People who say they aren’t in sales crack me up. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is in sales. Leaders are selling team members on the idea of following them. Pastors are selling congregants on the concepts of the Bible. Parents are selling children on the idea of cleaning their room or…they will start counting, and then look out!
While most people don’t rely on their sales ability to put food on the table, (I mean really, how much money comes from threatening your child?) a great number of people do. In fact, every day they start off with a clean slate and think, What can I do today to get money in the door? Many of these folks have never actually been taught how to sell. They were given the opportunity and took off.
Unfortunately, you’re probably really familiar with this type of salesperson. They have a tendency to be pushy or come across as rude. And when you don’t give them your hard-earned money, they appear to be mad at you – as if you are the reason they are failing. I don’t understand this attitude. Don’t be mad at me if you did a bad job.
There are many reasons salespeople fail. Jumping right into a sales pitch, going straight to closing or, even worse, prejudging a person on appearance are good examples. Luckily, all these failures can be avoided if you follow a simple four-step process:
- Qualification – You have to start your process by discovery. Is the person actually able to purchase the product you’re selling? Do they have the money? Do they have the time to spend in your sales process? And ultimately, do they have the power to make the decision?
- Rapport – A good salesperson finds common ground with a prospect as soon as possible by asking lots and lots of questions. A bad salesperson will try to discuss a prospect’s interests, even though they know nothing about them. This only gets the salesperson in trouble. The prospect will see through their lack of knowledge and the attempt to “win” them over.
- Education – After you have walked through the first two steps, then go to the education phase. (Poor salespeople tend to jump here first.) Now, teach them about the product instead of “selling” them. But, as I wrote about in So You Seriously Don’t Know, you must be well informed about your product. There shouldn’t be any question they have that you can’t answer.
- Close – This step is the easiest part of the sale – more of a gentle push than anything. If you’re here and nervous, something’s wrong. Quickly go back over the steps. Otherwise, assume they are ready and present them with the options. Would you like: color, size, quantity, etc.?
Follow these steps and the sale will be yours. Remember, if you get to the close and they don’t buy, you’ve misstepped. Start over. Perseverance will win the day.
Question: What processes do you have in making a sale?
- So You Seriously Don’t Know (ChrisLoCurto.com)