There are lot of misconceptions about how to sell effectively. Some people dive in with one goal in mind; to close the deal. Others wing it and hope that their charm, talent and knowledge of the product or service they are pushing will get them the sale. A few salespeople even think the best is to call a prospect repeatedly until they get an answer. Wrong. Sales pros understand it all too well that making a sale is a process.
1. FINDING THE APPROPRIATE PROSPECT
The best salesperson dedicates a lot of time to the process upfront. “Many salespeople are so fixated on the end result- closing the sale that they forget the importance initial steps. The thinking process that goes into selecting the right prospect from the start. Know who your client is, to avoid selling to just anyone and wondering why you are not making a sale.
2. REACHING OUT TO THE PROSPECT
It’s not just about how you reach out to the prospect, it also about when you do it. Approach them before they are in buying mode. Build a relationship.
You will become their trusted advisor. They will get to know you and feel comfortable with you, when they are ready to buy, you will be the first person they think of.
3. MEETING THE PROSPECT
Call and ask for a face-to-face meeting. If that’s not possible, schedule a phone conversation to have an in-depth discussion about how your product or service can help the prospect. This where most salespeople make the mistake of focusing on making the sale. You can’t go from ‘hello’ to closing the deal. There needs to be a discussion. Use that time to build the relationship and figure out what the prospective client wants and needs.
4. WAITING FOR THE DECISION
The prospect will need some time to make a decision. Although persistence is important, you don’t want to hound them.
Don’t keep calling if they aren’t responding. Get creative. Send them a cookie with a note that says, “I want to take a bite of your business.”
If you reached out to them numerous times in various ways and they still aren’t responding favourably towards you, leave a message thanking them for their time, and let them know you will call again next quarter. Leave it open. A lot of times they will call you back after you leave that message.
5. DEALING WITH REJECTION
If the prospect gives you a firm ‘no’, find out why. Ask what went wrong. Many salespeople will feel disheartened and rejected, and walk away. “You need to know why the sale didn’t happen. Maybe it was just bad timing, in which case you maybe able to reach out again in the future. Loyiso says the best salespeople turn rejection into a learning experience.
The really good ones don’t regard ‘no’ as door slammed shut for eternity. They know it as ‘not now’ and they find out why now isn’t a good time. When you ask don’t make them feel like they are being trialed. You don’t want them to shut down and get defensive. Be gentle.
6. CLOSING THE DEAL
Don’t think your work is done once you close a deal. “Thank the new client for their business and talk about what went well and why they chose to buy from you,” Loyiso says.
A lot of salespeople get the commission check and say, “Okay next.” Keep that relationship going. Occasionally give the client a call, or drop him an email to find out how they are doing and if they are still happy with their purchase. If they say know, find out why and resolve to fix the customer’s problem even if you feel that their problem has nothing to do with you. If you cannot help them, then you must direct them to someone who can. Follow up with that person and the client to make sure that the client is happy