Stop trying to sell people! Your top priority should not be making the sale.
You probably think I don't know what Im talking about since making the sale has always been your only goal, and you make plenty of sales. Well there are people out there who will buy the product in spite of the salesperson. If this weren't true, mail order catalogues would not exist.
It is imperative that you realize a business will not thrive if a self-serving approach to sales is applied when carrying out trade.
For a lot of people the experience involved in making the purchase is more important then the actual sales transaction. If you focus on closing and processing the sale you are not providing one of the things that the customer is looking for a great experience. People hate to be sold to but they love to buy. Concentrating on making sales is an error. Concentrate on creating customers - satisfied customers.
As Stephen Covey points out in his best selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, an effective salesperson first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns and the situation of the client. Most sales people have been taught techniques of listening, such as reflective listening, and proceed to use these methods with the intent to control or manipulate. A dynamic salesperson will use empathic listening with their ears, eyes and heart.
When a salesperson pretends to listen or listens with the intention of replying, the customer will sense that something is wrong. When you listen with empathy your client will feel validated and appreciated. Then you will be able to focus on problem solving for the client.
Sales people have a tendency to launch into a sale pitch of the features of their products and services. These features really don't mean anything to the customer. What they really want to know is how the product benefits them.
With this in mind, offer assistance by sharing information or demonstrating the benefits. Find out what the customer needs and consider if you can meet these needs. Make the customer feel important - treat them like you would a friend. Ensure they'll have an experience they'll want to repeat.
I heard a salesperson mention they want to get into a field where they could help people. I found this statement rather perplexing because when I go shopping that is exactly what I want - Someone to help me. Unfortunately many businesses rely on sales tactics that do not look any further than closing the sale. Of course businesses have to make money but it is important to realize that if you take care of the customer the money will follow.
Why do businesses not concentrate on customer satisfaction? Building relationships with customers means repeat buyers. It also means referrals, as patrons will refer their friends and business colleagues to you.
In 1937 Dale Carnegie wrote the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Nearly 70 years later the lessons in this book are more valid then ever. Carnegie believed that the path to success could be obtained when you pay attention to the other person instead of focusing on what you want.
His suggestions will make you great at sales. They include becoming genuinely interested in other people, encouraging others to talk about themselves, to talk in terms of the other persons interest and to sincerely make the other person feel important.
Seeking to understand your customers will make them feel valued.
Focusing on problem solving for your customers will make them feel valued.
Showing a genuine interest in your customers will make them feel valued.
When your customers feel valued they in turn will value you.
About The Author
Ritchie Hale is founder and owner of ELAH Group Pty Ltd (www.elahgroup.com). As a consultant he has shown large global corporations how to gain leverage in the areas of Marketing and IT. As a personal coach he has turned small business owners and individuals in to goal getters. Ritchie is dedicated to helping small business owners grow their business.