Selling goods and services is hard. These days, all business owners have to put “salesperson” as an important part of their job description.
When you regard yourself as a salesperson, you are accepting a tough job. You are almost always in direct competition with other people who want your prospects as their clients. However, by following these five key strategies, you can give yourself a competitive edge and establish your company as an indispensable organization known for solving problems, not just for selling products or services.
Prequalify Your Leads
When it comes to lead generation, quality trumps quantity every time. No matter how good of a salesperson you are, if your lead isn’t properly qualified, you’re in for an uphill battle. Not all leads are created equal. What you need are leads that are a good fit for your organization.
You need to find out if a lead is a good fit for your business before you even set foot in the prospect’s door. Otherwise you are wasting valuable time and resources in pitching a potential lead that could be a poor match for your organization. No one likes being forced to fire a client for being a bad fit. Prevent that problem from occurring by applying proper prequalification strategies to your leads.
Only 7 percent of our communication is based on the words we use. The rest of our message is conveyed by body language and social cues. Establishing rapport, or trust, with a prospect is critical to closing a deal. Rushing into the sales process conveys weakness and makes it appear that you are desperate to sell. Instead, make your prospect feel as if their needs are the most important thing on your mind and show them how your products and services can help them solve their problems.
Understand Your Customer’s Needs
Listen carefully to your customer’s problems and needs. It will be much easier to close the deal if you can show, preferably with examples and case studies, how your products or services will alleviate the pain of their problems, or help them achieve the goals set by their superiors. Slow down and ensure you understand the most important nuances of your customer’s problems. Doing so will put you in a good position to close the deal when you show them how you can help without putting emphasis on selling.
Avoid the Temptation to Oversell
It can be tempting to write up a proposal that includes more than the client needs, in the hopes that they will see the value in your services. This ploy is likely to backfire and works directly against the previous point. Your customer will feel as if you don’t really understand their needs, or worse, don’t care.
By giving your client exactly what he needs, you built trust and begin the process of becoming a trusted adviser. Once you’ve entered that role, it is much easier for your customer to accept your recommendations, opening the door for future sales.
Apply Leverage Instead of Pressure
No one likes being pressured into a decision. To successfully close a deal, you have to show your prospect how they can leverage your products and services to solve a problem, reach a goal, or meet a need. By showing your client how this leverage will benefit them, you put them in control of the decision which makes them more likely to act. An individual is much more likely to make a positive decision when they feel that it was their idea.
By applying these strategies to your work flow, you can increase the number of deals you close and improve your organization’s reputation as a trusted adviser in its vertical.