Stop Selling and Start Building Relationships
Some people worry about how to maintain sales in the new millennium. Maybe they have a point.
The old high-pressure sales pitches, “always be closing,” “think positive,” “it’s a numbers game,” all these outdated sales messages simply don’t work. It’s time to brush up on new sales techniques.
Old Sales Model
In the old model, sales were something you inflicted on the customer. The role of the salesman was to convince or coerce people into buying something they didn’t necessarily want or need. You can’t do that with the empowered customers of today. They’ll just switch off and click onto YouTube and watch a cat video instead.
The sales model that works today is much more low-pressure.Don’t deliver a sales pitch, start a conversation.
Don’t deliver a sales pitch, start a conversation
When you contact a new potential customer, don’t give them a lecture on why they should buy your product.
Ask them if they’d be interested in discussing a solution to one of their problems.
For instance, you could say something like, “I thought I’d get in touch with you to see if you’d like to discuss a way to conveniently back up your data, so you don’t have to worry about viruses or malware ever again?”
Don’t push your product. You’re here to help the customer and add value to their lives, even if they don’t make a purchase with you.
Don’t worry about closing the sale, make sure you’re a good fit
Put the focus on the client’s needs, not your need to make a sale. If you maintain an open and accepting attitude and your product is a good fit for the client, they’ll want to move the process along. Trying to push them is only going to create resistance.
In the old way of doing things, you lost the sale at the end of the process when the fish threw the hook and escaped. What a waste of time and energy for both of you!
In the new paradigm you lose the sale at the beginning because you’re not a good fit.
At least you haven’t put the client’s back up and broken their trust. Don’t force them to reject you to make you go away.
Maybe some time in the future they’ll have a use for your product.Then they’ll remember you as that nice person who wanted to help them, not that pushy sales guy who stressed them out and wasted their time.
Don’t chase after the client, let the sale happen naturally
Sometimes chasing after what you want works, but it’s just as likely to make the object of your pursuit run away. Be up-front about it and ask your client to schedule a time that works for them. If they don’t want to do it, bow out gracefully and move on.
Ask client focussed questions
If a client has objections, don’t try to overcome them. Just tactfully find out the truth. Sometimes people have trouble saying ‘no’ directly and will come up with false reasons they can’t work with you right now.
For instance, if someone says, “We don’t have the budget right now,” it might mean they’re not interested. That’s your cue to depart. It might also mean they’re strapped for cash and want you to tell them about your pricing and financing options.
Its all about them
Don’t get defensive – if a client asks what’s so special about your product, don’t rise to the bait with a presentation on how you’re better than everyone else. Just smile with quiet confidence and move the conversation along to how you can help your customer. Sales pressure is something you want to avoid. Allow potential customers to buy from you without feeling like they’ve succumbed to a sales pitch.
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