There is a real art to selling, as any salesperson probably knows. You walk a fine line between alienating the customer and making them feel comfortable. Sales is not something you can pick up right away; it takes time and practice to perfect the art of closing a deal. Developing a solid and proven technique is a big part of learning how to sell efficiently. Here are five selling techniques every salesperson should master.
1. Active Listening
One of the reasons that prospective clients are so wary of salespeople is because they anticipate a pushy demeanor and pressure to purchase a client. Setting out with a clear agenda and not interacting with the client beyond a fixed aim is a mistake; it won’t win you sales and it definitely won’t win you fans. More effective selling techniques involve active listening— allowing for a dialogue with the customer that isn’t just a one-sided conversation. Listening to their concerns, questions, and hesitations will help you respond to them better, and will help the prospective client trust you more as well. People who trust you are much more likely to make a purchase with you.
2. Warm Calls
Relying on cold calls is an ineffective sales technique; they irritate potential clients and are often screened anyway. Shifting to a warm calling is a much better—and more efficient—way of handling selling. Warm calls involve calling prospective clients who have been chosen for their potential to be receptive to your sales pitch. This includes “warming up” leads through things like social media outreach and prior research of the client. Warm calling leads to much higher success rates, since it does away with the scatter shot approach to selling, which is often just a waste of your time.
3. Features & Benefits
This one may seem obvious, but it’s not always efficiently carried out by the salesperson. While it’s important to go over the practical functions of a product or service, simply describing the service or product and its various functions isn’t enough to convince someone to make a purchase. The prospective client doesn’t just need to know how it works, they need to understand why they should care. Emphasizing the features and benefits of the product, and the ways it can prove valuable to the potential client, is a classic and effective selling technique that is continually reiterated because it works.
4. Needs & Solutions
People like practical reasons why they should invest in a product or service, and they’re more likely to listen to a sales pitch if it offers an effective solution. This sales technique works best with the technique of active listening; it’s important to listen to the client to get a sense of how the product could benefit them, and then tailor your pitch to that individual or company. The sense that the sales pitch has been personalized will make feel the client more comfortable trusting and listening to the salesperson, because they feel like they’re learning about a solution that will work for them, not just you.
5. Social Selling
Huge pools of potential clients are easily accessible through online social networking, and when you discourage the use of social media as a selling technique, you limit the scope of your salespeople and are potentially standing in the way of future sales. Social media and online connectivity are huge parts of modern communication, and it’s important to adapt to this way of doing business. Actively encourage salespeople to reach out to potential clients and foster leads through social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter; you’re sales numbers will thank you.
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