9 Tips to Improve Your Sales Technique Today
To Improve Your Sales You Need to Change Your Approach
Did you know that a Gallup poll ranked insurance salespeople among the least honest and ethical of business professionals? That’s right. As low as car salespeople.
Don’t fret, it’s been estimated by the Brooks Group that greater than 85 percent of consumers have a negative view of all salespeople ... so you’re not really alone.
Nothing is getting done unless something gets sold, so you need to do something different to break the cycle.
So what do you do?
Sales is your job, you should do it to the best of your ability, provide real value and prove the naysayers wrong.
Weather your inside or outside sales, the owner or employee, here are nine (9) sales tips to help you improve the way you’re perceived by the consumers you serve.
Tip #1 - Listen before you talk
You need to fully understand the needs of your prospects and customers. Listen to what they have to say. This is especially important during the initial meeting as most of loyalty is decided early in the relationship.
The most important lesson you can learn is that this is not about YOU, or YOUR PRODUCTS or SERVICES. It’s about them, your prospects and customer.
You only provide value if you solve their problem(s), if you make their lives just a little better or easier.
Avoid "salesy" language or jargon. You need to speak in the voice of your customer, otherwise you’re not relatable.
Tip #2 - Ask tons of questions.
Why does your prospect want to buy your product? Do you know? If you don’t fully understand your customer… you can’t help them.
Ask tons of questions, and be sincerely fascinated with your prospect. You don’t do this to be sneaky or underhanded, you do this because you care about helping.
When people sense you’re selling them, they tune you out. The more overtly persuasive you try to be, the less effective you’ll be at persuading anyone.
If you tone down the sales rhetoric, listen and understand the concerns of the prospect, then you can begin the process of truly solving their problem. If done subtly enough, you don’t actually sell the prospect, you just naturally help them arrive at the solution you’re offering.
Tip #3 - More Questions
In item #2 we learn to ask questions to better know our customers, now you want to ask questions about their current experience with the types of products and services you offer.
- What products are services are they currently using?
- Are they happy?
- Do they have concerns with expense or reliability?
These types of questions assist you in understanding what they really want.
Avoid presenting your questions as an impersonal survey. You're trying to understand the experience the consumer is currently having as a means to understanding what they really want or need.
When you understand what the consumer really needs or values, then you don’t have to persuade the consumer to buy something that isn't in alignment with their needs, rather, you provide the solutions to that fits within this felt need.
Now you’re on the way to earning the consumers trust.
Tip #4 - Don’t force the conversation.
You want to have a conversation with your prospect, but only at the right time. Don’t force the issue.
Does you prospect appear rushed? Is she upset or agitated?
It is normally fine to reset your appointment or conversation to a time that is a better fit for your prospect. This exhibits a customer first sentiment, and you avoid trying to speak with a distracted or aloof prospect.
Tip #5 - Answer questions with brevity.
Remember, this isn’t about you. So answer questions with precision and be concise. You want to get back to solving the prospects problems, not talking about you.
Tip #6 - Only talk about your products and services when you fully understand the customer’s needs.
You can’t solve a problem that you don’t understand. Before you even consider discussing your products or services, you need to fully understand the needs and circumstances of your prospect.
Tip #7 - Your presentation should be concise.
I always go back to this lesson: it’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM. Don’t ramble and be respectful of the prospects time.
You’ve spent ample time asking questions, so answer those questions as you outline the benefits or solutions of your products. Only focus on a handful of things, and outline how you solve these problems using the voice or words of the consumer … remember no jargon.
Tip #8 - What are the barriers to moving forward?
If you’ve done the items above, you should have built some rapport and trust. Your prospect should understand how you can solve their problems. Now you’re almost ready, but first you need to understand if they have any concerns or questions. It’s OK to ask, they’ll let you know and this is completely safe.
Tip #9 - The call to action.
There are tons of closing techniques, some actually work, but they can also remind the consumer that they are dealing with a salesperson.
Rather than relying on a close technique, you should focus on a simple tactic when asking for the call to action. Simply tell the prospect what to do and invite them to do it.
This will move the focus from you to the consumer.
With the ball in the consumer’s court, you can follow-up, but only as a reminder, you don’t want to appear like you’re “closing.”
Sales is a tough job. Increasingly consumers don’t want to be sold. You need to shift your approach toward being useful, helpful and providing great value. If you have great concern for the welfare of your clients, get to know their circumstances and what they really want. You can greatly improve your sales effectiveness.