For many, selling has a bad rep. The word ‘salesperson’ automatically brings up thoughts of the sleazy car salesman selling a vehicle for much more than it’s worth, or the telemarketer interrupting dinner to sell the next line of luxury kitchenware.
Not long after the Internet became accessible to the public, consumers became more and more empowered and educated about the products and services they were exposed to. The old school way of selling reasonably has become less effective.
Today, the approach of sales has evolved from “slimy selling” to communicating a solution that a customer needs. Without effective sales communication, businesses simply can’t survive in the digital era today. The good news is, it’s an indispensable skill that can be learned.
You know that you’re leading a modern sales team if you can understand and drill down the following key techniques.
Believe What You’re Selling
Above all, a good salesperson believes their message. Not only do they believe in the product and service that they’re selling, they themselves would buy into it as a customer, because they genuinely believe it can help people in a meaningful way. If you don’t believe what you’re selling, your potential customers won’t either. The sales pitches won’t resonate, no matter how meticulously performed they are.
The best sales interactions are a conversation between two people where one is communicating with the other about a solution they need. Think of the last time you recommended a service or product to a friend. You likely listened to their problem and offered something that has worked for you.
Ultimately, what this means for businesses is that they need an offer that is of value to truly stand out in their space. You want to be unique while still being able to speak to the needs of your prospects.
During sales interactions, it’s easy to let adrenaline get the best of you. You might end up talking too fast, too much, or not getting to the point quick enough. A good salesperson can find the balance between communicating the strengths and benefits of their offer while being careful not to brag too much about the product or service.
The best way to approach a sale is to breathe and keep your body language confident yet relaxed. Slow down your pacing... and ask questions. (This leads us to the next point…)
Listen To Your Prospects
Think of the sleazy salesman concept. They’re usually fast-talking, dramatic, and insistent. Effective sales communication is less about “selling” your offer and more about cultivating a relationship between you and a prospect. The only way to do this is through conversations that builds trust. Talk less, listen, and ask questions that will help your prospect close the deal themselves.
- "Tell me more about your current situation..."
- "What's not working for you right now?”
- "What happens if you don't find a solution to this problem?"
- "And what is that going to cost you?”
Help your prospect articulate their problem and come to the realization of the cost, and risk they’re taking by not buying your offer.
Position Yourself As A Thought Leader
While it’s important to foster a relationship with your customers, building trust with someone you just met is difficult. It’s even tougher to try to sell someone who has never heard of your company before.
Usually, when your prospect has moved up the sales ladder to the stage where they’re speaking to a salesperson on your team, they’ve interacted with your company several different ways. This can be through your company’s website, social media content, blogs, or an email subscription.
This highlights the importance of content marketing as a way to build the know, like, and trust factor with your audience to the point where they are interested in buying from you. Using your content to help educate your audience positions you as a knowledgeable thought leader in your industry, making you a trustworthy competitor.
Focus On Serving
The reality is, highlighting the features of your product or service don’t help as much as you think. Oftentimes, there are other competitors in your niche who are offering a version of the same thing. What your prospects really want to know is how it can help them solve a problem. When you’re developing your sales techniques, some good questions to ask are:
- How are you helping your customers face the challenges or pain points they’re experiencing?
- How is your offer aligned with their needs?
- How can you make their life a little easier?
At the end of the day, a successful company is one that is able to show up and serve their customers.
Humanize Your Efforts
When it comes to sales, it’s tempting to only think of the bottom line and bring in as much revenue as possible for the business. However, only thinking of profits becomes counter-intuitive. Prospects are more likely to become loyal customers to a company that treats them like a person and not just a number on their sales list.
Humanizing your efforts means finding your voice as a brand, telling your story, and creating engagement that stands out against your competitors. When you can effectively make your customers feel empowered to make the right decision, “selling” becomes a natural process.