By Elinor Stutz
There are two types of successful sales professionals: those who are well schooled in social graces and business, and those who naturally know how to sell. It is only a small percentage, in the second category, who posses the knack for selling easily.
Four differentiators combined make all the difference to empower you with a thriving clientele. This holds true for all facets of sales such as retail, corporate, and entrepreneurship. And the same holds true for personal requests, too.
Securing the Sale
1. Being yourself differentiates you from everyone else
Authenticity is the “in” word today. We each have unique DNA. So there is no sense copying what someone else does or says, even if it’s your sales trainer. Your vocabulary, body language, facial expressions and all ways in which you communicate are unique to you. Consistency in being yourself and ignoring statements heard such as “That won’t work” is far more important than doing what others advocate will work.
This is the first step in establishing your identity so others may qualify whether you are a good match for what they are seeking. Should they agree you are a potential match, you will pass their first test.
2.Take a keen interest in both the person and their problems
Behave as a consultant, one who works to solve your clients’ problems. Upon getting down to the business portion of your conversation, take the lead to put the meeting on the direct path for a potential sale. Inquire as to why you were chosen as a potential provider. Questions to ask include:
- What motivated you to ask to inquire about my services?
- What are you experiencing today that requires help?
- What are your long-term goals once problems are resolved?
- How will you make your decision for selecting the right help?
- What is your budget?
Upon asking these questions, one at a time, it will be up to you to take careful notes in order to have in-depth discussions. This requires LISTENING, which will absolutely differentiate you from almost everyone else.
3. Accurately answer prospective clients’ questions and objections
Frequently, you will be faced with a difficult question or objection. Rather than becoming defensive, which will ruin the sale, ask why the question was asked. Then state you need to understand the entire picture so that you may respond in full. No one can argue with this response and it puts the responsibility on them. Furthermore, it establishes you as a well-heeled professional.
Objections are merely requests for more information. On occasion the prospective client will almost appear rude with their statement and will say something similar to “No, that’s unthinkable!” Again, respond with questions. This time ask, “Why do you believe that? What has been your previous experience?”
In other words, the key to handling objections is to learn why they are being made in the first place. Once you recognize the reasoning, you will be able to detect an alternate path around it.
4. Conclude the conversation
Concluding the conversation has several implications.
Most people “close” the sale. This sounds as if they take the money and run, otherwise known as little or no customer service involved. By changing your mindset from “close” to “conclude” this instead refers that’s it for this conversation but there will be many more, including customer care.
The best way to conclude the conversation is to avoid fidgeting and to simply ask, “When would you like to get started?” Upon having proceeded through the steps of question and answer, and having developed the relationship well, a date should be forthcoming. Ask to finalize the paperwork, get the deposit, and describe the timeline and steps for the service to be put into place.
The reason the four steps described work so well is that they allow you to work by simply being yourself, and no one else can match that. Doing so builds a sound personal brand and trust. It is the trust that motivates others to buy from you. Upon consistently working this manner, you will find it becomes a Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz is a contributing author to the Personal Branding Blog. She is CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences, and the author or INSPIRED Business: A New Vision for Building Business and Communities and the international bestseller Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results. CEOWORLD magazine named Stutz “one of the brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter.”