many years ago, saying
“the purpose of a business is to create a customer.”
A customer is a person who pays for goods or services. Before that they are a prospect.
As a business owner, your role is to lead the marketing and sales effort ensuring that you not only create, but retain a customer for many years. Hopefully, you supply goods or services that customers buy and return for re-purchase, as this provides the essential long term stability any business requires.
For many businesses, strong sales skills are a critical part of their continued success. Their sales team have to be well-versed and skillful in every stage of the sales process. In this article, you’ll discover four tips that will help in the thinking and shaping of your sales presentation…
1) Always think about the prospect/customer perspective, rather than your own
If you are to lead a prospect or customer to a sale, then you really need to understand their point of view. To do this, it’s important to ask questions and really listen for the response. You see, these people do not buy your products or services for your reasons – they buy for their reasons. With this in mind, it is important to ascertain what benefits, advantages, needs your product/service fulfills for this person. And, it’s important to listen to the language used and the priority levels your prospect or customer attaches to their reasoning. Only their reasons for potentially buying matter.
2) Think about your opening
Whenever you are meeting a prospect or customer, either face-to-face or on another media, think carefully about your first words. It’s important they are positive and buoyant rather than negative, or have a perceived miserable tone. Enthusiasm and passion are such positive emotions and using these in sales can be very rewarding.
People like to be around others who make them feel good. An enthusiastic attitude is infectious. Maintaining this attitude in everything you do will get you noticed.
Your attitude and behavior is essential in creating rapport with your prospect or customer. Once you have established the tone of the meeting, and placed the prospect in a position of comfort i.e. they are relaxed and comfortable talking to you, then you are in a good place to continue on to the next part of the meeting.
3) Watch for social cues
During your conversation, you should be asking open questions to gain understanding of the prospect’s current situation and why they may need your product or service. The social cues here are body language, small gestures such as nodding of the head in agreement with your comment etc. Pay particular attention to these cues and do not try to push the pace beyond what is proving to be right for the prospect. If they ask questions, then use questions to understand why the question was raised. Is there a concern in the background, a thought or belief that may require specific attention. It could be that an assumption has been made that’s incorrect or inaccurate.
Sometimes sales reps get into a particular part of a meeting and they are on auto-pilot, heading for what they believe is the close, when in fact they are racing ahead of the prospect. They then try to close hard with the result being a disgruntled prospect – although they won’t tell you that!
4) Following up
At the end of a meeting, you should agree a plan with the prospect. Of course, it may be that they are not ready to buy there and then, but you have moved them further down the sales funnel and they are closer to buying. Sometimes a prospect needs time to mull over the data before making a decision or requiring more information. Having an agreed plan of action will continue to move the prospect forward and yet remove that pressure “closers” continue to use to get a quick sale.
A good follow up plan removes the need for other interference. People do not like those annoying calls to check up on them. Therefore, a follow up plan with deadlines and an agreed timetable removes any doubt and still allows you or your salesperson to retain control of the next move.
Within the follow up agenda and/or next meeting the key is to ascertain what needs to happen from both parties in order to reach an agreement to move forward and conclude the sale.
A good salesperson will tell you that they open a relationship rather than close a sale
Here’s one final bonus tip: Imagine your prospect is your best friend.
- You wouldn’t use pressure or bullying tactics to get them to buy from you. Instead you would nurture them through the process and ensure that they are really happy.
- You would ensure that all of their concerns have been addressed.
- You would listen to every concern or question, addressing each point and require acknowledgement that it has been fully addressed before moving on.
Using this best friend mentality will help you stage, present, question and respond in a friendly way, which in turn leads to a greater volume of sales.
I hope you have found this article useful and will adopt, adapt and introduce these principles into your future sales presentations.4 Tips To Improve Your Sales Pitch - How Many Do you Already Know? Click To Tweet