Every entrepreneur is in the business of moving products or services to consumers, which is why knowing how to sell is of the utmost importance. Selling is no longer "a job" assigned to traditional or professional salespeople as we know them. With the evolution of technology and a shift in business ownership to non-traditional entrepreneurs, many individuals with little or no formal sales training are faced with the challenge of learning how to convert interested or not so interested prospects into consumers and loyal customers.
Whether you are selling a product, a service or introducing an opportunity, here are a few tips that are sure to make your selling experience easier and more productive:
- Appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Most buying decisions are made emotionally. People buy in a ‘spur of the moment’ kind of way and then convince themselves later that they made a wise decision. Have you ever walked into a department store and purchased an outfit you didn’t budget for "just because…." ? Everyday, customers walk into car dealerships, connect with a car maybe because they love the smell of the leather on the inside, and then they begin to hug it emotionally, and eventually find themselves writing a check for a vehicle that maybe way beyond their price range.
This shows that folks make emotional buying decisions. In sales, avoid carrying on logical discussions with customers. Help them develop warm, fuzzy feelings about your product.
- Focus on what customers want, rather than what they think they need. Ask, “What do you really want?” For example, most people faced with purchasing a cell phone really just need it to make and receive calls, but these days, those phones come with added features like web browing and checking emails, Facebooking and Twittering, instant messaging and much more. Most folks are walking around with smart phones with all these features they are paying extra money for, which they really don't need!
Meanwhile, more disciplined customers make buying decisions based on the necessities i.e. what they need, rather than want. While this is simply the sensible thing to do, most of us tend to me more flexible with our finances.
With this in mind, the salesperson realizes his chances of selling increase tremendously if he can get prospects to focus their buying-decisions more on their wants – those little things that make life more enjoyable. Yes, in these tough economic times, folks tend to be more focused on the basics, but a large group still tends to be open to the finer things of life, especially if well priced.
- Listen carefully to your prospects so that you can decipher how your product, service or opportunity delivers what they are looking for; then propose it to them along those lines. This is what great sales people do best. Your offer should meet a need.
Always remember that selling is much less about you and your product line, and much more about your customer and their lifestyle. It is critical that you especially master this approach.
- Have a personal testimony. Learn about the benefits of the product to you (obviously by consuming it yourself) and use your testimony and personal experiences to explain how it will work for your customer. Always remember to focusing on the benefits, not the features. A good example is: we all know Aspirin helps relieve headache, yet very few people know what it is composed of.
Tell stories … people love them. Features and technical details are really of importance to manufacturers and technicians. Keep discussions light and simple, and avoid delving into technicalities on how the product works.
- Be a good ambassador. An intangible factor that deeply affects selling is how your audience perceives you and what customers feel about you. It helps to be confident, knowledgeable, excited, trustworthy and believable. The ability to move people to buy your product or into an idea has a lot to do with how charismatic and respectable you are.Be a good representative of your brand.
In conclusion, in those instances when you are unsuccessful in selling, listen carefully to the prospect in order to find out why they didn't bite, and learn from it. Sales pros understand that when you listen keenly to people, they will tell you how to sell to them.
Grade yourself, self improve and be continuously growing. You can tell you have mastered the art of sales when someone buys from you and then feels like it was their idea in the first place.That deserves an A.
The successful entrepreneur listens more than he talks, so that he can create a compelling reason for the customer to buy. It’s really that simple. That’s sales 101.
Photo by Stuart Miles