Having a structured set of selling techniques is an important part of achieving sales success, but not all techniques are equal. There are some techniques that have a proven track record, and which are much more likely to help you close a sale and gain a lifelong customer. Here are five proven and practical selling techniques.
1. Emphasizing Choice
One of the biggest problems you’ll run into when you’re trying to close a sale is the prospective client who tells you that they are unable to make a decision or will make a decision at a later date. The key to closing is having the client make a decision in the present, not the promise of a decision in the future. One of the best selling techniques you can use to confront this problem is a sales pitch that emphasizes the importance of active decision making. Underline why it makes more sense to take immediate action than to wait. Clients are looking for solid reasons why they should take the leap and invest right away.
2. Warm Calls
There are many selling techniques still in wide circulation that are both impractical and have been proven not to work—cold calling is one of them. Warm calling is an alternative selling technique that takes into account the importance of subjective calling. Many people simply aren’t receptive to cold calls, meaning you end up wasting a lot of time and energy in engaging with people who have no interest in your product or service. Warm calls target prospective clients who are more likely to be receptive to your sales call. They include people who have reached out for information, people you’ve met at industry events, and people others have referred to you.
3. Active Listening
Active listening is one of the very best selling techniques a sales person can have in their repertoire. Clients don’t want to receive sales calls where they have to passively listen to you read a prepared script. The best sales are a two-way street; they involve active dialogue, which offers the client the opportunity to express their own needs and gives you the ability to listen. Active listening helps foster trust between a client and the company, and in turn, that trust helps build relationships that can be integral to your business for years. Trust is consistently cited as one of the most important ways of strengthening your business, and active listening can help you develop that trust as the client takes notice of the fact that you’re actively invested in them as individuals, not just as prospective sales.
4. Stories with Contrast
Selling techniques that rely solely on extolling the features and benefits of a particular product or service are less effective than selling techniques that emphasize the contrast between a product and its competitors. Drawing parallels between competing products can help set your company apart from the rest of the pack. Many products or services that are similar have a fair amount of overlap with their competitors in terms of what they can do; when you only describe the features of your individual product, it doesn’t help the customer realize why they should choose yours over someone else’s. Customers like contrast; they like authoritative reasons why your company is the better choice.
5. Using Referrals
Finally, referrals are a great way to draw in new customers. With any clients you currently have, encourage them to submit referrals that you can use in upcoming sales calls. Being able to point to the positive experiences of other clients is a great way of demonstrating the legitimacy of your product or service. People will instinctively feel more comfortable making a purchase if they’ve been given evidence that the product comes highly recommended.
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