The 5 keys to Successful Selling. A how-to on Selling every Salesperson should know.
A successful Sales Presentation is a well planned route to closing the sale. The Five Steps outlined below, when followed, will result in increased sales for those already selling, and for those entering sales, a solid foundation for a successful selling career. The successful Sales Professional is not necessarily the one with the so-called, "Gift of Gab". On the contrary, the successful Sales Professional does not ramble on, and uses words and procedures as tools rather than just conversation. Selling is as much of a Science as it is an Art, as you will soon learn.
1. INTRODUCTION: When first meeting the Prospect remember first impressions are important and can be critical to the sale. People buy from people they like. The sight and sound of you is in sharp focus initially so it's important that you look like what you're selling. If you're selling investments or a money making proposition - you should look like money, and an individual who knows how to make money. If you're selling Vacations, Swimming pools, or a casual product, you could look like someone stepping out of a Bobby Bahamas catalog. Dress for the position, and you'll be dressing for success. Now introduce yourself and your company in a confident and clear voice while smiling, and looking into the eyes of your Prospect. The Introduction phases allows for casual, getting to know you, kind of conversation. During this time you should be seeking common ground with the Prospect. Try to find some history that binds you to the Prospect, such as the military, heritage, schools, children, etc. If you can connect yourself in any way to the Prospect, you're ahead of the competition trying for the same sale. Most people prefer to buy from individuals and companies where there is some sort of connection. It's all about comfort zone. Next, sell yourself and your companies history of good will and their over-all success in their industry. After the Prospect is comfortable with you and your company, the Prospect is now READY to hear what you have to offer.
2. QUALIFICATION: You now must qualify your Prospect. Before getting into what you're selling, you first must develop and confirm the NEED the Prospect has for what you're offering. This is accomplished in a general sense without specifics to exactly what you are selling. This is just the set-up stage to condition the Prospect for your Product or Service Demonstration. At this point, the less specific information on what you are selling, the better. The Prospect should be anxious to learn more. At this point you can introduce general pricing information to assure that the Prospect is financially qualified to purchase what you are selling. There is nothing dumber than going through a full blown sales presentation only to discover at the end that the Prospect cannot afford the price, or the payment of your offer. This is the crux of the qualification. You have to learn as much as you can about the financial capability of the Prospect, and to go as far as introducing a "ball park" figure, without showing your entire hand. Remember, if there's genuine interest in your offer, the Prospect just wants to get to the product and the price without wasting too much of your time. The Prospect will feel obligated to buy if he takes up too much of your time. And that's why you're going to give him plenty of time, that is, time well spent learning and conditioning the Prospect to buy what you are selling.
3. PRODUCT/SERVICE PRESENTATION: Now you're ready to sell! You have the full attention of the Prospect. You both understand the Prospects needs, desires, and financial capabilities. You may even have some common ground, all this is starting to add up to credibility and commitment. Give the best presentation showing every aspect of your offer without any short-cuts. Be enthusiastic. Also, Prospects buy on information, the more information, the easier the sale. Because of your Introduction and Qualification you have already learned the needs and affordability of the Prospect. There is no going back and forth into these areas that often take away from the Product Demo. Now, it is all strong Product/Service Pitch. Take your time don't rush it. Before you move onto the Close you must make sure the prospect wants what you are selling, Isolate that fact. A simple statement such as: " Other than price, are there any other questions? You may even re-qualify: "Providing the price is in the ball park we talked about earlier, is there any reason why we can't get this order in today" (give your best reason why today should be the day for the order)?
4. The Close: What we have accomplished up to this point amounted to building the Sale. You have developed a strong rapport in the Introduction, as well as developed some common ground while gaining the Prospects trust by enlightening the Prospect on all your company's attributes. During the Qualification you learned the needs and wants, and financial capability of your Prospect. During your Presentation You scored high because of all you already knew about the Prospect, and how you applied it in your Presentation. The Close should almost be automatic because you already did the work. It should now be all about the money, financing, and paper work. Experience; however, has taught us that sales are never really automatic, and often times there are objections. First, the two golden rules about initial objections: do not take the objection so serious that it shows on your face as a deal breaker. Smile and Isolate the objection: "Is that your only concern, no problem.... Handling the various objections can be a course of study all by itself. (At some point another Factoid focused on objections will be written).
5. The Button-UP: After the sale has been written it is now time to prevent the cancellation. Clear the air of any confusion. Make sure the Prospect is totally understanding of all the details of the Purchase. Leave no strings dangling, or any questions un-answered. Do no be in a rush to leave right after The Close, or you'll be leaving a vacuum that is sure to turn into a cancellation. Make sure the Prospect is comfortable with the purchase, and believes in you.
There you have it, the titanium skeleton on which to build a sale upon. Master it and you'll be assured of joining the ranks of some of the highest paid sales people in our country. If you are in a different type of work that has been adversely affected by the tough economy, and you're considering a sales position. This can be your wings. Every Sales Manager should welcome any applicant who can implement these rules of selling. In a difficult economy the most valuable employee is the one who brings in the money - The Salesperson, The Broker, The Agent, The Account Executive. They are the individuals that are the true engines of our economy, and a good engine is always working. Good Selling to You!