So everyone has had those phone calls, either late at night or early in the morning, with someone trying to sell you something or telling you why you have to have what they are pitching. Seeing as I would consider myself a “sales guy” , I catch myself listening to them, regardless if I am going to buy what they have or not. It’s always interesting to see what they are going to say or do to convince me I need what they have. So it inspired me to put together some things that I think are important in the sales call/process.
Regardless of what kind of call or sale you are attempting to make, there needs to be some sort of prospecting involved. You would be wasting you time if you were calling someone that didn’t have a need for what you were selling. So you need to determine if there is a need. Once they are QUALIFIED you need to do all the research you can about the prospect. Then determine your sales approach, what services or products are best to pitch, etc. Prospecting is an important step in this process because you would otherwise lose out on valuable time that could be spent on a prospect that actually needs the service or product.
This one is very, very simple! It’s one of the most important steps in this process, because people buy from the people they like. If you come across as the “used car salesman” type then you are probably not going to make many friends, which will result in no sales. When you are pitching to a prospect there has to be some sort of trust involved- Side note, this amount of time depends on where you are in the country…..you get a lot less time in N.Y. City than you do in Nebraska- Just saying! Ways that you can build trust are through small talk, talking about your experience, or talking about references that you have. Just remember this is a step that can’t be skipped!
This is the part where you get to show what you have and why the prospect needs it. This could be considered the “fun” part of the process. Couple things to remember during your presentation; Do not be afraid to be excited about your product or service. I mean, if you are not passionate in what you have then how do you expect someone else to be passionate about having it? Something else to keep in mind during this step is to make sure you show what kind of value your product/service brings to your prospect. If you can’t show a benefit or a return in their investment then why should they buy? This is different from showing them the features and can be confused with benefits, so be careful.
Objections are just a part of the sales process. Don’t be turned off by the prospect telling you that they already have something like this, or that it cost too much, etc. An objection can actually just be the prospects way of letting you know they need more information. Some tips…..Remember a good sales person is also a great listener. If you don’t know why or what the prospects concerns are, then how are you going to address them? Make sure you are compassionate to their reasons why they are doubtful. Do not ever just blow them off like they shouldn’t feel that way. Restate their reason and tactfully respond to the objection. If you have to contradict the prospect in order to be honest, then so be it, but remember to make sure you have factual information so they can see why they have misunderstood.
This to me is the best part of the process. You have qualified the prospect, built a rapport, showed value in the presentation, overcame any misunderstandings, and now it’s time to make the deal! Let’s face it, this is where the good sales people stand out over the rest. There are signs throughout the process that we are given by the prospect that they are ready to buy. We have to be able to spot them and close them when they are ready! So many people miss their opportunity to make a deal because they feel they have to go through the whole process and in reality you don’t. It is different in every situation and at any moment a prospect could be ready to pull the trigger and we have to be ready to ask them!
So when I catch myself listening to the sales guy on the other side of the phone I try and catch every step and see what they are doing that I could include in what I do. The best sales people are always learning from others and trying to get better. I enjoy those phone calls, regardless if I am going to buy anything because I get to see how good or bad the sales person is! In the end, the best advice I could give anyone is to truly care about your clients and always have integrity even in the hard times and you will build relationships that will last through anything.
Just my perspective!