My area of expertise is in video production, but as a producer I have to sell my skills and my creativity to potential clients. I find it hard. Many years ago I was a salesperson, but selling ourselves can feel very different to selling a product. Many new business people find selling to be the hardest part of their job. Word of mouth can sell for you, but at some point you are going to have to market your business face-to-face. You are going to have to pitch your product or service to a potential customer.
The communication techniques you use for face-to face-selling and media marketing are actually the same. More to the point, they can be learned. This is not any kind of comprehensive sales technique. I’ll break down three basic steps to make selling your product or service easier. In a future article I’ll show you how you use these steps when creating your marketing videos. If you are already an experienced salesperson this article isn’t aimed at you. I’m sorry. BUT if you would care to read it and contribute your knowledge in the comments section below, I’m sure those readers with less experience would welcome your expertise.Selling can be hard. Try these 3 tips to help make it easier. Click To Tweet
Know What You’re Selling
There are two ways we need to think about this. Firstly what is the product or service you want to sell. Is it a particular item? Do you know how it works and how to get the best performance from it? You will need to. Is it a service? How does it benefit your clients? Are you a middleman selling other people’s skills, or are you selling your own skills? Whatever your product or service is, you must know it inside and out. Your expertise and ability to demonstrate value and quality will be crucial to the sale.
Secondly, what are your clients buying? You may think that a strange question but it’s vital to understand this. Let me explain with an example. Your business sells flowers. You arrange them for people. Mostly you sell them in bunches. You sell the product of flowers and the service of flower arranging. BUT what are people buying? Let’s take a look at ‘the flower paradox’…
When they buy an arrangement of some sort they are buying your skill and expertise for an occasion. Flowers don’t last. They are only ever for a short period of time. Your skill is being bought to enhance an occasion. When customers buy flowers by the bunch they know that one week later they will all be dead. They will decorate their homes and then they will have to do it all over again. So what are customers really buying when they buy flowers. I would argue that by spending money on something that is so short term they are really buying the feeling of opulence.
“My love for you is so great, I spent money on these flowers that will be dead very soon.”
“I wasted my income to show you I can afford it.”
“I have flowers all over my home to impress you with how much I can spend to make my life pretty.”
No one ever says these shallow things, but the feeling of opulence and wealth is the illusion people are often buying when they choose to say it with flowers. You need to know what your clients are really buying so that you can target that set of emotions when you sell.
Respect Your Clients
I don’t often like to use the word respect. It has connotations of admiration when people often mean that we should all be polite to each other. I often think that good manners are the oil that makes society work. You don’t have to respect people, just be polite and everything will be fine. BUT this is different when it comes to your clients. We all know if somebody is looking down on us. We can all sense contempt. I never deal with people who feel that way about me. They can have their opinions but I’m not wasting my time with them. Your clients will feel the same. To sell you have to respect the people you are dealing with. You have to find something about them you can like. You have to be able to relate so that you can explain the benefits of what you are selling from their point of view. Not yours.
You may think selling is all about trickery. You’d be wrong. Selling is about honesty. People never return to do business with a company they feel has tricked them. I have a list of companies that I will never buy from again. They didn’t just treat me poorly. That can be forgiven and explained. Everyone has a bad day now and again. What grieved me was the dishonesty of the way they worked. They promised something and did not deliver. When questioned they hid behind their terms and conditions. We all hate companies like that.
When I sell my services to a client I am absolutely honest about what I can and cannot deliver. Even if that costs me the commission. I am trying to build long term relationships of repeat custom. My clients know that they can trust what I say, that I will deliver what I promise and that I won’t promise more. Our products need to fulfill a need our customers have. A good sales technique is to demonstrate how our product will solve a customer’s problem. But pretending to solve a problem and failing to do so because the product is inadequate creates problems, problems that outweigh the benefits of getting a single sale. Good word of mouth spreads, bad word of mouth spreads faster.
I hope you’ve found these three ideas helpful. I would love to discuss with you what you think of these and any techniques and advice you may be able to share. So please comment and I will reply and perhaps, between us, we can all share some techniques that benefit us all.