7 Essential Selling Principles!

Selling is a fun job, but many people have problems getting started.  Some have trouble talking about products and don’t know who their prospects are.  Others may have problems approaching people to talk to them, and don’t know what their prospects want, need, or desire.  Still others have trouble presenting an offer, or don’t know how to close and overcome objections.

Selling Essentials

PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE:

Features are what the product contains.  Benefits sell products by solving a problem.  Knowing the features and benefits of your product lets you come up with sales copy designed to influence your prospects to buy from you.

For example if I am selling a skin care product and I wanted to talk about it containing vitamin e I would say something like.  Customer this product has vitamin e which helps keep your skin smooth so you can avoid those fine lines and wrinkles that you get as you age.

I went to the mall with these two girls, and while we were there I stopped by the skin care kiosks.  I know some of the people selling around the country, and wanted the girls to hear them.  One of the girls said they were like clones of each other because they all say the same thing.  This is the advantage of creating sales scripts.

PROSPECTING:

The goal of prospecting is to create interest so you can get into a conversation.  There is a difference between a lead and a prospect.  A lead is a potential buyer and a prospect is a lead that is ready, willing, and able to buy.

There are three types of prospects cold, warm, and hot.  Think of prospecting as finding customers who are in the process of or have already identified a need.  Have you ever been told you have to talk to people to succeed in sales, but you don’t know what you are supposed to say or how it works?

AIDA is an age old marketing model for communication.  Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Newer models add extra steps but we won’t get into that right now.  Your prospecting should be creating attention and interest so you can have a conversation leading to the offer. These are the phases a buyer goes through before making a purchase.

APPROACH: 

Sometimes you will find people who ready to make a buying decision, and are in the Desire or Action Phase, but most of these people know who they are going to buy from.  You want to find someone with a problem, that hasn’t started looking for a solution so you can be in a position to persuade them to take Action.

A good approach is crucial to success in sales.  You will either be an annoying salesperson, or a helpful salesperson.  Which one will you be?  You should never make a pitch right away, but work to start a conversation first.

customers-needs

 

The approach consists of introduction, some small talk, asking a few warm-up questions, and explaining who you are and whom you represent.  It sets up the other steps of the sale, and has 3 purposes.  It lets you get into a conversation, establish a relationship, and focus on the product. This is about 15% of the sale.

 

I practice my skills all the time even though I am not selling something.  The other day I went to have lunch and saw two women with small children walk outside.  I went out to get something from my car and commented that they had their hands full.  I found out they were friends since high school, had their children the same day, at the same hospital, they lived nearby, and loved to dance.

DETERMINING NEEDS:

Prequalifying buyers helps you decide if a sales opportunity is worth pursuing.  When qualifying buyers ask open ended questions starting with what, why where when and how so you can get valuable information.  You want to learn what is their motivation, is there an urgency, what is their budget, who is the decision maker.  Do not interrogate them, listen!   This is about 75% of the sale

You should ask yourself if your solution adds value?  Don’t sell something to a buyer that doesn’t truly add value or solve a problem.

THE PRESENTATION: 

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-4-30-17-pmThe purpose of a sales presentation is to persuade people to make a buying decision.  It is where the work you did finding out their needs pays off.  This is where you offer a solution the customer could use.  You make your points through the natural flow of conversation, unless you are presenting it to groups of potential buyers.  In your presentation, answer the three questions that are uppermost in the customer’s mind:

Why should we work with you? With your company? Why should we buy now rather than later?

The presentation contains an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and a close, and the stronger the presentation, the fewer objections you will have.

CLOSE:  Asking for the order: 

This is the point where they agree to buy your product or sign up for a membership.  If you ask enough people to buy or sell some will make a decision, but most people are afraid to close because they fear rejection.  Effective salespeople focus on closing a sale as soon as a conversation with a prospect begins. Through a series of questions, they find a need, develop desire, and eliminate every objection to purchase.

You can create a sense of urgency when you are closing by using now or never close.  If you buy from me today you will get a 25% discount, or these have been going fast and I only have two or three left.

Using a summary close is done by repeating the products and benefits so they can see the total package.  Question closes ask for closure or more information as to why the customer isn’t quite convinced.  It’s win-win for everyone.  In your opinion, does what I am offering solve your problem?  Is there any reason why we can’t proceed with the order?

Sometimes a salesperson has to make several trial closes during a the selling process, addressing further objections before the customer is ready to buy.  You should ask for referrals because it helps your chances of closing the next sale.

HANDLING OBJECTIONS: 

Most sales calls are met with at least one objection, and they are a need for more information and the most common sales objections deal with budget, authority, need, time, and value.  If you know the answers for the most common objections, you can close the sale 60% to 70% of the time.  Price is one of the most common objections to a sale. Many people will immediately offer a lower price, but this only lets them question the value of your product.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you enjoyed this article share it with a friend, like and comment on your social media.

By:  Moraima Buonafede

References:

Wiggins, Adam (2016),3 Sales Closing Techniques, and Why They Work, HubSpot,http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-closing-techniques-and-why-they-work#sm.001pixjg418mffe5v3w1azwbphms3