The old sales strategies no longer work. Individuals react negatively to high-pressure tactics and throw direct mail in the trash. They are so inundated with ads they almost don’t see them. Sales has always been a challenging profession, and it’s even more so today. Here are some tips for starting conversations, building relationships, and becoming more efficient at what you do.
1. Ask Questions
One thing that hasn’t changed is people’s desire to talk about themselves. Successful salespeople are naturally curious. They genuinely want to discover what matters to their clients. Instead of launching into a list of all the benefits and features of what you’re selling, first find out more about their interests, problems, and concerns. Later you will be more able to match them with the product that meets their needs.
2. Show Courtesy
Clients turn from a potential one-time sale to repeat customers when you treat them with respect. In sales, there is often intense pressure to close the deal, but if you see clients as a number, they will feel it.
Realize each person is an intelligent human. They aren’t likely to fall for your one-time offer if it isn’t really a good deal. They see through sales techniques because they’ve been exposed to them so many times before. Instead, learn their names and use them during the conversation. Ask them if you can share what matters to you and give them worthwhile information in exchange for their time.
3. Offer Value
When you hear someone could sell sawdust to a lumber mill, it means they are a good salesperson, but it’s almost an insult. It seems like trickery to sell someone things they don’t need. Effectiveness doesn’t necessarily rely on smooth talking or tricks.
If you sell ice, don’t go where the Eskimos are, take it to the beach. Identify where to locate customers who will find your product enjoyable or beneficial and offer it to them. Show how your item provides benefits that will make life easier, better, or more profitable. Don’t try to hide potential product shortcomings or claim your product will do something it won’t.
4. Have Patience
While technology has transformed the sales landscape, some parts of the sales process will always remain integral. To be effective, you’ll need to locate those in need of your products or services, find a way to establish contact, and determine how best to interact with them.
How your company continues from there varies and will require frequent adjustment between customers. Before you begin, make sure you understand the process and the reasoning behind each step. Learn how to spot your ideal customer, so you’re investing your time effectively.
If clients don’t immediately respond, don’t apply pressure or walk away in frustration. Find out why they seem apathetic and seek to better understand their current interests. It may take more time to gain their trust before they are willing to listen to you about how your offering solves their problems.
When your clients feel that you’re genuinely trying to help, they’ll respond to your concern. Build relationships daily, and you’ll create a base of contacts that lead to improved results.