Written by: Alex Pirouz
It may sound silly, but I guarantee you there are salespeople out there with what I call Sales Phobia. In fact, you may know someone or have come across or even employed someone with this affliction.
Indeed, you are probably also a sufferer (even if only mildly affected, at times of weakness).
And here’s the worst part. Because the seller feels uncomfortable about projecting the wrong image to customers, the customers in turn perceive and feel this level of discomfort.
If this sounds like you or one of your employers, here are five steps to beat your affliction.
Stop and think of it this way: if a salesperson is uncomfortable when taking the sale, then why should the client be comfortable making the payment? In my view there are two main reasons why this happens:
• Doubt: Salesperson is not sure if they have done a good enough job in selling the product/service.
• Fear: They fear that the customer won’t buy from them or will reject them, after all the effort they have put in.
With most salespeople, these beliefs have been conditioned deep in their subconscious throughout their career.
It’s important that if, or when, these beliefs suddenly manifest themselves, you acknowledge the fact, and know that the more you follow the following steps, the more quickly you will eliminate their effects.
By keeping statistics of your sales, you will gain insight as to what your results are like in the following categories:
• % of customers who buy the first time
• % of clients that need multiple steps
• % that would buy after building rapport
• % that buy from you regardless
By knowing your percentages, you will no longer have doubt, because your conversations will indicate where you are up to with each customer.
The next important tip to remember when going for the close is to never, ever go for the payment before confirming the client’s contact details, and recapping the main reasons why they wanted to buy in the first place.
THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS FOR DOING THIS:
• Reinforce: Reinforce the main reasons why they wanted the product in the first place, bringing this to the front of their mind once more.
• Double-check their contact details: In sales, the more small YES answers you get before you ask for the big YES, the greater your chance of closing.
• Build more rapport: Opportunity to use third-party verification and testimonials to establish more of a need for your product/service.
Now that you have made sure the client details are right, reinforced their main reasons for purchase and built more rapport, it’s time to ask for payment. And when asking for payment, always give the client three options.
1. When clients have one option, they have no option.
2. When they have two options, they have a dilemma.
3. When they have three options, they have choice.
4. When they have four options, they have too many to choose from.
Make sure the product/service you are selling has three options.
Another thing to remember when asking for payment is to make sure both yourself and your client are in peak emotional states. Research has shown that when people are in a high positive emotional state, they tend to buy more.
And finally when you’re asking for payment, you need to ask a question which is designed to encourage their taking action now! The one question that has worked really well for my clients and me has been:
So how would you like to pay for that? With Visa, MasterCard, or Amex?
Take a moment now to think about how you want to structure your questions!
The question is structured in a way that will give the client three options to choose from, and it is also assumptive. We are not asking if they would like to pay for it, we are assuming they are going to pay.
At the time of close, most salespeople think: I’ve made the sale and that’s the end of it.
In fact it’s only the beginning of the relationship.
When a client buys from you, another sale starts. This is your chance to sell the client why they should continue to buy from you, rather than forget all about you, and go somewhere else next time.
These days too much time and money is spent acquiring new customers rather than looking after pre-existing clients.
If you look after and pamper your existing customers, they will turn into raving fans, and your sales will mostly be coming from referrals. So stop spending so much time trying to get new sales, and go and contact the clients who purchased from you before.
Here are some final tips:
• Touch base with them at least once a month
• Remember their birthdays, and send them a card at the very least
• Do not sell them every time you call them; the ratio of sale to contact should be 1:3
• Remember their main values, and particulars of interest (kids, whether they were about to move, and other such personal particulars)
• Get testimonials from them
Anytime you make a sale, you should think of that client as a client for life. Do whatever it takes to go beyond the call of duty to look after this client, and it will pay dividends. It’s the smallest things that make the biggest differences.
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