No business can be successful if it hasn't mastered the ability to sell and generate revenue with machine-like precision. Just like a sailboat needs a strong mast to anchor the sail so that it can move swiftly through the waters, every business needs to master the art of the sale to catapult it into a period of unmatched growth. |
So (and I know this will make some of you groan), how do you Mast(er) your Sales? We have to understand how sales are made. And every sale follows these 7 steps.
1. Establish rapport You will find that you close a much higher percentage of sales if you have good, solid rapport with your client. The ultimate definition of rapport is: They like you, they trust you, and they respect you. Respect and trust lead to influence. Influence leads to control over your market or the buying situation at hand.
2. Find the need To align your customer’s reason for buying with the product or service you offer, you must begin by gaining a complete understanding of his or her current ‘why they buy’. Develop the six to ten questions that you would like to know about every prospect before you begin to present your product or service. Drill these questions into your team until every one of them can recite them by heart.
3. Build value After you have assessed your customers buying criteria, you must begin to build value around your product or service. Make a presentation at this point in the sales process. The presentation should be targeted to the buyer, not to your product or service. You should be talking about how your product or service benefits the customer directly, not about how great your product or service is.
4. Create desire Be clear on this important point: Your customers will be a lot more motivated to buy if their current situation becomes unacceptable. To create desire, you must motivate them using a combination of problems and solutions, even if you are the one pointing out the problems that they haven’t really considered. For example, one company that sold information services to accountants showed the accountants how much new tax information they have to know each year. This information made the accountants feel overwhelmed and open to purchasing anything that would help them survive the tax-information plight. The company actually helped create the “plight” by introducing the accountants to the very real market statistics that existed but no one else was showing them. It was very, very powerful.
5. Overcome objections Look at objections as a good thing. They usually surface when it is time to close the sale and you should be happy to hear one. For example,
a)The client states an objection: “I’d love to buy it, but I just can’t afford it right now.”
b) Agree that the objection is valid. The client will drop his or her guard: “If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it (meaningful pause). But let me ask you a question: Is money the only thing standing between you and the purchase of this product?” At this point, if there are more objections, they will surface. If not, the client will say, “No, if I could afford it, I’d buy it.” You have just moved a huge step closer to closing the sale.
c) Lock down the sale: You say, “So, if I can find a way for you to afford this product, you will buy it?” If the client says yes, you have just closed the sale.
Now all you need to do is find creative ways to finance the product or service or help create more desire, so the prospect will pay the extra money to buy the product or service. Getting commitment is key to closing the sale.
6. Close the sale In truth, the best salespeople I have witnessed do not “close”, they “bring the sale to a logical conclusion.” They have helped set up such a logical buying criteria that the prospect and the salesperson walk to the close together. That being said, it should also be stated that most people need help making decisions. One way you could do this by asking a question like, “Who do we send the bill to?” or “How did you want to pay for this?”
7. Follow up Last but not least, be prepared for The Cool-Off Factor. Because enthusiasm and rapport are extremely influential in the sales process, a salesperson must know that a prospect is going to “cool off” after the salesperson leaves the room. How do you avoid this? Follow up strongly after the sale! A good follow-up letter faxed, emailed, texted hours after the sale, or the next day at the latest, can go a long way toward avoiding the cool-off factor.
Smart companies build tools, policies, and procedures that support these seven steps. The more standards you set, the higher the performance you can expect from every level of talent. Go forth and master The Seven Steps to Every Sale. Only constant practice and repetition will create a master-level sales team.
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