Sales Requires Skills, Strategy and Practice
Vol. 2 Indiana Dunes
Many entrepreneurs hear the word sales and immediately have a negative image in their head. They think sales is a bad thing and that salespeople are viewed negatively; probably because they been on the receiving end of someone doing sales the wrong way. They’ve experienced a salesperson who is selling for the sole purpose of making quota, with little regard for the buyer. Real selling is just the opposite of that. Professionals know sales is about providing service. Robert Kiyosaki said in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad: “true selling is caring, listening, solving problems and serving your fellow human beings”.
Remember: The professional knows “a salesperson makes a paycheck – a professional makes a difference in a buyer’s life” and is proud of this responsibility.
As a salesperson, your job is to educate your customers about how your products and services benefit them. If you don’t know how everything about how your product works or how it makes someone’s life easier or more enjoyable, you can’t sell it. You must know more than a buyer can discover on the internet to add value. A salesman needs to educate the customer on every aspect of the products for sale I’m not talking about general product knowledge, I’m talking about understanding everything you offer. You need to know which products and services complement each other. You also need to know your target audience, what type of customers would be the best.
Understanding your customers is key to sales. The biggest mistake is that they treat all customers are like their needs are the same. We subconsciously do something even worse – we treat them like their needs are the same as our needs. You cannot begin a sale with a solution in mind.
Focus on what’s important to the customer, not what’s important to you when a salesperson is more focused on his or her needs instead of the customers a sales opportunity is lost before it even begins; that’s why we need to focus less on what’s important to us and more and what’s important to our customers.
John Maxwell wrote in one of his books the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.
A sale cannot be made until you uncover a prospect need. Certainly, you must earn the right to begin asking about needs, that’s why you started out by building some rapport, by stressing your value proposition, before you start asking questions. Customer needs fall into three categories: immediate needs, future needs, and unknown needs. An unknown need is when you discover a need the customer wasn’t aware of. Customers often don’t know exactly what they need. This is where you go to work to identify the gap – the gap is the difference between the features and benefits of the customers current situation and the customers needs and wants. Understanding why will uncover unknown needs. Big picture questions will help unlock a customers unknown needs which lead to sales opportunities that the competition is unaware of.