Here are our 10 tips for Salespeople and Sales Professionals.
Our 10 tips for sales people come from years of experience in selling to a variety of customers in a variety of situations. We have kept these very much in line with a typical sales process to show where they fit. Of course, not all processes are the same, however, these skills and behaviours are always applicable, easy to put into practice and achieve the best results.
1. Your Preparation
Too often salespeople forget about their personal preparation for their customer call and meeting.
The more experienced they are the less this seems to happen:
‘I already know what I want to say’, ‘I never have any problems talking to customers’.
What can happen of course is when the call doesn’t go as planned it is the customers fault.
Consider the following:
- ‘What do I know about the customer, where can I find out more’
- ‘What have they already purchased from us? How long ago?
- Have they given us any feedback?
- Where can I check for the information, I need?
The more you know before you speak to them the better armed you are to have a fruitful conversation.
2. Making the Call
Whatever you do, always make sure you are ready for the call:
- Know who you want to speak to
- Know your objective for the call and the outcome for you as well as for them
- Have notes with hints to help the calls progression
- Identify what you want to say to get the customer speaking
- Have your hook ready for the customer as well as moving past any gatekeeper
3. The Process
Recognise that there is a set process when having sales conversations, the words may differ depending upon what you are selling but the concept is the same:
- Know why you are at the meeting
- Understand the customer’s perspective
- Listen to what is being said
- Ask questions that help your understanding
- Present a solution based upon the customer’s needs, wants and most importantly their perspective
- Handle any questions and doubts as they come
- Be careful that there is not too much of you in the meeting, It should be mainly about the customer
4. The Customers perspective in the Meeting
Always remember this is their meeting, not yours, It is all about what they want not what you want. You will of course have an outcome in mind, however, the driver is them. Lots of salespeople go into meetings with their products and services in the front of mind rather than considering what the customer wants and needs. The more we understand their perspective the easier it becomes to find the right product and solution that really helps them.
5. Asking the Right Questions
When we recognise that this meeting is the customers and that it is their outcome and perspective that we are wanting to achieve then asking the right questions becomes easier. The more questions you ask helps them to identify with you what their solution is, which of course makes closing easier.
- Be curious about the customer
- Ask open questions to understand more
- Probing questions to dig a bit deeper
- Closed questions to gain confirmation and agreement
- Commitment question to close the deal
6. Listening to hear & understand
The more we listen to what is being said the better the chance of actually ‘hearing’ what is being said.
Too often a salesperson’s desire to tell all about what they can do gets in the way of really listening. The ‘white noise’ happens, and the customer is speaking but the salesperson is thinking about what they want to say.
- Ask Questions about what the customer has said
- Listen and confirm you have understood
7. Presenting your solution/product/service
Present a solution based upon the customer’s needs, wants and most importantly their perspective.
When presenting, even for the simplest of products, showing that you have understood what the customer wants and how the product will help, is the foundation of good presenting.
The model we like best at MPI Learning is based around:
- The Feature – what it is
- The Benefit – what it does
- The You – what it does for you (personalise to take into account the customer’s view and comments from your meeting)
8. Handling objections – Questions and doubts
Recognise that there will be questions that need answering from the customer, however this is a good thing as it means they are interested and want to know more, or you, the salesperson may not have covered an aspect that the customer needs clarifying.
Always have a model to respond to these queries:
- Ask a question based upon their query/comment so you can understand
- Reflect their response back to them
- Confirm you can see why they might have queried
- Answer their query
- Confirm that all is now ok
Of course, whilst going through this process you may need to ask more questions to really understand what the issue is all about.
9. The Close
Once we are at this stage, providing we have utilised all of the skills and behaviours in the right way, the close becomes easier. Lots of techniques have been trained over the years, however there is only one thought which really applies here:
‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’
So ask away, use trial closing during the process to ensure you haven’t lost the customer, the more of those that happen the easier the close becomes. Sounds easy, doesn’t it, and it is providing you have completed all of the processes the best you can.
10. Too much of you
There is a wonderful expression for salespeople, and it is a crucial on:
‘A few words can make or break a sale’
Often the downfall of a salesperson is the amount they talk, quite often said that ‘they talked themselves out of a sale’
Sometimes this is through nerves and sometimes it is because they know how great their product is and want to tell the customer… Too the extreme that they batter the customer with information that they don’t want
There is a quote from the Dalai Lama which really sums this up – “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new”
We hope that you found this learning bite “10 top tips for salespeople” useful, the author Mike Willoughby has worked in learning and development for 30 years and has overseen large scale sales training programmes such as CISCO’s CDSA “CISCO Distribution Sales Academy”and Genworths “Genworth Way Sales Programme”.
Collectively the team MPI Learning have been training salespeople for over 40 years, please get in touch if you require support in developing your sales team via the contact form at the bottom of the page.
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