Believe it or not, all of us are selling something or the other every day. Be it selling the idea of going for a long holiday to our boss or selling our parents the idea of why moving out is a fantastic idea. All of us, regardless of our professional designation or influence do some type of sales on a regular basis. Successful sales people are those who have a very good understanding of human behavior. The most successful techniques are the ones which are most fundamental and basic but mostly ignored. Here are a list of sales techniques that are extremely powerful, but mostly go ignored.
Asking and answering questions
This is by far the most ignored of all sales techniques – to lead a conversation with questions. Questions are known to be the best way to gain deeper insights into problems, gain fresh perspectives and create innovative solutions.
“58% of buyers report that sales reps aren’t able to effectively answer their questions.” ~ Forbes Insight
Despite this advantage that asking questions have to offer, people still do not use them very often. Sales people should definitely incorporate asking questions as a sales technique. They should do their research before meeting the prospect and come prepared with some great questions for the subsequent meetings.
The advantage of asking questions are many, but the chief ones are that it creates an engaging conversation, it helps explore avenues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and it expands horizons for more collaborative opportunities. Sales people have a habit of going straight into their “speech giving mode” where they want to cover anything and everything that they know about the product. Instead, questions should be asked in order to understand the real requirements. An example could be –
“What was your experience like while using a similar product like ours?”
Such a question will help the sales guy to understand what was good in the other product and also what was lacking. By knowing what was not present, the pitch can then focus on how the new product meets these needs.
Power of the mind – Believing in oneself
There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can.
~ Henry Ford
They say that the most powerful weapon in this world is belief. A belief can change everything, and this is why there are so many teachings out there which ask human beings to stay positive and believe that the best will happen. This is true even as a sales technique. Instead of viewing sales as something negative, it should be seen in a completely different light. One way of looking at sales could be to think of it as helping others reach where they want to, rather than meeting a number every month or quarter. Sales people need to be passionate about the process and believe that they are here to solve a problem for a lot of people out there. Changing perceptions can be more beneficial than you would have ever imagined.
Building value for products and services
70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems. 30% make decisions to gain something.
The most common way of trying to close a sale is by offering massive discounts. Though such might seem to be attractive, what prospects really want is what value your product is offering. What is that one thing that has been really bothering your prospect and how do you solve it in a hassle free manner?
A simple value proposition like saving time or making their life easier can serve as attractive offerings. Telling your prospect that you are going to be there for them at every step of the cycle, and showing them examples of how you have done this with your clients can be extremely helpful.
The ability to listen
One of the most effective sales technique is listening. Ironically, this is used the least. Listening is listed as a very critical communication skill. Effective listening not only helps understand your client more, but it also helps you form an invaluable connection at a personal level. Unfortunately, sales people focus more on talking too much about their products or services, without really aligning it to what the prospect is actually looking for.
Listening to your prospect can help you navigate through the sales process and make a close. Listening will also help you unravel your client’s objections, which you can later uncover by asking more questions like –
“Is there something I haven’t covered?” or “Do you have any other questions?”
Empathy, not arguments
The very best sales people are the ones who are extremely sensitive and empathetic to others. Eliminating an argument or the possibility of one is a simple yet strong sales technique. Nobody wants to know they are wrong or someone to tell them what they should do or use. When you argue with a prospect over anything, you are indirectly telling him that he is wrong. You need to be empathetic and talk in a way that is agreeable to both parties.
Best way to sell something: Don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.
Human beings are emotional. Whatever they think, do or decide are driven by emotions. In order to be able to influence decisions of people, sales guys need to understand their prospect’s point of view. One way of doing this could be by developing a high level of empathy and putting oneself into the mind and heart of the other person. Successful sales people are those who build a strong connection with their clients and are able to listen very closely to what they are saying, and grasping the hidden messages and the issues which are implied, rather than told directly.
Speaking the truth
There is a reason why honesty is the best policy – it helps you build the fundamental level of trust which is required for any kind of strong and long lasting association. Trying to oversell products by offering solutions that do not exist could land you in trouble, as word of mouth spreads pretty quick. Even if such an approach gives you a client, the success will be very short term. In fact, understatement can prove to be more impressive than overstatement, when you deliver more than you promise. Instead of laying too much focus on the features of the product, highlighting the positive experiences of your customers might do the trick.
No fear of rejection
Making a successful sale comes with a lot of experience, understanding of markets as well as an impeccable understanding of human behavior. However, this habit might take years to accumulate as the initial years are the ones filled with rejections.
92% of salespeople give up after four rejections.
Becoming overly concerned with rejections will definitely hamper prospective sales. Successful sales people are those who can keep their eyes and lay their bets on both possibilities. A majority of the sales people are missing out on prospective business because they are not following up, one of the few key sales techniques which never fails!
44% of sales people give up after one follow-up.
The key is to do away with the fear of rejection, convince clients using the right sales techniques and following up on a regular basis.
If you have sales techniques that have worked for you, or any comments on the above techniques, do let us know in the comments! And if you liked the blog, please share in your social circles.