Selling Ice to the Eskimos: Sale Signals
But with customers bombarded by sales calls and messages like never before, just how do you identify when a potential lead is ready to bite?
In order to shed some light on to this tricky subject, we talk to Chris Meredith, head of a 30 strong sales team at officebroker.com (the UKΓÇÖs leading independent broker to the serviced office industry) about how to identify those vital sales signals and make the most of your time.
#1 Know Your Product(s)
The biggest mistake sales people make is not getting a grip on the product or service they are selling ΓÇô they just go hell for leather. While fire in your belly is good, as a sales person with no hunger is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, you must know your product inside out. You must be an expert and you must demonstrate this every time you make contact with a prospective client.
#2 Listen, Understand & Qualify
Listening is an underrated skill in my opinion. If you get this right at the start, not only will you gain a clear and realistic understanding of the clientΓÇÖs needs, you will also be able to ask the right qualifying questions at the beginning of the process and better prepare yourself and the client for the latter parts of the process.
#3 Set a ClientΓÇÖs Expectations
If a client wants a Ferrari for Fiat money ΓÇô donΓÇÖt be afraid to tell them they are being unrealistic. After all, setting a clientΓÇÖs expectations is the first step toward building a productive relationship with them. Outline what to expect, understand and listen to their thoughts and then be honest and straight forward with them about how the process needs to work.
Put it this way, if you run a marathon you donΓÇÖt sprint the whole way, you pace yourself and take it one step at a time. Helping a client requires the same kind of structure, tell them what to expect at each stage and pace the process ΓÇô as it unfolds just like you explained ΓÇô this helps to reassure and strengthen the relationship.
#4 Never Assume a Client is Price Led
Price is important, particularly in the wake of the recession. But if a client outlines 10 things they need from a product or service and price is only one of them, should you ignore the other nine? Because the skill of a good sale person is to understand and communicate to a client that it will be the other nine factors that deliver true value for money.
#5 Objection is a Buying Signal
Too many sales people give up when presented with an objection or assume they need to go away and find something ΓÇ£betterΓÇ¥ for the prospective client. But remember, an objection is not a rejection – The truth is that most clients or customers will only raise an objection because they have some interest in the product or service you are offering.
The key to overcoming this is to understand the objection and work hard to identify if it can be overcome, whether this be through compromise, negotiation or even something as simple as explanation ΓÇô remember, you are the expert and not everyone understands your market as well as you do!
Do you have any advice you would like to share? If so why not add it as a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org about the possibility of becoming the focus of a future article?