For most salespeople, increasing sales productivity requires them to develop effective sales techniques. Without effective sales techniques, the only sales you make are to customers who initially have a very high propensity to buy from you. Typically, this doesn’t represent a large enough demographic to build an entire career upon. Developing more effective sales skills isn’t hard, but it does take focus, and a willingness to change. Once you’ve adopted these techniques, you’ll find that they’ll help make you a more effective sales person.
Mouth Closed, Ears Open
A prospect will tell you everything you need to know to increase your sales effectiveness, if you give them the chance. While you do need add value and stimulate the conversation, you shouldn’t be directing the dialog or trying to steer it in a particular direction. For the first few minutes, it should be all about listening to their wants and needs. It’s during this time that you’re learning all of the details that will allow you to pull them into a more compelling engagement and culminating in a purchase. If you’re too busy talking, or steer the conversation away from where they would like it to go, you’ll miss out on important information—and diminish the probably of the sale.
Be Ready to Engage
Once the client has finished sharing their perspectives and any other feedback that they are willing to share, you will have valuable information about them, their organization and many other key sale insights to respond to with value. Then, a few directed, well-placed questions can reveal to you, and to them, how you may be able to help. This is also a time when insight sales questions you ask can be used to start steering them toward your products as a possible solution. Don’t use wild hypotheticals or “what ifs” to try to push them toward a purchase. Use the insights revealed to respond with relevant, realistic benefit and value and to understand better the level of trust that is developing to support the sale.
Put it in Context
Once you understand their needs, and how your products might help, you need to put the two together. Effective insight selling is all about putting things in context. Customers don't care about the product; they only care about what the product can do for them. One of the most effective sales techniques is the narrative. This is your chance to tell a story that has them fulfilling their expressed needs, eliminating risks that they now recognize and creating a future that aligns with their vision. When they can envision using your product to solve their problems, they’ll start talking themselves into making a purchase. Your job is to create that mental image that makes them really believe that your product is the solution to their problem.
Always Focus on Value
Customers make purchases based on the value they see in a product. Your product can be the newest, the shiniest, and have all the latest features but, if it holds no value for them, they won’t buy it. The most effective sales people are able to help their customers see the value, not in the product, but in their use of the product. Once they see a personal, direct value, they’ll move forward. Don’t waste your time trying to sell the product solely on its features, regardless of what those are. Focus on showing the customer how the product can be a benefit to them personally. Do this by stimulating sales insights and then using them as the basis of delivering relevant and meaningful value. Then the sale is yours.