In an increasingly self-serviced world, more and more people are looking to internet shopping and user-written reviews to make decisions about what they want to buy.
You might think that leaves slim pickings for the good old fashioned salesperson to get by on, but no amount of technology can come close to the power of a talented human sales machine.
So what do you need to know to kill it in the sales game? The following is a good start.
In general, passion is an important factor to getting where you want to be in life, but in the sales profession, your passion should be centred around the product that you’re selling.
If you don’t believe in what you’re peddling, how can you expect someone else to believe you when you tell them it’s bloody great?
Think about the last thing you bought that you were genuinely stoked about. Now think about how you would sell that to someone else. It’s a lot easier to talk about topics we love because we get easily excited by them.
Find a product you love and selling it will be a breeze.
Know your audience
If i’m trying to sell a muesli bar to an eight year old, it would make little sense for me to focus on the nutritional value that the bar has over a chocolate bar because the kid doesn’t care. Unless you have delicious candy, they have no time for your insolence.
Instead, you would focus on how yummy it is. Tell them it tastes way better than a stupid chocolate because you’re an adult and you know better. Kids will believe anything.
Know how to communicate with your target audience so you can get your pitch across in a way that appeals to them.
Know what they need
Being able to make a product sound appealing is one thing, but identifying where it’s needed is infinitely more powerful.
Particularly if you sell to other businesses, researching and identifying areas where your product can improve their particular operation will get them listening.
Lets say you sell cheese to various culinary businesses. Everyone loves cheese, but if you find out where they source their current stock and how yours is better, then you’ll have a bigger foot in the door to land that deal.
Keep at it
It’s important to be persistent, but don’t become a pest.
You should always follow up with your prospects, regardless of how you think a meeting went. If you think they will perceive the contact as annoying, addressing that at the beginning of the conversation will usually break the ice and put them at ease.
Stop relying on the hard sell
We all know the hard sell. It’s the person that’s always pushing the deal, offering discounts for signing immediately.
Consumers are growing tired of this technique, seeing right through it’s hard exterior to it’s soft, vulnerable inners.
A softer approach is where you’ll win, but it takes a little more time to gain momentum. Even if you get a flat-out no from a prospect, send emails that will educate them on the industry and how your product can continue to improve their business.
Even birthday cards or a Christmas gift will help you gain that long-term sale. At the end of the day, it’s the ones you fight for the most that yield the greatest rewards.