I talk to great salespeople regularly. It is not rocket science to see the difference between a seasoned pro and a useless flop. Here are some things that I noticed that the really successful salespeople do.
(1) Pay attention to detail.
If you are selling a complicated product or service, such as software outsourcing — you need to be good about details. Lousy second rate salespeople typically give a lot of misinformation and just try to close the sale no matter what. Those are mediocre salespeople, and respectable salespeople do not talk out of their hat. I just got off the phone with one of the best technical salespeople I have ever met. He took copious notes about what we had talked about. He emailed me after our conversation and reiterated every single important point that we had discussed. I was very impressed.
(2) Get back to people.
If you don’t get back to a prospect, no matter how good a talker you are, you will lose them. You would be amazed at how neglegent many salespeople are these days! It pays to get back to people periodically who are “on the fence” about their decision to buy from your company. Just the fact that you are “in their face” by politely contacting them at strategically appointed intervals makes more difference than you can believe! Strategic intervals are part of my company’s marketing campaign, and I make a study out of it.
(3) Be a good listener?
Girls in America always say that they want a guy who listens. Well, prospective clients do too! Think of your prospects as girls. They want tender loving care, and a shoulder to cry on. Listen to them, and understand not only what they NEED, or what you want to sell, but, how they FEEL. If you care about them — they will be much more likely to buy from you. I have a great story about a programming house in Colorado. The boss had been through similar experiences that I had. When I told him about some difficult experiences I had had with programmers — he told me about a similar problem he had had a year ago. He basically identified with how I felt — an amazing psychological button to press! Study the art of psychological button pressing. You won’t regret it.
(4) Identify the prospect’s needs, and issues.
Sometimes, the client might want a product, but doesn’t realize why they need that product, or another similar product. A good salesperson can correctly identify what the prospective client needs. A stupid salesperson just tries to cram his product down the unwilling propect’s throad and convince the client that he needs it no matter what. Once the good salesperson knows what the prospect needs, he can inform the prospect which product best meets his needs.
(5) Use fear to motivate prospects to purchase your product – but, don’t over do it!
A smart salesperson can tell the prospect of the DANGERS of picking the wrong product. Fear sells well, just as long as you don’t over do it. If you pressed the right button in a prospect, you only have to touch upon it lightly to MOTIVATE them to purchase the product you want them to. A dishonest salesperson will use this technique unethically to motivate a client to purchase from them — and this type of move will seem very blatantly phony to clients and can LOSE you a sale! Don’t be a phony — be a pro!
(6) Get to know your propects a little.
In India, business people are so uptight, and want to keep business strictly business and talk about percentages, and formal statistics. Many of them are very impersonal which is why they get mostly low-level work if any work. Smart salespeople know how to be personal. People want to buy from someone who they feel comfortable with, and feel close to a little bit. The more someone knows you, the closer they feel. In America, selling to people who know you is called WARM MARKET SALES which is supposedly five times easier than cold market sales. Your skill as a salesperson is warming the market up by warming the prospective buyers up. Get to know them and chat them up BEFORE you try to talk about sales and money! If you don’t know how to talk to strangers, become an expert at this, because you will NOT make money in sales if you can’t learn to be an expert at conversation.
(7) Know your product inside out
If you know your industry and your product well, people will think that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable. Nothing sells better than credibility. If you always speak the truth, people will trust you more, and you will sell more. Foolish salespeople are often liars, and people can sense that they are liars right away. Do you want to buy anything from a crooked liar? Me neither. Just because so many other salespeople are liars, doesn’t mean you should be. Be honest and smart — impress your prospects, and make the sale. Many salespeople know almost nothing about their company. They do not know much about similar products. You can ask questions, but they will give you shallow answers. This tells you that they didn’t do their homework, and are NOT a good source of knowledge. The more you know — the more you can communicate to others. Being a good salesman is more than just about sales — it is about how well you can INFORM others about the ATTRIBUTES of comparable products and which attributes might be best for them. If you are HELPFUL, people might buy from you even if your product is NOT their absolute favorite. You would be surprised.
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