I was discussing sales with a client. She had never made a sales call (her business was brand new). I started to walk her through the specifics of how to manage the conversation when I realized that there were things she had to know BEFORE she spoke to anyone.
As we talked, we created the following list of the 15 basic and fundamental rules you must know before you ever pick up the phone.
I am sharing them here with you in the hope that they help you as much as they did my client.
1. The person more confident during the conversation makes the sale. Are you more confident that you can help your prospect or are they more confident that “It isn’t right for them.”
2. There will ALWAYS be objections. Objections are used to help people make decisions and as Brian Tracy said, “Treat objections as requests for further information.”
3. When you sell something to someone it is something you do for him or her not to them. Selling is not about you being out there to get someone and their money; it’s about you being there to help someone and solve their problem.
4. It’s about what they want, not what they need. We all need a lot of things but don’t buy them. We buy what we want, not what we need. Of course, we want some of the things we need but there are plenty of needs we put off in favor of things we want.
5. They are right. I cannot stress this enough. Your prospect came to a sales call to address what they see as a problem. They will not buy anything but a solution to that problem. In addition, if you tell them that they are wrong or try to correct them they will automatically be put on the defensive. You must agree with them and build on that agreement.
6. It’s about them, not you. Why should they buy what you’d like to do or what you’d like to see? They will buy what interests them. It makes no difference if you’d like to see them grow their business. It makes no difference if you’d like to have them at your event, or have them in a program that you’re running. It only matters if they want to be at the event and that means you must focus on their needs and desires and not yours and listen for those times that you say, “What I’d love to see you doing is… ”
7. It’s just a conversation. Sure, there are strategies that will help you close more sales. You can follow guidelines to keep you on track during a sales conversation but at the end of the day, it’s just two people talking. It’s just a conversation.
8. It’s your job to facilitate a conversation. Know when to listen and when to shut up. You are there to be a guide. The conversation that you are facilitating is the one that is happening in their mind. It is your job to guide the conversation in a way that is productive for your prospect and enable them to understand the problem they believe they have, and help them find a solution to it. The only way you can facilitate that conversation is to listen to what they are saying and ask them questions. You can follow a guideline and also know when you need to listen further and get to a deeper level of understanding.
And please, be respectful of their thoughts. Give them space to think and truly listen, very few people do.
9. You will mess up. You will offer too much information. You will lose your train of thought. You will forget something. It’s okay. You are human. Remember, this is just a conversation and you can certainly say, “You know, I messed up here, can we go back to… ”
10. Take control of the conversation. Let the person you are speaking to know the agenda and the format of the conversation. When your prospect takes control of the conversation what often happens is that they ramble on and you never get to the heart of the matter until suddenly they say “Oh, it’s 4 o’clock already? I need to go. Thanks for your time, it was really helpful.” You end up frustrated and they don’t get a solution to their problem.
11. Ask the tough questions you’re afraid to ask. A sales conversation has the potential to be transformative for your prospect whether or not they ultimately buy from you. If you know they are thinking something beyond what they are saying aloud, ask them. Dig to find the real answers.
12. Be honest. One of my mentors says “If you think it and you don’t say it, it’s a lie.” If you hear them saying something between the lines let them know. This does not mean that you should be mean to them. Use honesty to help them move forward. Honesty and kindness go a long way.
13. Have something to sell them and be flexible. Know how much your service costs and put together a package that it is easy for someone to understand and for you to sell. AND, be flexible. Listen to your prospect’s problem and make sure that the solution you are offering makes sense for them and if it doesn’t find one that does.
14. Ask for the sale. Unless you ask them to work with you or to buy your product, they cannot get the help that they are looking for.
15. Trust yourself. They wouldn’t be spending time talking with you if they didn’t have a problem that they think you can solve.
Well, there you have it. What can you do differently the next time you are engaging in a sales conversation?
Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of “Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!” Resources at http://www.carriegreenecoaching.com/
Article Source: Fifteen Rules To Know BEFORE You Make Any Sales Calls