The salesperson is the biggest differentiator in sales today. With similar products and services everywhere, it is the salesperson that is able to make the biggest difference and sway sales either way. That means salespeople are in charge of their own destiny. It also means good salespeople with good fundamentals can adapt to any situation, any product, and sell anything to anyone.
Follow these 5 sales fundamentals to better sell anything to just about anyone.
1 – Make the sale about them: The first rule of sales is it shouldn’t be able you. Nobody like a self-obsessed salesperson, and no prospect wants to listen to a salesperson talk at length about products or themselves. You might think your chat is interesting, but the prospect will likely think it’s irrelevant. So, instead, make every conversation, email and touch point about the potential buyer. Always ask yourself, ‘is this relevant to my prospect’, and, ‘is this personalised for the individual’?
2 – Do research beforehand: Leading on from point 1, you’ll know that information if you do your research prior to engagement. You can’t expect prospects to give you the time of day if you can’t be bothered to spend some time learning about them first. At the very minimum, know what they do and who they are. You can find this information in a lot of places: Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc), the company website, press releases, Google, and so on.
3 – Build rapport: Building rapport is key to sales. The strong your relationship and the more trust gained with the prospect, the more likely they’ll buy from you. If you’ve done your research beforehand you can tailor your rapport-building to what you know about them, for instance, where they are based. Get to know them better and communicate with them like humans, not just a possible sale.
4 – Ask open ended questions and listen: Part of finding out what you need to know about your prospect is asking the right questions and then listening to the answers. Despite your best research, there will still be gaps in your knowledge, so you want to spend time teasing information out of the prospect with open-ended questions that will give you a better understanding of their challenges and pains. Thoughtful ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions are good options here for getting relevant answers. Curiosity is a good thing here, and genuine interest will be well-received by the prospect. Really listen to the answers and never interrupt what they are saying. Ask for clarification if need be.
5 – Make it emotive: Emotion sells. It’s what drives decisions. Because of that, tailor your conversations towards solving pains and providing benefits. Think about playing on fear, pride, envy, ambition and so on. Don’t try and do too much in one go, but pick a couple that will resonate most. You don’t want to simply sell a product or service, you want to sell the end goal or benefit.
Getting the fundamentals right, as with most things, gives salespeople the base skills to perform in any situation, with any product or service. Selling is an emotional business that requires good listening skills, research and rapport-building. The best salespeople combine these softer skills with proactivity and dynamism to continually get results.