In the first part of this in-depth article, I will presents vital principles of selling in over-competitive, saturated markets. I have trained over 45,000 sales professionals and executives on the subject of salesmanship, so I can tell you from first-hand what customers today consider as most important in their relationship with you, the sales Pro, and how you can pull them into wanting your product...without pushing!
You think your first mission is to sell your product or to lead your potential customer to make a buying decision, based on your logical arguments? Think again. The customer who decides to listen to you is hoping to believe one thing: you should be able to handle his problem or challenge better than anybody else! You might not realize it fully, but your role and responsibility are vital - no matter the customer's attitude or manners toward you. In periods of crisis and uncertainty, the customer is craving for a relationship of care, trust and dedication.
Do you know what people instantly respond to, especially in our uncertain times? Your willingness to help, your desire to understand! Rest assured: you don't need to transform yourself into a psycho-analyst; you just need to put more attention on what he is telling you and much less on what you want to say.
There are a lot of wrong opinions about the wonderful passion that selling is. If you look at the old definition of the word, you will realize that it had originally ONE meaning: to help. Then about 1,000 B.C. that definition was modified and its new meaning became "to cheat" or to betray.
Nowadays is the perfect time to revive the original definition of selling.
My purpose in this article is to share with you the results of 20 years of observation, work and experience in the field of salesmanship. I had a chance to evaluate and train sales professionals in 27 countries. The areas of expertise of these people extended from computer systems to industrial equipment or consumer products to chiropractic medicine. Observing and working with these people led me to progressively detect the attitude and behaviors of those who were much more successful than others. I was very interested to find out if one could define a routine "pattern" or "technique" used by top sales people in their approach. What are these top professionals doing that others are not? What tricks or what magic are they using that makes the customer or patient want to buy from them?
My conclusion was that selling had nothing to do with "special techniques" or any magic. The fact that "one needs to be born a salesperson" in order to succeed also proved very wrong in my own observations and evaluations. What follows is just a snapshot of these observations. See how it can apply to you.
Selling does not start with your technical skills or your best arguments.
In today's market conditions the customer does not buy what he needs, he buys what he wants. Sure he needs a good reason to buy. You know one thing: he could find the same product or service in many other places. But why would he buy from you? Desire is much stronger than need in a marketplace where the power of choice becomes more and more your biggest barrier to a close: what you sell can always be found in another store or practice, and maybe cheaper.
So your challenge is to find out what can trigger an impulse or a strong, unbearable desire to make the buying decision IN YOUR FAVOR. Your success in selling your product or service depends on your ability to make the customer want to buy from you and not from a [cheaper] competitor.
The first thing he buys has nothing to do with quality or warranty or even price. First he buys TRUST. He buys confidence about your ability and desire to help him resolve a problem, some challenge or some desire. If he does not trust you and does not feel confident with what you say, he will go find what he is looking for elsewhere. Therefore the challenge is to demonstrate, early in the call, that you care more for him and for his sake (his health, his body condition, his comfort, his financial condition, etc.) than you care for his money. How do you show that you care? By showing your talent? No.
In today's market, your technical skills or your best argument is not your best weapon. It is your ability to be curious about your customer and find out "What do I want to know from this customer?" Once you work with that attitude, you will see a big change in your profession - as well as in your life.