How to sell your soul …

(and become a great salesperson)
by Joanne Mansell

If you don’t think of yourself as a sales person, then you may feel that you’d have to sell your soul (or broker some other deal) with the devil to become a great sales person.  There is another way to “sell your soul” to become a great salesperson…

 What do I mean by “sell your soul”?

 If you have a product or service you want to sell to customers then you probably believe it is the best, or would solve their frustrations or enhance their life in some other way, right?  So tell them that!  Speak with passion and enthusiasm – from the soul.

 How do I do it?

 Here are some pointers to keep in mind: 

ü      Why are you so passionate or enthusiastic about the product?  How can you convey this in terms of benefits to the customer?

ü      What problem or frustration does it solve for your customers?

ü      How is your product, service or “deal” better than the competitors’?  What features can you highlight?

ü      Explain how your product or service answers their comments or complaints about the old model/what they have now/the problem they asked for help with?  Often they will tell you this information, or give you clues from which you can start a conversation. “I need to buy a new printer” tells you that it is a printer they are interested in, and that it is likely that they currently have one.  You might then ask “What did you like about your old printer?” 

ü      Ask questions to find out what exactly they want or expect from a product or service.  What did they like or dislike about the old model or their old solution.

ü      “Future pace” the benefits – how will their life or business be in a week/month/year of having used your product or service?  This helps them to imagine the benefits beyond the short term inconveniences such as waiting for delivery, installation or a change in their time or procedures.

ü      What testimonials are likely to convince them about your product or service?  Try to match the testimonial to your client - for example, from the same industry or contract size.  In some cases it may be appropriate to share an anecdote about another customer and their situation.

ü      Notice the clues they are giving you in their questions or comments.  Particularly words that relate more to one sense (visual, auditory, touch) than another.  If you were selling a car and the customer commented that “I’d look great in this car” you might ask if they’d like to see the color range, or clarify whether it was the style or model of the car or its color that appeals. 

ü      Find out their objections to closing the sale.  If you know what you need to overcome, it will be easier for you to do so.  You may also summarise the points you are in agreement about.  For example “You prefer this model/colour/term, we have it in stock and will deliver it for you next week, so we just need to iron out details on the finance, is that right?”  This gives them a chance to raise any other objections.

ü      How can you make a negative seem like a positive?  If you are booked out for weeks ahead this perceived negative (that they may have to wait a week or two) can be presented as a positive – your product or service is so popular and in such demand that you are booked out weeks ahead.

ü      Write down a list of the features and benefits and then try different wording to explain these points.  Become familiar with them so you can repeat them in a conversational way.  You want the explanation to be warm and friendly rather than a coldly recited list.

ü      Reassure them that any questions or concerns they have are likely to be common, or at least normal.  You will know far more about your product or service than they will – so help to put them at ease.

 What else do I need to keep in mind?

We’ve all had experiences of someone being a little too enthusiastic.  What else should you keep in mind when talking to customers or prospects?

  *   Don’t do all the talking.  Make sure you listen to what the customer tells you.  They know what they are looking for, what they didn’t like about their current solution, and they will give you great tips on what to emphasise to them.  Ask questions to draw this information from them.

*   Don’t get too excited and talk too quickly.  It is important to keep enthusiasm in your voice to keep them interested, just make sure you speak slowly and clearly enough to be understood.

*   Take notice of their “mood”.  If they seem to be in a hurry you could give them the number/website to check for help or troubleshooting and ask if they want training or a full demonstration now. 

*   Don’t expect to get it perfect overnight.  Practice with friends and family. 

 For many sole traders and people who own their own business they started or opened that business based on them being the technician who makes the product or provides the service.  Often finances are too tight to hire sale, marketing or telemarketing people and you become the sales person. 

 With this handful of tips and the soul, passion and enthusiasm you have for your product and business you can become a great sales person!

 For more information on these concepts, or to book a business or success coaching session with the author, Joanne Mansell please phone 0416 181 654.  The first half hour consultation is complimentary. 

Joanne is a co-author of “Building an extraordinary business” due for release mid-2002 – see www.kaizencoaching.com.au for more information about the book, and for copies of her other small business articles.

Joanne Mansell, Kaizen Coaching – “Mind, Body, Life Fitness”

 

 

(c) Kaizen Coaching 2000-2014. Trademarks Kaizen Coaching, Building an Extraordinary Business and Sportsmind are used with permission of their respective owners.