Are you in sales? That is a bit of a trick question as when you boil it down everyone is in sales. Most people do not realize that they are in sales so they suck at it. Teachers are in the business of selling ideas and education to their students while at the same time selling reassurance to the parents that they are educating their children. Parents sell their children on eating their vegetables and keeping their rooms clean. If your children are not doing those things perhaps it is because you are not very good at selling them on it.
How do we get better at sales?
Just like anything else sales requires practice. Effective practice is always built on consistency . In order to be consistent, it is good practice to have a system. So it makes sense to use a sales system that you can follow. This will allow you to have a standard from which to improve upon. The problem is most people new to sales do not know how to create a sales system. I will outline a proven effective sales system below that you can implement immediately in your sales process. Learn it and use it for a while and then you can build upon it and tweak it for your needs.
The 5 Step Sales System
- Qualify the buyer
- Warm Up and build the relationship
- Close the sale
Qualifying the Buyer
The first ten seconds of your sales call are the hardest. One of the easiest ways to get through it is to just smile. You will be surprised at how much your smile will calm and relax both you and the buyer. When you are qualifying the buyer you are making sure that he or she is the right person who has the authority to make the purchase and is the one who purchases the item you are selling. This works for both business to business sales as well as business to consumer sales.
For example, if you are selling janitorial supplies it may be the janitors themselves who are purchasing the products or it may be a purchasing agent. In some cases, it may be both. You want to make sure you are presenting to the right person. Likewise, when selling to the consumer you may need to be talking to both the husband and wife if applicable.
Make sure you ask the right questions to determine that you are indeed talking and presenting to the right person. Sales are based on relationships and even during your qualification of the buyer you want to make sure you are building that relationship.
This is the part of the sales system where you are going to establish a strong relationship with the buyer. Even if you know the buyer well you still do not want to skip this step. If I had to summarize this step I would say it is all about getting the buyer to talk about themselves.
Give them sincere compliments about something that is important to them. How do you know what is important to them? Look around, if they have a unique hair style that is a good indication they take pride in it. There is always something you can compliment, just be sure to look for the item that person takes pride in. Make sure your compliment is sincere! If purple hair is not your thing but the buyer has purple hair still compliment them on it. Remember it is not about you! It is about the other person.
During the warm-up phase, you want to pay attention to your buyer. You want to learn what need or goal your products can satisfy for them. Sales professionals are solution providers! Amature salespeople are the ones who just try to push product. When you know your buyers needs and goals you can ensure your dramatization and demonstration are tailored to show how your product or solution fills these needs or achieves the goals.
This is where you expand upon the buyers needs and goals as well as how your solution aligns with them. During the warm up, you learned from your buyer that they have a goal of taking better care of their health. During this stage, you want to ask your buyer questions about what better health would mean to them. Here you want to use open questions that will get the buyer to form images in their head. Remember at this point, it is not about you or your product. You are learning more about the buyer and how your solution will fit with them. Your goal here is to get your customer thinking about the benefits they would gain by solving their problem or achieving their goal.
All the way on step four and here is where you get to talk about your products/solutions. We have to remember as sales professionals that we want our buyers to talk more than we do. I have not met a sales professional yet who doesn’t like to talk so sometimes this can be difficult. Now as you progress into your demonstration you want to remember the buyers goals and needs.
If you have a physical demonstration this where you show how your product is the solution to your customers need and how it will help them achieve their goal. Get your buyer involved in this demonstration. If they can actually do something physical in your demonstration they will be much more involved in your solution to their problem. Show how your product will solve the customer’s problem!
If you do not have a physical demonstration this is where you bring out your product information sheets, presentation etc. Make sure as you provide this information to the buyer you continue to ask them questions that will make them answer in such a way that they will be telling you how your solution solves their problem. For example, let’s say I am selling a revolutionary toilet bowl cleaner that is environmentally safe, effective and will not burn skin. During my dramatization, I learned that my buyer customer has had their hands burned with previous toilet bowl cleaner. I would put some of my awesome toilet bowl cleaner on my hand and demonstrate that it is safe. I would then ask my buyer what it would mean to them if they never had to worry about burning their hands from toilet bowl cleaner again.
Using questions and getting the buyer to explain back to me how my solution will solve their problem reaffirms my solution will work for them. People do not always trust sales people but they almost always trust themselves.
Closing the Sale
I have trained numerous sales professionals and I have seen it countless times. Sales professionals do not ask for the sale or do not know the buying signs that indicate they should ask for the sale.
If you have followed this system correctly your buyer should be showing some buying signals at this point. It is important that you can recognize the buying signals so that you can close the sale. Some common buying signals are:
How much is it?
How does it work?
How often do I take it?
When your buyer is expressing interest in your product or solution it is now time to close the sale. Do not go on talking about your product or solution. Information overload is a common reason that sales are lost. Once there are buying signals it is time you ask for the sale.
You have picked up on the buying signals so now it is time to transition to the close. You can say something like:
“Now let me show you how this comes packed.” (If the product ships in multiples etc)
“Now let me show you what the next step is.” (This is good for solutions or products where you need to fill out paperwork)
You always want to provide options that will result in a sale. For example:
“Would you like the base model or the premium package?”
“Do you want a one month supply or a three month supply?”
Never say something like:
“Are you interested?”
“How many do you want to buy?”
Any question that can be answered with a no, or zero should be avoided. If you are selling a service provide a couple of options for scheduling when that service should be done.
Objections generally result because you have not built a strong rapport and relationship with the buyer or that you have not addressed their needs or goals. Make sure you take note of the objection so on the next sale you can address it before it comes up.
When you receive an objection remain calm and confident and address the objection. There are numerous ways to address an objection ad I cannot cover them all here. In our sales training sessions, we devote an entire segment to handling objections. Contact us about how you can enroll in our sales training.
This is a brief outline of the Tenacious Creations Five Step Sales system that we teach during our sales training seminars. In our seminars, we describe in detail each step of the process and how it applies to your business. The goal of our sales training seminars is to take someone with no sales experience to the point of where they can confidently sell their products and services. Contact us today to learn more!