The key to success in any business is successful selling. At Quest for Success Ltd, we take the view that everyone is in Sales. Yes, everyone! You may be selling a product, a service, or maybe an idea or your own personal skills. We all have to sell something at some point, even if it’s the concept of good behaviour to our children.
Contrary to popular belief, successful selling can actually be really easy, after all, selling is just about giving information and utilising a framework of proven techniques. The trick is to use a process that works and make sales fun, even if you are an introvert!
There is a huge misconception in the world that only extroverts can be good at sales. This is completely untrue! In fact, some of the most successful sales people in the world would gladly share with you that they are introverted. Why is this so? Well, extroverts tend to rely on their charm, charisma and ‘gift of the gab’ to make sales. Whilst this has worked quite well in the past, the public are wise to this approach and are even suspicious of it. You only need enter a car sales showroom to experience this approach, we’ve all been there haven’t we? Introverts make much better sales connections because they are genuine, empathic and are willing to use a process to guide their sales approach and win the trust of the customer. They sell from their heart.
Sales which have longevity create the ultimate success for your business and that means repeat purchasing. A customer will only return and promote your services or products if they feel that they have been treated fairly and respectfully and have experienced value for money. Selling ethically is about making it really easy for someone to purchase something that they need.
The old concept of the 'hard sell' has had its day. Today, customers have so much market choice, that how they are sold a product or service becomes really important. Selling to a script disenfranchises more customers than it engages. People buy from people and satisfaction from receiving a personalised sale adds significantly to the perception of value for the client or customer.
Whether you sell over the telephone or in person, an understanding of the buying psychology of your customer is a key which unlocks the many doors to sales. If you understand your customer, how they like to communicate, how they receive and process information, what their needs are and how they make the decision to buy, then you can sell with a refreshing openness and honesty that will generate customer loyalty for years to come.
Using a compelling 5-Step Process you can make it easy for your customers to buy something that they both need and want.
Using a process makes your sales really easy and more importantly, gives predictable outcomes. If you don’t have a process, then you are probably running a sales gauntlet, the results of which are highly unpredictable and most likely, very inconsistent. In NLP we have a wonderful sales process that is highly effective, even if you are an introvert and hate the prospect of selling. This process is covered in detail during our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Training.
Here's an outline to get your selling juices flowing:
Step 1: Establish Rapport
The term ‘rapport’ has become somewhat overused, particularly in corporate environments. Very few people really know what it means to build rapport with another person and even fewer know how to achieve rapid, deep rapport.
Rapport is a process of matching and mirroring and is so much more than copying a person’s physiology. Rapport is about establishing communication at the unconscious level so that your customer receives information in the way their brain wants to receive it. In addition to physiological matching, you should also discover and match your customers preferred representational system, the pitch, tone, and timbre of their voice, their idiosyncratic language, their rate and locus of breathing and most crucially, their strategy for buying something. It is important that you enter into and pace their model of reality and pay respect to their values and belief systems.
Step 2: Ask Questions
The majority of sales professionals fail to really embrace this critical step. How many times have you received a cold call or been approached by a sales person and they have launched straight into their sales pitch without even asking your name and assessing what your actual needs might be? Frustrating isn’t it?
Demonstrate to the customer that you are interested in them. Discover what they are looking to purchase and for what purpose. Find out about their business, where the pain is at present, what is going well, what could go better, what is of particular interest to them at the moment? As you receive information, listen intently to the language used and draw out the information you need to continue to develop rapport.
Step 3: Find a Need
Remember, selling is about making it easy for someone to buy something they want and need. As you develop your conversation with the customer, find out what specifically they need. At this stage you should discover if the customer attributes any value to fulfilling the need that you have identified. This is an important point in the process. If the client has no obvious need or attached no value to satisfying that need, then you should thank them for their time and stop there. There is no value to either you or the customer in pushing against a sale that clearly isn’t going to happen. High probability clients are worth your time, so spend 80% of your time on them and let the rest go by.
Please understand that at this point, a clear ‘no’ response is far better than a polite ‘no’. What do we mean by a polite ‘no’? When your customer lets you down gently by saying “I’ll think about it and call you back” or “Can you send me more information by e-mail” or “Can you call me again in a month or so?” To continue to award time and energy to these customers is a waste, so if a customer says ‘no thank you’, you should thank them for saving you time and move on to another customer.
If the customer does have a need and sees value in addressing it, then this is your conditional close and you should continue and move on to the next step in the process.
Step 4: Link the need or value to your product or service
Notice that we have waited until step 4 of the process to actually describe what you want to sell. The procedure until this point has been about the customer, not about you and your sale. At this step, you describe how your product or service meets the customer’s needs and adds the necessary value. Describe your proposal in terms that fit the customer’s strategy for decision making and buying that you elicited earlier. By doing this, the customer receives your proposal in a way that fits their preferred method of communication and their model of reality.
Step 5: Close
At this juncture, you will either get a ‘yes please’ response, or the customer will let you know that they require a little more convincing (you have not yet filled up their convincer strategy) by raising an objection.
There are really only 4 major objections:
Ø “I don’t have enough time” – You haven’t established sufficient value, return to step 3.
Ø “I don’t have enough money” – You haven’t established enough value, return to step 3.
Ø “It won’t work for me” – You haven’t understood the specific need, return to step 3.
Ø “I don’t believe you” – Provide testimonials and contact details of previous customers.
Once you have handled any objections, you can make the sale. You can feel good that you have provided something that someone values and needs and that you have your business has progressed a step further. Sales should be win-win relationships that will have longevity and develop customer loyalty.
The 5-Step sales process, along with every element we have mentioned here, are part of our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification Programme. An investment that you can’t afford not to make!