Some of us just aren't into selling. It makes us feel weird, icky and kind of slimy. But this skill is essential to the sustainability and growth of your business. At the end of the day, you've got to figure out an approach that works for you.
And the reality is…we are already selling all the time! We sell ourselves on what we want to eat for dinner based on price, health, and convenience. We sell our friends on an activity to do and our partner on what date to go on.
Here are five ways to reshape how you see sales.
Solve a problem for your client
As humans, we are motivated by our ability to make an impact or to help someone else. The first step is to really believe that you and your product or service can really help others. Once you really nail down this belief you can start to look at sales as letting others know that you can help them and remember that we aren’t even sure if we can help them when we first call. We should stay away from opening the conversation with pushing our product at the potential client because we really don’t know if they want it yet. Imagine if you went to a car dealership and the salesman was trying to sell you on the latest sports car when you are looking for a minivan…not going to work!
Often, we are unsure of the exact problem that the potential client has because we have done a bit of research on them and made assumptions on how we think we can help. For example, we check out someone’s Facebook profile and see that she is into fast cars. When she comes to the dealership we automatically think we should sell her a sports car, which is not always the case. We all have friends who like sports cars and don’t drive them!
By really trying to understand how we can help we aren’t selling… we are helping. One of the keys to truly understanding your customers problem is to listen, which brings us to our next point.
Listen to your client
Listening is extremely important, but many people try to get away with “listening.” They agree with the potential client and maintain their own list of points that they must ramble off before the meeting is over.
If this is you, you aren’t listening yet.
We should be trying to get to what the real problem is and be humble enough to know that we really don’t know what the client’s problem is unless we listen. As entrepreneurs, we can adjust our offering to fit the need of the customer, but we need to know how to adjust it by listening.
Give your client a freebie so they have a preview of what you provide
Often when people feel like slimy salespeople, they feel like they are being too pushy. One way to get around this is to let your product speak for itself.
Just make sure you don’t give everything for free because you won’t have a business.
Another option is to conduct demos of you or someone else using your product for them to see what it is like. For services, you may want to have a free consultation instead.
Tell a story to demonstrate the value of your service - instead of saying buy my…
One of the most common problems with entrepreneurs and selling their product or service is that they are selling their product or service… not their story.
Story telling provides a completely different environment around the sale because we share stories with our friends. Telling stories really makes everyone feel more comfortable and enjoy the conversation more.
Additionally, people can connect with a story better than a brand-new product or service. Imagine someone showing you something for the first time (you don’t even really understand it yet) and them telling you that you should buy it. Or listening to someone tell a story about how it has helped them or someone they know that you can relate to. It is a game changer!
Build relationships with your clients
This one seems simple, but it is crucial. Think about this: who would you buy a pencil from your best friend or a stranger? This one comes naturally if you have a solid grasp on solving a problem for the customer. If you truly care about helping, the client will feel it and you will start building a relationship.
Remember whoever you are talking to, they are people. They have the same emotions and desires we do. The goal is not to sell business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), it is to sell human-to-human (H2H)!
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