Be A Good Salesperson (Pocket guide to success)

Definition of Consultative/Successful Selling

"The process of helping clients achieve their goals/objectives through the use of our products and services”

The Dynamics of Selling

One of the most important aspects of selling is that people buy people first. Before a prospective client will consider buying a product or solution from you they have to be comfortable with you in that they have confidence in you, that they trust you and that they believe that you are working in their best interests.

In summary the three key behaviours you need to exhibit if you are to be successful are;

Confidence - In that you know what you are talking about and have the necessary knowledge and understanding to resolve
      client issues
Trust - That you have the commitment and capability to deliver against agreed actions
Integrity - That you will always recommend actions and solutions that are in the client’s best interest and not for profit

Once the client is happy with you and that you have satisfied them on this level you can proceed to the next level which is to develop a sales opportunity.

To do this you have to understand the next concept:

Why People Buy

People buy because they have a need, but to be a good salesperson knowing that the client has a need is not enough, you need to get beneath the surface to understand why they have a need and what is the key driver behind the need.

This information will put you in a much stronger position to respond to the need by offering the best solution to resolve their need helping create differentiation and thus gaining a competitive edge.

The three typical drivers to peoples buying motivations are the need to;

Resolve an immediate or pending problem
Make an improvement on current situation
Address ego or status

Surprisingly many people buy products because it makes them feel good and not because it is necessarily a good commercial decision.

It is also important to be aware that many people buy on emotion (gut reaction) and justify with facts.

This will typically happen when the salesperson and client have a good rapport. The client wants to do business with the salesperson but will still have to justify to senior management or the committee why that have decided to buy from this particular firm.

Lastly and most importantly whilst clients often recognise that they have a need their inexperience can lead them to believe what the best solution to their need is; this can lead to problems. If the salesperson agrees with the client without exploring the need in more detail there is a danger that they could be offering the wrong solution to the clients need. Later when the client realises that they have bought the wrong solution invariably they blame the salesperson not themselves.

This is why it is critical to explore and clarify the situation in order to do a full diagnosis of the clients need before offering a solution.

This way you get it right for the client, they remain happy long term and the relationship develops.

However, after you have completed the diagnosis you have to ensure that you do not lose the client when you come to present the solution.

To be successful when presenting the solution you have to understand the next concept of:

What People Buy

The mistake that most people make at this point is that they start to tell the client about all the good things their product does and how it works.

The client usually gets lost in the detail and can not see the relevance between your proposal and their requirements.

The most important thing the client wants to know is will your proposal fulfill their need, will it do what they want it to do.

When presenting your solution it is imperative that you ensure that the client can clearly see how your proposition meets their needs and will do what they want done.

This means matching the exact benefits to the clients needs then explaining how it works and providing examples and evidence.

So is that it; unfortunately not, even when you have presented your solution there is still more work to be done.

Human behaviour is such that few people will agree to buy without having some concerns, otherwise known as objections.

You have to be prepared to come up against and overcome objections. This takes us to the next level.

Overcoming Objections

There is a concept know as 'buyers remorse', that is the buyer often experiences doubts at the point of sale that they are making the right decision and put forward reasons as to why they should not proceed.

You should anticipate this and be prepared to confidently answer any questions or provide a sound logical argument as to why it is in their interest to proceed.

In some cases the client is looking for reassurance that the decision they are taking is the right one, in others instances they may have valid concerns. As long as your logical reasoning out weighs their concerns you should be able to convince them to proceed.

As a last point many people think that encountering objections is a bad thing, in most instances it is not as objections means the buyer is demonstrating interest, if we can over come their concerns there is a real possibility of making a sale.

It is when the client is not objecting and displaying no interest that you are in most trouble.

You are almost there, last step of the process. Having put in all of the hard effort to get this far it would be unthinkable not to reap the rewards of your hard efforts.

However in a lot of cases salespeople do not close due to a lack of confidence. So many people leave the closing to the client by leaving literature to read, or relying on the client to call them with a final decision.

If you are going to be successful in your sales activities you have to be confident enough to gain client commitment or close the sale.

This takes us to the last level.

Gaining Client Commitment

The reason why most people do not seek commitment is the fear of failure. It is at this point that the client can say no and the opportunity is over, lost.

Because of this most people avoid failure by just not asking the question. They would rather keep the opportunity on-going than risk failure.

The problem with this is that the client seldom reads the literature and even less so calls the salesperson back.

You have to believe that if you have a done your job well in that you have identified the client's need, gained their agreement to the fact the need exists and that they want to do something about it and that your proposal meets their requirements, they will be expecting you to close.

You have earned the right and should not be apologetic or reluctant to ask for their commitment to go ahead.

Nothing complicated or sophisticated, just ask the question;

Have I answered all of your questions - yes - in that case are you happy to proceed on the basis we have discussed?

If the answer is no we are back in to objection handling until the client is totally satisfied and comfortable to make the decision to proceed.

Is it that easy

Unfortunately not, once in front of the client we have a good opportunity to develop a sale. What is the really difficult part is getting in front of them in the first place.

The problem is that buyers are bombarded with so many marketing and sales approaches that they are instantly wary and reluctant to talk let alone buy.

Advertising, email, internet, texts, telephone calls, mail shots the list goes on, it is no wonder that people are so negative to any sales approach.

This makes getting in front of the buyer exceedingly difficult. To be successful you should focus on developing relationships where your clients are satisfied to the point that they will buy from you again. Protect your existing client base do not neglect them in favour of chasing new business.

Cross sell across your client’s organisation

Where appropriate ask if they are prepared to make introductions to other potential buyers.

Warm leads and introductions are far more productive than cold calling.

Summary

Being a good salesperson requires a lot of hard work and effort, it can be very unrewarding at times and consequently affect your confidence.

Confidence is crucial to being successful so you need to be able to motivate yourself and drive yourself on through difficult times.

If you do not believe in yourself no one else will.

Remain focused and be positive, if you work hard enough the results will follow.

I hope you have found this over view helpful. If you would like any further information on being a good salesperson please do not hesitate to call me.

David Howard

Tel: +44 (0) 1494 815599

or hit the button and I will get back to you.

Best of luck with your sales.

Click here for PDF of Be a Good Salesperson - Pocket Guide to Success