The Secrets of Successful Sales
For many entrepreneurs, the first hurdle to overcome is to get comfortable with selling yourself or your product. Over the years, I have worked with consultants, graphic designers, personal trainers, nutritionists, bakers, jewellers and lots of other talented people. I'd say around 60% of these felt 'icky' when it came to sales. Actually, without sales, there is no business. So becoming an expert sales person is crucial to the success of your company - at least until you can hire someone to help! The aim of this article is to equip you with the practical know how to overcome anxieties around sales and become comfortable and confident.
Years ago, I was lucky enough to be mentored by a really terrific sales person. He taught me that sales is really about matching a need or problem with an appropriate solution. He helped me to see that in life we sell all the time - we sell a film we want to see or a restaurant we recommend.
You want to persuade me to try skiing for the first time....sales.
You coax your mother into spoiling herself with a new coat....sales.
You recommend a great carpenter to a friend with a renovation project.....sales.
We are actually selling ideas, concepts, connections, services all the time, we just didn't call them that!
So first of all, start to reframe your view on sales. Consider, what problem are you solving for your audience?
Younger looking skin? (face cream)
Effective ways to track your finances? (Finance database)
A great way to relax in a short space of time? (Massage)
A way to be comfortable and avoid grass stains? (Deck chair)
Secondly, remember that the sales process is necessary to help someone find out more about your product and how it might fit with them. For you to understand that, you need to ask them questions and listen carefully to the answers.
The more people feel heard, the more they begin to warm to you and your offer. If you bombard them with facts about your product, they are likely to run away.
Great generic questions to ask a client include:
What result are you looking for?
What brought you here today?
If you could wave a magic wand over your kitchen/business/child, what would have changed?
Repeat and summarise what they have said to check you understand their response. Even better, try to understand what this response tells you about being in their shoes e.g. Do they feel stressed? Tired? Excited? Vulnerable Curious?
Let them know what you are hearing behind their words.
Lastly, treat it as a game of numbers. Remember that not everyone who shows interest in your product will buy, but they are all prospective buyers so track your rate of success. Of ten people you talk to, how many buy? For what reason? Can you begin to develop your formula for the best quality of sales conversation?
When you work with a coach, they will to develop a unique strategy for sales to ensure that you are really matching up the benefits of your product or service with the needs of your ideal client. You will explore what these clients want and need and the best way to tell a genuine story about solving their problems.
Each business and each business owner is different and yet the above tools should be a great way to get you started!
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