Many small-business owners hate the concept of selling. Yet selling is a fundamental part of attracting and keeping clients. Here are ten sales tips for closing the sale without manipulation or unethical behavior.
- Listen. 90-percent of your conversation should involve you listening to what your prospect wants or needs. They will tell you what they are looking for if you leave your agenda for “making the sale at all costs” behind. What do they talk about? What problems are they facing? What are their priorities? Are they more logical or emotional?
- Determine what they want. Learn as much as you can about them. What are their goals, needs and desires? It’s much easier to sell something your prospects want than trying to persuade them to buy something they don’t want or feel they need.
- Be positive. You don’t have to overly flatter prospects, but make sure they see you as a positive resource. Compliment them on something they take pride in or congratulate them on a recent success.
- Focus on your prospect, not you. Use terms like “you” and “your” rather than “I” or “me” to keep your conversation focused around your prospect’s interests. No one likes a sales pitch, but most people can talk about themselves for hours.
- Have a meeting agenda. You don’t need a formal sales presentation, but create an outline of the key points you would like to address during your interaction. If your prospect loses focus or goes off on a tangent, subtly steer them back on track by asking pointed questions about the key problem you can help them solve.
- Stress benefits. What’s in it for them? What emotional benefits will they receive after they use your product or service? Focus on the positive and how their lives will be better as a result.
- Results matter. Spell out the bottom line clearly using facts, case studies, and examples. What financial or emotional result will they receive?
- Don’t rush. Never try to push your lead into buying if he or she dosn’t yet feel comfortable. You want them to feel positive about hiring you, so if they need time to think it over or discuss it with other people, respect that. Offer to set up a meeting with other key decision makers if they feel that would help.
- Be truthful. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver or make excuses if something goes wrong.
- Think long-term. Build long-term relationships by being a resource for your client and nurturing their success. Every interaction you have shapes whether your prospect will buy from you or refer you business, so make each one count.
By utilizing these ten sales tips, you not only build trust and rapport with prospects, but you start building a long-term relationship that will net you repeat business and referrals.