It’s been attributed to Einstein that he said the equivalent of “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That sounds like a shortcut to me. Here are some sales shortcuts for the new year so you can start your selling year off right and sell more.
Learn how a prospect will buy. One of the most important questions to ask your prospects is how they’re going to make a buying decision. Whether you hear “I’m going to get three bids,” or a specific list of options they’re looking for, you have an opportunity to influence how they buy. Unless you ask the question, you will be unable to introduce your buying criteria to your prospect. You have a great sales opportunity if your customer is unable to articulate how they’re going to make their buying decision or even start the buying process with going out for bids. Why is that? If they have no ideas on what to do, you get to suggest them. No matter what you hear, be ready to offer your suggestions on what should be their buying criteria.
Be more persuasive. One of the most powerful persuasion strategies is reciprocity. What it means is that we feel obligated to give something when we receive something from someone else. You may be thinking that you have to give tangible gifts to customers. Reciprocity is more powerful than that. You can give intangibles like the gift of time, choice, assistance or information. You shorten your sales cycle when you are more persuasive. Do you give promotional products to clients at the end of the sales call? Why not at the beginning so you can tap into the power of reciprocity? What can you give to a prospect to benefit from reciprocity?
Communicate more effectively. You may be making it harder for your customers to listen to you. This happens when you communicate in a way that makes it more difficult to understand what you’re saying. Start making it easier for customers to hear what you mean. Avoiding negatives would be a first strategy to implement. Using more visuals would be a second strategy. Not offering too many choices would be a third.
Ask better questions. The questions to ask are the ones that uncover your customer’s problems. Just be sure to be strategic. You won’t make a sale unless you can solve the customer’s problems with one of your products. So only ask about problems that a customer might have that you can solve! Too many salespeople waste time and ask about irrelevant issues just to make small talk. You don’t have time to waste. When you hear a problem, continue your selling with quantifying how much that problem costs your prospect. There’s no need to do something unless the problem is significant or the customer wants to solve the problem.