Sales can sometimes seem like a never ending factory line. You have a set template in your mind of how you will approach your target, you have years of experience in selling your company’s product, and you know that probability states that you will eventually hit that individual who wants to buy.
This isn’t selling it’s more like taking part in a lottery.
Every company needs a sales individual who is knowledgeable about the product and has years of selling experience, but the two together can often lead to complacency, a little bit of arrogance and inflexibility in how you get your sales. If this is you it’s time to stand back and take a cool fresh look at your sales process.
However good you think you are at selling there is no substitute for careful preparation before each sales call and an understanding of each prospective buyer.
The fact is, it is the effective salesperson who takes time to research the target as an individual – not just another name on a list. Only when you have this knowledge can you highlight a need. If you cannot do this you will be seen as “not needed” before you get off the starting blocks.
So begin by getting into a new mind-set. This isn’t about numbers – this is about effective selling and you start using your skills when you sit down and start preparing for your next sales meeting.
Here’s a list of 8 factors to include in great preparation:
1. Have a clear objective
Just wanting a sale is not enough. You need to focus your approach down into strategy which is specific to the prospective buyer. Take into account your previous contacts, your knowledge of their business and how this relates to the services and products you can offer.
2. Needs analysis
By researching your targets business and industry you can get a good idea of possible needs. Use previous contacts and sales to enhance trust and then move onto current needs – the “need now”.
3. What do you have to offer?
If you do not keep up to date with your full catalogue and services, you are going to put yourself at risk of missing that crucial sale. Use your knowledge to extract the benefits unique to the client.
4. Answers for objections
There is no doubt there will be objections. If you have ready-made answers for the most common, your pitch and the solutions will sound confident and robust.
5. Unique selling points in terms of competitors
You are probably aware of who your biggest competitors are, so have a troll through their website and find out as much as you can about their products, prices, special offers, their strengths and weaknesses. Then use that information to ask questions which negates their benefits and promotes your own.
6. Extra benefits (support etc.)
This is the Icing on the cake and pushes your buyer closer to the finishing post. So when the “ums…” and the “errs…” come, this is the time to add more case studies, results, added value.
7. Return on Investment analysis
Make sure your sales conversation takes into account Return on Investment. The buyer will clearly need to see how cost is swallowed up by benefits made.
8. Personality style
The most important part of your sales conversation will be unique to every prospective buyer. Consider personality and psychology in order to choose the right style, pace and tempo.
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