Successful sales people reputedly exhibit a high degree of ‘seeking’ rather than ‘giving’ behaviours and in doing so close more deals at higher average order values and with better margins. So let’s create some golden rules that you can adopt or adapt to suit your product, market, customers and our own personal style, to do more ‘seeking’ behaviours and smash your targets.
Here are 7 Steps to Successful Selling, which we use at the core of many of our in-house sales training solutions:
- Take Note of Communication Preferences
Engage with your customers look and listen for clues about their preferred communication style and match yours to theirs. This means be short and to the point with those who have a ‘no messing’ style; systematic and detailed for those who are thorough; and for those who are warmer and sociable show a real interest in them, their job, their company, and even their family. People buy more readily from those they like and feel a connection with.
- Be Nosey
Find out what the needs, concerns, likes and dislikes of the customer are. Have a complete repertoire of questions and ask as many as you need to, and never miss out the “If you had a Magic Wand then…” question, which uncovers so much.
- Avoid Derailers
Make objection and distraction handling your strongest skill. Some customers ask you for a price or they point out the benefits your competitor’s offer before you have asked them your first question. Be ready to respond in a way that is calm, measured and allows you to take control of the conversation.
- Don’t Assume, Check
Before you present your sales proposition summarise the customer’s needs, requirements, and special concerns – and check if you have got it all right.
- Present Your Proposition
Present your proposition step by step getting the customer’s agreement to each step. Each acknowledgement is a ‘mini-close’ leading to a final “YES!” Do not start offering what might be unnecessary concessions to ‘sweeten’ the deal before you have gone past step 6.
- Understand Different Closing Techniques
When steps 1-5 are completed the sale is likely to close itself. You will recognise buying signals that tell you that the deal is in the bag. If the sale doesn’t close itself then use a Trial Close or the technique that some call ‘tipping the bucket’ – to empty out any last concerns, reservations or objections that have to be satisfied before the close.
- Be Ready to Negotiate
The customer may want to do the deal on their terms not yours. Be fully aware of all your negotiables, set limits for each one beyond which you will not go. Get yourself fixed into the ‘if …. then’ negotiation mode.