What is Selling?
As entrepreneurs, we almost always have to be the chief salesperson until you are able to hire sales team members, So what makes successful salespeople. What so few of us are willing to accept is this fundamental truth: Great salespeople, like great athletes, simply do the basics very well. Some of us would like to believe that there’s a shortcut around the basics; that there’s a secret formula out there for just sitting back and letting the money roll in. The sooner you get rid of that illusion, the sooner you can get on with reaching the heights you want to reach through effective use of the basics. In this lesson we show you some of the sales basics that make sales professionals successful.
The Basics of Selling
Mastering these basics of selling - whether it is just you or your team - is the foundation for success.
- Prospecting. Just hearing the word prospecting makes you a little nervous. Don’t think that way. If you don’t like to prospect, it’s because no one has taught you the professional way to do it. Also, if you believe your product or service has value, you are simply doing the work to let the world know about it.
- Making original contact the professional way. When we get in touch with potential customers, the key to success in selling is to refine your skills during these initial contacts to become memorable to them. Your goal here is simply to get another call or meeting which is where your selling process starts.
- Qualification. Many salespeople spend most of their time talking to the wrong people. If you do that, it doesn’t matter how eloquently you present your service or product. You have to spend time with the people that make buying decisions. Determining who these people are is important.
- Presentation. After you qualify and know that this person has a need for your product or service, it’s now time to move on to the presentation or demonstration. You must present your product in such a way that they see that it’s just what they had in mind all along.
- Handling objections. The fifth basic method of developing your competence is to learn how to handle objections effectively. Maybe you’ve had prospects who want to wait and think it over; prospects who already have one of whatever it is you’re selling; prospects who’ve been doing business with your competitor for years. You’ve got to learn the concept, adapt the idea to your offering, and learn the words that make it work.
- Closing the sale. Many average to good salespeople prospect, make contacts, qualify, present, and handle objections so well that they manage to get by without learning to close competently. And that, of course, is what keeps them from being great. Closing contains elements of both art and science, and those elements can be learned.
- Referrals. After you’ve satisfied the needs of your client and closed the sale, you have earned the right to your next prospect. By that I mean getting referral business from each and every client. That is the seventh and final basic. If they’re happy, they’ll want someone else to be happy, too. I’ll teach you simple steps to getting solid, qualified referrals every time, if you’re willing to learn.
Things to Keep in Mind When Selling
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are selling:
- Selling is 60 percent listening and 40 percent talking. When you're having a conversation with a customer, your main goal is always to figure out how (and whether) you can help that customer. This is impossible when your mouth is open.
- A sales message consists of two sentences. Like so: 1) why your customers hire you, and 2) why you do what you do better than anyone else. If you can't get your sales message down to these two short sentences, you're not selling, you're blathering.
- Customers care about their business, not about you. Every sales conversation should take place from the customer's perspective rather than from your perspective. It's never "my product is great." It's always "here's how I can help."
- Your reputation always precedes you. In today's hyperconnected world, you can assume that anyone who might possibly buy anything from you knows exactly who you are. Even if you're calling out of the blue, your life history is just a Google search away.
- Selling is all about relationship-building. Contrary to much of the foolishness that gets passed around as "sales wisdom," customers will only buy from you if they trust you, respect you, and like you. Everything else pales by comparison.