Most sales calls follow a familiar pattern. Understand what it is and what selling techniques you need to use to get the sale.
It’s a tough market out there and the competition to get the consumers to listen to you is intense. Your sales pitch may be made via email, over the phone, or in person. Whichever model you choose, there are 5 essential ingredients in any selling message. Get them right and you have the perfect sales call:
- Start with a formal greeting – Stand out from the crowd and be different. Address the prospective customer formally with a “Good morning, Mrs. Nelson” or “Good evening, Mr. Jones.” Keep your introduction brief, but make sure you mention a benefit from your product or service to get your prospect interested enough to continue with the conversation.
- Listen to their needs – Once you have made the introductions, it is time for you to find out what the customer needs. One of the most important selling techniques you can use is to ask questions relevant to your product or service and really listen to the answers. Don’t just hear the words they say, pay attention to the tone of their voice and body language, if you’re meeting them in person. You’ll have to learn to read between the lines to make an accurate assessment of their requirements.
- Present your case – Now that you know what they want, tailor your sales call to suit their needs. Emphasize the things they’ve indicated as important to them. If pricing is the key, see if you can offer a discount. If they compare your product with a similar one on the market, give them the reasons to choose yours over the other. The important thing here is to zero in on what the customer is looking for and targeting it.
- Take action – Now comes the hard part, you have to push the customer to take action. Typically, you’ll be faced with three scenarios:
- The customer places the order and you can close the deal. This is the ideal sales call, and only happens in dreams!
- A customer wants to think about it before making the decision. Set up a follow-up schedule – does the prospect need more information? If so, plan to send the required information the very next day. More time? If so, schedule a meeting/call for an appropriate day convenient to the prospect. If pricing is the problem, see if you can come to some sort of reasonable agreement. Keep varying these selling techniques based on customer reactions.
- The customer says NO. This is the hard part. What can you do? Do not push, find out the reasons why and if you can’t offer a solution, thank them for their time and move on. The worst thing you can do is hound them. Give them your contact information and let them know you are available should they change their mind.
- Follow up – This is a very crucial step that must follow the initial sales call, but most salespersons forget to take it. Regardless of the outcome of the discussion with prospective customers, a simple follow-up letter or email thanking them for their time is a must. Keep it short and upbeat. It will show both your company and you in a positive light and maybe, help secure some future business, too. This sales technique is not followed by most companies but is a great way for you to go a step further than your competition.
Some of the selling techniques mentioned above may seem quite obvious. However, you may be surprised as to the number of salespeople who go on and on talking about their products without bothering to listen to the customer. Follow the pattern above to the letter and watch your closure rates go up!