What is selling: It’s an art of persuading/convincing someone to take an action.
Why should everyone learn the art of selling: Ability to sell impacts our entire life. We sell every day in different ways:
- Selling our ideas to colleagues
- Selling ourself to our life partners/ job recruiters
- Convincing our friends to go to a particular restaurant
- Convincing our family to take a particular action
Our ability to sell, persuade, convince and negotiate affect every area of our life and will determine how much we succeed. I promise this article will empower you to convince others effectively to take action.
Habits of great salesmen: People who can sell anything to anyone have the following characteristics:
- Passionate about products: Think of the best salesmen of this world like Steve Jobs. They were truly passionate about their products. When you’re passionate, you make those around you feel excited and it results in loyal fan following of your products as it happened in case of ‘Apple’.
- Self-control: It’s important to control thoughts and emotions during a sale. Great salespeople don’t take customers’ negative feedback and rejections personally. If you have full control over your brain, Only then you will be able to control customer’s thoughts and feelings.
- Self-awareness: Know your strengths and weakness inside out. If you don’t feel confident enough, join a public speaking course to increase your confidence.
- Learners for life: They master strategies of selling and closing deals. They implement it, learn from failures and continuously keep on improving themselves.
- Positive mindset: They continuously program themselves to be more influential, trustworthy, optimistic, respectful, givers and highly motivated which in return helps them to sell any product to anyone.
- Massive action: They believe in “go big or go home’. They take massive action(10x) in the right direction which results in massive success.
- Highly committed: Best salesmen burn their boats(other options), commit to their goal and remain certain that they will achieve their goals irrespective of external factors. They are highly resourceful and they always find a way to reach their targets.
Selling Pre-requisites :
- Be proud of your product: Great enthusiasm and energy come from a great product. Think from a customer’s point of view whether you will use your products or not. If the answer is no, improve your products until you are satisfied. If you have a sales team, make sure that they also know the product inside-out and are also proud of it. Don’t ever make the mistake of handling all the work alone. Train your team and delegate to them.
- Be confident about your selling skills: If you are not confident enough, join a selling seminar or public speaking workshop to improve your skills.
Selling strategies 1:
Strategy 1: 4Ps of personal selling
It’s a very powerful 4 step strategy to sell anything:
- Promise: Make a big promise stating how the next few minutes of time will definitely benefit the customer. It will give you their undivided attention.
- Picture: Be creative and show them the power of your product to create a bright future rather than the features of the product. Show how your product can change their lives rather than what it does.
Example: Nike shows the athletes that people respect rather than demonstrating the features of shoes, Apple sells the belief that people with passion can change the world and make it a better place.
- Proof: It’s important to build trust for selling any product. The customer needs to trust your product, you and your company before he makes the decision. Build product trust by showing other customers feedback. Build company trust by showing testimonials, certifications from standards organisations (like ISO), quality check reports and money-back guarantee.
Build your trust by sharing stories(storytelling) of previous happy clients and the challenges faced by them.
- Push: You can close the deal by pushing people to take action. Here are a few techniques that marketeers use:
- Scarcity: Create urgency by showing a limited time offer. People panic and take action immediately as they don’t want to miss out. This happens in most of the e-commerce discount sales.
- Social proof: If anyone else is buying it, or any celebrity is buying it, others will buy it too as they don’t wish to be left out. Even today, sellers use the names of celebrities to influence the customers.
- The paradox of choices: Whenever customer is worried about the price of a product, Show them 2 more products: One higher priced product with few extra features and one product with lower prices with less features. Mostly they will go with the the original product.
- Back to the future: Demonstrate the bright future possible with this product and pain of the dark past with previous product.
It will highlight the value addition and they will purchase irrespective of price.
Note: Price doesn’t matter if value addition to their lives is huge.
Strategy 2: 8 step Sales Strategy
Author of ‘The 10x rule’ recommends the following strategy for selling anything:
- Attitude: For having a great start, dress well, have the right posture and be confident, optimistic and be in your best positive mind state. Have the attitude that you can solve any problem.
- Greetings: To leave an awesome first impression, Smile, have a firm handshake and greet your customers well. If you have any common interests or past memories, share that first. You have to make them comfortable before asking/pitching anything.
- Fact findings: Don’t make assumptions. Ask smart questions to find what the customer wants, why he wants it and how can you help him. Why now. Who else are the decision-makers? Main consideration point of the purchase and why?
Note: People may buy things that will make them feel good, look good more than the things they really need in their life. Try to find the problem with their existing products and why they would like to change. For example, If they are buying a new phone, know the reason. Do they really need it or are they buying for the camera which will make them look good in pics? Once you know the reason behind their purchase, it’s very easy to meet their requirements.
- Selection and Demonstration: Decide which of your product suits best to the customer needs and end questions with a perfect transition like ‘Based on our conversation, This product is a perfect fit for you, Here is the reason why.’ Use your imagination to show advantages and benefits to the customer. Always give a demo before negotiating prices.
The “30-second rule” – For great presentations, carefully plan the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds. Work hard to make these 30-second increments as powerful, memorable and perfect as they can be. Make each word count.
- Trial close: It’s important to know the customer latest interest, his ownership in making decisions to avoid any risks in closing the deal. So, know the objections of customers. Don’t take anything personally and try to resolve them by being resourceful and optimistic. If someone is saying ‘I am not buying today.’, Stay polite and tell them: “Even I am not selling today but let me show you the features and benefits. It will help you make a decision next time you visit us.”
- Service-walk and Write up: The idea behind this step is to increase trust.
As mentioned in the step “proof’, show the company’s strength using feedbacks.
Also, People trust what they see more than what they listen to. Give them MOM, a proposal with T&C, features, service, and price in detail.
- Negotiation and the close: One of the most important principles of negotiation is to agree with the other person and make them agree with yours. Once it’s done, you can move forward towards closing the deal. Always keep a win-win in mind and don’t be emotional towards the price.
- Deliver and follow up: Ensure customer satisfaction and focus on the service. Sales are people first, product second profession. Happy customers will automatically help you in getting more customers using word of mouth.
Try to stay creatively in touch with your customers.
Other selling tips:
- Don’t forget your power base: Your family members, friends, fans who already trust you.
- Easy sales: People who already purchased from you are the easy buyers are humans are the creatures of habits.
- Increase your references: Use social media to your advantage and think of your potential buyers.
- Transfer your certainty: Don’t feel disappointed by initial rejections. People will say no until they feel certain about your product. Be certain about the value addition of the product to the customer and transfer your certainty to him.
- Be in control of the sale: Show them the benefits of your product and how can it transform their lives along with the pain of going ahead in the future with the existing product.
- Find the solution to the real problem: Your product will be really successful in the long term if you are solving their real problems,
- Treat everyone with respect: Don’t assume the spending capacity of anyone and treat everyone as you want yourself to be treated from them.
- Give Give Give: Try to give everyone all your energy, attention, respect and service. It will really help you in the long term.
If you want to learn more, we recommend the following book:
The Greatest Salesman in the World
Happy Selling! Let us know what strategy works for you in the comment section.