The Selling Newsletter
*A free monthly newsletter of ideas to help make your selling easier*
Selling is the easiest job in the world…Just ask anyone who is NOTin sales!
My mission is to help make it easier for you to sell.
Best wishes for YOUR successful selling—Maura
“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”
THE SELLING IDEAS FOR THIS MONTH
Questions of the Day
Great listeners make great salespeople. Eventually though, even listeners do have to speak. And when they do, these great salespeople ask great questions. It’s those questions that get them customers’ business. The questions even continue after great salespeople get business. The questions asked after the sale are different than the ones that are asked to get the business. These are the questions that help you retain your business.
Why did you pick me? Knowing why you secured the business is as important as getting the business. By selecting you and your products/services, your customer is telling you what he values. Once you know the reasons you got the business, you now know what you need to pay attention to. If speed of delivery was one of the criteria for selection, you should be certain that your service meets or exceeds your customer’s expectations. You may also be surprised to discover additional benefits that other potential customers could value, too.
This customer’s reason to buy can also help you sell other prospects. When a customer buys, they are responding to some aspect of your sales strategy. You’ve asked many questions and identified needs. Unless you ask you’ll never know which benefit or benefits helped your customer make a buying decision. Once you hear the answer, you’ll know what part of your selling strategy worked for that customer. This is useful information because it may apply when you sell to other prospects. Also, when you sell to other customers this customer’s opinion can be a useful testimonial to persuade a new customer to buy from you.
How am I doing? After the sale too many salespeople are off and running to get more new business. They forget to monitor how they’re doing. It is dangerous to assume you know an answer to a question before you ask it early in the sale. It’s also dangerous to assume you know how your customer perceives your performance without asking about it after the sale. Getting no news is not good news either. You’ve got to be specific about how you get this type of feedback. Think back to the needs you identified after speaking with your customer. These were the criteria your customer used for selection. Specifically ask about these areas and if the performance you promised continues to meet their expectations.
Mr. Mark McClain, President and co-founder of Waveset, a provider of software for secure identity management and a former vice president of worldwide marketing for Tivoli, likes a more direct approach. He was asked to identify questions he asks his customers to obtain the best information to make better business decisions. One question he asks his customers is, “How satisfied are you with the relationship we have?”
Who can you refer me to? Once you have worked hard to earn a customer’s continued loyalty and business, it should be easier for you to ask for a referral. Your work has earned you the right to ask. Delighted customers may even suggest people for you to call. Getting a referral is easier if you help your customer identify who you are looking for. Be specific about whom you ‘re looking for. If you have targeted a particular account, you could ask, “Do you know the chief engineer at Company X or someone who might know the chief engineer at Company X?” If your customer is a member of a trade association you could ask, “Who do you know who is in a similar position to yours and who could also use my product?”
With at least these 3 questions you’ll continue to build a strong customer relationship. You’ll also make it easier to get new customers. The information will be invaluable. If you never ask, you’ll never know. You’ll also always have a topic of conversation that both you and your customer will benefit from.
SELLING ACTION ITEM
Call 5 of your existing customers and ask them why they chose to buy from you. Now that you know, make sure you are meeting your customers’ expectations.
I’m always looking for success stories and other tips from sales professionals. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with ideas that have worked for you. To thank you, you’ll receive a free subscription to The Selling E-Letter™, a bi-monthly selling newsletter. ($50 value)
Mission: [email protected] works with business and sales professionals to make THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (selling!) easier and more effective. After all, how can you make a difference in the world if someone hasn’t bought something from you? And don’t forget about the ideas you’re selling every day.
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Maura Schreier-Fleming works with business and sales professionals to make it easier to sell more and be more productive at work. Her clients want to create long-term client relationships. They include Fujitsu, Fannie Mae and Dr Pepper/7UP. She has an M.S. in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech and was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. With over 20 years of sales experience, she teaches the art and science of selling with a unique hands-on perspective and a great deal of real-life insight. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results. Her business column ‘Selling Strategies’ appears in the Insurance Record magazine. You can contact her for seminars at company or trade association meetings at 972 380 0200 or info@BestatSelling.com
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