Making sales is a key element of running a business if it is to prosper. Cold callers tend to get a cold (sorry) reception these days, so a solid sales strategy is essential if you’re to succeed. We share common sales techniques to avoid, and what to try instead.
Build up a rapport
Don’t just wait for your turn to talk during a sales pitch – listen, too! This helps you really hear what it is that the potential client is after, giving you the opportunity to explain how you can solve this problem for them.
The personal touch is more likely to lead to successful sales, and it makes the experience much nicer for everyone involved, too. Your sales process is part of your customer service delivery – you’re not just making a sale, you’re delivering the best possible service in doing so.
Respect the ‘no’
Even if you are the expert, and even if it does seem clear to you that the customer badly needs your product or service, respect their decisions. You’re only going to make the sale if you have something that they want, or you can fix a problem they have. Otherwise, no matter what you say, it’s not happening.
Respect that the other person doesn’t know what you know, but don’t be patronising about helping them find the answers they need. Look for how you can help. If you can’t help, step back.
Being pushy just damages your brand and your reputation. If you do make a sale, you might feel great – but if the customer has regrets or worries, then that success is likely to be very short lived.
Know what to do when the phone does ring
It sounds obvious but knowing what to do when interested customers call you gets overlooked with surprising regularity. Put in the basics, like who answers the phone, what to say, and how to use the process to make sure everyone wins.
Know the product, and what to do when you don’t
Ideally you’ll know how to answer every question that comes up during a sale. But, if you don’t, say so. Admit when you need to double-check on something rather than being evasive or making something up, and customers are more likely to trust you!
Introduce yourself to people, lure them in with your marketing strategy, whatever works – but following up on someone who has indicated an interest is much more effective, and a better use of resources, than cold calling.