What is the reality of selling? The way you do the things you do.
Jeffrey, what’s the easiest way to make a sale? Jeffrey, what’s the best way to make a sale? Jeffrey, what’s the fastest way to make a sale?
Same answer — there is none. There is no easy, best, fast way to make a sale. There are a million ways to make a sale — but it’s not with a method or system — there are elements that get you there.
Here are 13.5 strategies and principles (elements) that will help you get to the substitute for an easy, best, fast way to make a sale — a way to earn the sale.
1. As in life, you start with a philosophy. Mine is…I give value first, I help other people, I do my best at what I love to do, I establish long term relationships with everyone, and I have fun (and I do that every day). What’s yours? Do you have one? Your core philosophy is what drives you into the sale, and leads the prospect to an understanding of why you’re there.
2. The most important word in selling is you. Prospects don’t buy products and services first — they buy salespeople The first sale that’s made is “YOU.” Are they buying you?
3. Know “why you’re selling” — know your own why first. Your “why” supports and strengthens your belief system. When “why” is clear, everything is clear. NOTE: Your real why may be 3 or 4 “why’s” deep. Why are you in sales? — “I’m in sales to make more money.” Why? — “I need more money to support my family.” (closer) Why? — “Two of my kids start college in the next two years, and I want them to be able to choose a school based on quality of education not price of education. (Aha! — the real “why”) Before you can affect others, you must get real with yourself. Do you know your real why?
4. The sale is in your head. The mindset by which you approach the sale will determine it’s outcome more than any other element of the selling process. Do you think “yes”?
5. Develop a belief system that can’t be penetrated. Believe in your company, your product and yourself, or you won’t sell. Do you believe in you?
6. Develop a selfish attitude about being the best. Know who the most important person in the world is — you. Unless you’re the best you can be for yourself — You’ll never be the best you can be to serve others. Don’t cheer for athletes — cheer for yourself. You deserve it. Are you always striving to be your best?
7. Be your own Santa Claus. Provide your own gifts and toys. Give yourself whatever you want. Most of us don’t get what we want for Christmas unless we tell someone what we want — or if you’re like me — go buy it yourself. For me, everyday is Christmas — know why? I deserve it. What gifts have you given yourself?
8. Know “what you sell” in terms of the customer — not in terms of you. People don’t care what you do, unless they perceive it helps them. The way you explain your business and product determines the buying interest you create — say it in terms of the prospect not your company. Are you selling, or are they buying?
9. Sell it as if you were selling it to your own son or daughter. Give advice with it, help learn it, and the advantages of using it. Protect them. Who are you selling to?
10. Know your competitive advantages — learn them from your customers. The definition of competitive advantage is — something that’s extremely important to your customers at which you excel (competitive advantage has nothing to do with the competition). Do you know your competitive advantages?
11. People buy for their reasons not yours. Find out theirs first. Establishing their “why” is the basis of determining their true need(s). When you’re presenting, is more that 50% about them?
12. Ask the wrong questions — get the wrong answers. The way you question will determine the way you sell. Refine yours every week, until their power is evident by the increase in your sales. Any questions?
13. Develop and ask questions that make the prospect think about themselves and answer in terms of you. Make them evaluate new information. Get them to give you answers in the form information about themselves in terms of your product or service. What questions are you asking?
13.5 Transition from a salesperson to a resource. Become valuable. The more value you bring, the higher you’ll go. To become valuable — you must give value first — make the prospect perceive greater value than price, quality and service. If two people offer the same product at the same price, and give the same service — the one with the greater perceived value wins. How much value to you bring to your prospects and customers?
Selling is a never-ending learning process. There is no one-way-to-sell. If you seek to master the science of selling, you must master the elements one-by-one. Learn one a day and in five years you will be the master of more than 1,000 elements — and still take weekends off.
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Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org