Stop Selling!... Build relationships!
What makes a sales call a success or a failure?
Are there really secrets to sales success?
With today's economy, relationships count more than ever. Only the truly professional salespeople will survive in an unpredictable economy. If you look at your industry, there are probably enough people still wanting to buy your product or service to keep you busy all year long. Your challenge is, how do you increase your market share or "unfair share"?
Sales are tougher to generate in a bad economy than in a good one. Nevertheless, why does it seem that some salespeople seem to do well in all types of environments?
When the economy is good, it's relatively easy for even bad salespeople to make a living. In a good economy, often, salespeople make sales by just contacting a high volume of prospects without developing any relationships. There is so much "low-hanging fruit" out there that just about anyone can make a sale.
So what is the difference between the successful, professional salesperson and everyone else? When business is good, the majority of salespeople are just trying to get as much business as possible. They are usually more "me" focused than "client" focused.
Over the years, sales training primarily emphasized closing techniques. The right sales approach involves building the client relationship, not just making the sale and moving on to the next prospect.
Here are My TOP 2 secrets to sales success:
1. STOP "closing sales" & START "opening relationships"
2. DON'T "sell" your clients, HELP them "make good buying decisions"
Creating OPEN RELATIONSHIPS involves being CLIENT-FOCUSED. Unfortunately, if you don't have a relationship, it is very hard to penetrate your prospect's trust to get them to open up to you.
Just think about it...How many sales calls do you get daily from salespeople, trying to sell you something? I can just imagine your response when the phone rings, "Oh boy, another salesperson trying to sell me something." I'm sure you're thinking, "Let me stop everything I'm doing to see if they have something I want to buy right now!"
We have to start with building our credibility. The biggest mistake salespeople make is trying to jump ahead in the sales process before we build any credibility. We jump in and start talking and asking questions before we have earned the right to do so. We need to earn the right to start a relationship before they'll want to engage with us. We can't expect that just because we've called, the prospect will want to develop a relationship with us. Let alone want to do business with us.
So, how do the professional salespeople break through the clutter of all the other sales calls their prospects are bombarded with every day?
One strategy is to utilize our current relationships. Using current relationships, professional salespeople are able to get their prospect's attention, but most importantly, they gain some instant credibility in the mind of the prospect. Recommendations to prospects come from clients with which we have built open and solid relationships. Professional salespeople are always "client" focused. They understand that their client is thinking WIIFM or "what's in it for ME". When you focus on opening relationships, you'll always be client-focused.
DON'T JUST SELL... HELP THEM MAKE A BUYING DECISION. Once you have opened the relationship and gained credibility, you can really begin to engage with them. Professional salespeople understand that people do not like to be sold, but they love to make a good buying decision.
ActionCOACH's definition of a salesperson is "Professionally Helping People to Buy". This means we help them make a good decision.
How can you tell if you are selling someone or helping him or her buy? The answer is quite simple. When you meet with potential clients, are you "telling" or "asking"? The professional salesperson's secret weapon is by asking questions. ASK open-ended, needs-based questions. Find out...
When you are asking questions, you are building a relationship! Find out what you can do for your prospect and make sure he or she knows WIIFM or "what's in it for me". What's the benefit to them? What value do they get from working with you? By asking questions to determine their compelling needs.
Compelling needs are the ones that will motivate them to make a decision. So by determining the compelling needs and showing benefits, you are building a relationship. As you open more relationships and build each one, you gain more credibility. As you gain more credibility, you create even more relationships and thus, sell more.
That's why there are 2 secrets to sales success. You cannot have one without the other.
A professional salesperson must...
1. Continually open new relationships and
2. Nurture those relationships by helping prospects and clients.
By following these two secrets, your credibility in your industry is sure to increase, helping you make even more connections with new prospects. Don't forget to ask questions and show what's in it for them.
Let's face it -- if we can't get them to want to engage with us, the chances are slim that they will want to buy from us.
If this business tip resonates with you and you want to learn how to create and build better business relations that will enable you to sell on value and not price, I invite you to schedule a free strategy session with me, and let's begin to develop our relationship.
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