Firstly lets look at face to face selling.
You will have heard the saying ‘people buy people’ so you should always be aware that you are selling yourself as much as the product or service when promoting your business, however prospects will only speak to you if your product or service is attractive to them and meets a need or a want.
I believe that sales success is a result of:
- Really knowing the true benefits of your product / service
- Good planning – Plan with a focus on who (decision maker), why (the relevant benefits) and how (eg cash or order) they buy
- Listen first and ask good questions
- Show empathy with your prospect
- Expect, and even welcome, objections
- Don’t forget to ask for the business
At all stages you should be looking for and never miss a buying signal. This is your prospects indication that they are interested to receive more information or are ready to buy.
For examples, questions such as ‘How does that work’ or ‘How much is it going to cost me’ are buying signals.
Even an objection can be a potential buying signal, because it may be the barrier to the prospect identifying the need for themselves. I recommend that you know your prospects potential objections and have a planned response for each of them.
I would recommend that for every sales meeting you have your sales material, note paper and pen and business card plus testimonials or case studies demonstrating the benefit of your product or service to others.
I always get asked about dress code. I would recommend you dress as you find comfortable, as the prospect would expect and in line with the industry appearance.
There is a sales process that I recommend with 6 key phases:
- Introduce yourself and your product or service
- Capture the interest by opening with benefits
- Establish the need with good questions, probing, and assumptions
- Re-confirm your prospects need for clear recognition by the prospect themselves
- Meet the need with a benefit to summarise
- Close the sale
When you are selling, you should be aware that only a small percentage of communication with your prospect involves the actual words you use: 7%, to be exact. In fact, 55% of communication is visual (good body language) and 38% is vocal (pitch, speed, volume, tone of voice).
You should also be aware that the prospect may have a communication preference. They may be Visual and prefer to see it, they may be Auditory, so prefer to hear it, or Kinesthetic, prefer to do it or feel it.
Convert your features to benefits to make the impact you desire in your sales meetings. Too often you see features being quoted and although they are nice to know, they do not help a prospect relate to the product or service and how it can help them with their need. Quite often it is the case that they do not yet know they have one!
For example, this vacuum cleaner has a 20ft power cable. This is a feature, but by using the phrase …..which means that ….., then the benefit is stated. …. this vacuum cleaner has a 20ft power cable, which means that, you can vacuum the ground floor from just one power socket.
One part of the sales process not to forget is to actually ask for the sale. Too often sales opportunities are lost because the sales person opted for some reason not to take the opportunity of asking for the business.
One word of warning. Have a back up plan if your sales presentation is reliant on technology. If you have a presentation to show on your laptop, what will you do if you have no power, no space or the laptop fails? You may not get a second chance at this meeting, so have a back up plan.
Sales is a skill and although it can be learnt, it has to be enjoyed. If you feel that you can not learn the skills or you will never enjoy, then one of your first considerations should be to take on a sales person.
As well as selling face to face, more business is being completed online. The most common methods to sell our business online are:
- The acceptance of online payments
- The creation of an online shop, e-commerce web site and fulfilling online orders
- Search engine optimization
- Pay per click advertising