Whether you’re an experienced salesperson or someone who’s a little more green, it helps to know what factors make a sale. There are differences between excellent salespeople and poor ones, and to share some proven sales tips with you. Here are the ways pros close deals.
Build Trust and Respect at All Levels
When you’re making a sale, the goal is to be an expert who gives good advice for someone to follow. Clients tend to go into meetings with salespeople with the expectations that those salespeople are trying to sell them something; they’re suppliers with whom the clients do business; or they’re important strategic partners. While these things may be true, if you can build genuine trust with a client, you’ll make more sales.
It also helps to be able to talk to people at all levels. As a salesperson, you’re probably meeting with lower-level or midlevel personnel rather than senior executives. If you can communicate in the language of a senior executive, and understand how the people you’re selling think, you can establish yourself as a trusted adviser rather than just another salesperson.
It’s About the Client, Not You
Clients may feel a lot of pressure from salespeople, and it’s not hard to see why. Salespeople have a reputation for only caring about their own agendas or their abilities to make sales, and it’s difficult to say “no” to someone with a sales pitch. Remember that while you’re selling something, you’re also trying to fulfill a need your client has. Your goal is to help your client accomplish his or her goal. If you can establish a personal connection, you can develop the kind of relationship and chemistry that enables you both to accomplish what you need, and make that sale.
It’s About the Soft Close
In general, soft close sales techniques are more effective than hard closes. When you give a client a choice to take or leave an offer, you create a hard binary and a great deal of pressure. Softer closes, such as special offers on orders, or a percentage off the price for an additional sale, are taken as suggestions rather than ultimatums. Clients will feel more comfortable if they feel like the decisions are theirs to make, even though you’re strategically directing them there.
Reduce Their Risk
If you can’t clearly explain how your product or service helps your client, you’re not properly equipped to make a sale. Clients want as much information as they can get to assist with decisions. Whether you can increase revenue, decrease cost, gain a competitive advantage, standardize their operations, or something else, make it clear what you’re offering and how it can help.
Alleviating risk is an important part of this equation. Risk mitigation is important to many businesses, and it’s part of why salespeople are approached with skepticism and caution. Offering reduced risk makes your product more attractive. Make sure you understand the risk tolerance and other dynamics of the businesses you’re trying to sell to, and cater your pitches to them.
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