Your Approach to Sales
When it comes to sales and selling, we've all got a slightly different approach. We all have different ideas about what works and what closes a deal and generates new business.
We've all been sold to and we know that certain approaches work on us and others push us away. We talk about this in our sales skills training course when looking at how we like to be sold to ourselves.
When we sell to customers we need to consider what our objective is. Do we want a quick sale or are we trying to build relationships with a customer and generate loyalty?
The way we see it there are 2 major approaches - hard sell and soft sell. Hard selling tends to be pushier and probably won't lead to a long term relationship with the customer. Soft selling is much more about building relationships and selling through the relationship that you build with the customer.
Types of Sales Approaches
- Solutions Selling - This approach is where the salesperson identifies an issue or problem that they are trying to solve and suggests products or services that would solve the issue or fix the problem.
- Consultative Selling - This is where the salesperson uses questions to understand more about the customer, what they do and what issues or problems they currently have. The salesperson then presents products and services based on what they learned that matches the customer's current position.
- The Expert - This approach uses less emotion and more rational. It means the salesperson would become an expert in their field and use this expertise to show the customer what they could do or should do. This shows credibility and can help build trust with the customer.
- The Friend - This approach is definitely built on relationships. It works on the notion that people buy people first. We buy from people who we like. This approach focuses on building a relationship and selling through the relationship. It can be tricky this approach as it has to be genuine. It's easy to tell when someone is being fake.
While you might have a preferred approach to selling, it's always best to mix it up a little. Try different approaches with customers until you find the one that the customer seems more motivated toward and pushed away by.
6 Tips to Increase Your Sales
Selling to customers is an art. Get it right and your business will see huge results, get it wrong and you'll quickly turn your customers off.
Here are some quick tips to help increase your sales. They should work in any business and for any type of product or service.
- Establish your customer's needs - Ask questions to find out exactly why your customer is looking to buy. It's often said that buying is emotive rather than logical. Even if this is true we still need to understand what is driving the need or the interest to buy so we know how to motivate the person to buy.
- Link the benefits to what you learnt - Throwing every benefit your product or service has at a customer isn't going to motivate them. Even throwing your biggest benefit at them probably won't work if it's not a benefit to them. Instead, lead with what you think is important to that customer and only talk about the benefits relevant to them. All of the other benefits, although nice, are irrelevant.
- Focus on what happens after the sale rather than the product or service - Why do you visit an optician? Is it because you want glasses or because you want to see better? Why do you visit a mechanic? Is it because you need your car fixed or because you want to be able to drive your car again? In both cases, it's the latter. The former is a means to getting to the latter. Help the customer to see what they get as a result of using the product or service you're selling. For example, we may normally say that 'we'll help you to increase your sales'. What we should be focusing on is telling them 'that we'll help you to create a more profitable business'. Focusing on the after-effects sounds much more interesting.
- Reverse the sales pitch - In most cases, products and services are pitched by saying something like ' We'll help you to increase your sales by providing you with new sales techniques and this will lead to a more profitable business'. Change this to generate interest quickly. Try something like 'we want to help you become a more profitable business by showing you new sales techniques that will help you to increase your sales'. Leading with the aftereffect is much more motivational.
- Focus on the Benefit - Try to avoid what your product does but focus on what it will mean for them. So, less 'this washing up liquid lasts longer than all of the others', and more 'you will same money in the long term and this lasts longer than others'.
- Use evidence to support the sale - Rather than just throwing benefits, think about using something to support your sale. Rather than say 'This washing up liquid will wash your dishes quickly and lasts longer', try using something like 'many of our customers tell us that they save time and money with this brand as it lasts longer than others'. It's about tapping into the emotional side rather than logic.
Sales Training Courses
You can learn more about sales and selling by attending one of our sales skills training courses. We have a one day Sales Skills Training Course and a Consultative Selling Training Course.
Best of luck with your sales.