We all sell.
Once you accept the fact that a certain part of your job includes sales – whether it’s just positioning ideas with colleagues, or the actual selling of products and services, B2B or B2C – you will become a better business person. So for starters, get over the notion that selling is some smarmy, “necessary evil”.
Selling is absolutely critical to your success in business.
You have to not only think like your customer but anticipate their needs and wants and their fears about your product, service or industry. Because every industry causes some concerns among its clientele.
I meet with a lot of business owners and it simply breaks my heart when I hear them tell me that they’ve either never taken a formal sales training program and/or they don’t have a scripted sales process. Selling is a science, whose success can absolutely be measured.
The idea of the “natural born salesperson” is a myth. Salespeople are made through training and experience.
Truly great sales people practice their skills daily.
Most importantly, truly great salespeople script their process. This is not to say that they memorize a set of lines like an actor – because there is nothing worse than coming off fake or robotic when meeting with customers. Rather, “scripting” means that you follow a consistent set of steps so you can tell whether your sales process is working, or not. Having a scripted process is crucial to ensuring that you have a high closing rate. If you simply “wing it” with every customer you meet with, you will never know for sure when they actually made the decision to buy, or when you lost the sale.
Moreover, practice, practice and practice. Work with a colleague, a family member, or a friend. Ask them to play the role of a prospect and then go through your sales process and record the conversation. Then play it back and listen to yourself.
- How did you start?
- How much talking did you do, versus listening?
- How well did you describe your product or service – were you clear, concise, sincere?
- Did your “customer” raise objections that you effectively addressed?
- Did you establish rapport?
- Did you demonstrate that you were offering a solution to a need or problem?
Scripting and practice will help you improve all of these skills.
Never take your sales process for granted. Even minor tweaks in your presentation and your listening skills can substantially improve your closing rate, which means more revenue and ultimately more profits.