It's important that we all know how to sell our business and our products. But that's always been easier said than done. So here's a rundown of what helps salespeople double their sales. The following seven sales skills are all used by experienced salespeople on a daily basis.
1 - Be naturally curious
When talking with potential customers, it's always best that you keep an open mind and try not to focus on a predetermined solution. Guiding the customer into the answer you have planned to give before they've told you their problems can be manipulative, and people pick up on this quickly.
Look to assess the information they give you for a genuine need for change. Information can be in the form of what they have sent you online, details of your conversation, their website and your own research. When they have said what they need, you have the opportunity to reply with a question or by recapping what they've said - the power of questions! This makes their experience talking with you a conversation, rather than a pitch.
This sales skill requires active listening, and being present with your client.
2 - Finding the gap
What holes or gaps are in-between your customer and their goals? Assess their situation and their goals to find prospects, then begin talking and asking about those prospects and the challenges they face.
Finally, understand their current plans to fill this gap. Is there something they're missing or something more they can be doing? Is there a real and meaningful need for change? Use questions and the five whys and find out their point A and B. If you get them there, talk about the next steps and you can start asking all the questions you want - the ball is now in your court! If you can't help, thank them and part ways on good terms.
3 - Determining true need
There are 3 levels to determine true need. The first level of determining true need is usually something broad like "I want more leads" or "I want more money". The second level is the SMART Goal which is more specific and measurable. It should be realistic and achievable, something like "I want to own a $1M home within five years".
Level 3 is Level 2 with the consequences of not achieving them. For example, they may want the house because they want a home for their family of five. Understanding this, both you and your customer, together are looking at the same goals and where their success is now your success.
4 - The give and get
Reciprocity! Don't talk more than 50% of the time! Less is more. Take down talking points and then ask questions at the correct time, then go back to being naturally curious (link to blog).
Remember to always finish with a question and answer questions with no more than two sentences - but never dismiss their questions. When you give information you should be exchanging it for information of theirs.
5 - The five whys
In getting to level 3, it helps also knowing the five whys.
This is taken from manufacturing and analysis techniques in getting to the root of the problem. It asks the hard questions and doesn't accept the easiest answer. Don't take what you hear at face value - ask why, and then ask it again, and keep asking until you get to the root cause of a goal!
When you know the real reason why someone is looking for your services, you are in a better position to assist them!
6 - Use stories
People love stories, people can relate to stories, so tell a story about a recent client you had who was in a similar situation as them. Tell them about the positive result your services had. This helps to build excitement, which, in turn, helps to sell your solution and company.
7 - LAER
The LAER process helps with objection handling. Take note that this is different to manipulation - you're only understanding their decisions and making sure it's the right one. Sometimes people need you to deliver confidence, and sometimes they need help getting over a fear of failure.
- Listen - actively listen to your clients objections
- Acknowledge - show that you've heard them
- Explore - show your understanding of their concern
- Respond - with a recommendation of a solution or challenge to their line of thinking
Using this in context, a client may suggest that they are not ready right now for your services. They may already be under a tight timeline in order to reach their goal of owning a home within 2 years with their current revenue streams. Reminding them of why they started talking with you in the first place, and what their goals are, and what the cost of inaction might be, could help them to see the need for your services and give them the confidence to reach for their goals.
The above seven skills should help you close double your sales - all it takes is a keen ear, a level of understanding and, most importantly of all, honesty.
Head over to the How to Close More Leads blog series