The thought of selling a product or service can be very daunting to many people. Eric Alston starts a series of short articles to dispel that fear and provide a framework in which a virtual assistant can develop a sales technique which is both comfortable to the user and promises a high level of success.
Salesmen and women are not born to the job but can be trained for it in the same way as any other career. Successful SELLING depends on a limited number of clearly identifiable tasks being carried out in a logical order:-
1. Finding potential customers
2. Getting THEM to TALK to you
3. Getting THEM to REVEAL THEIR NEEDS
4. Producing attractive SOLUTIONS to THEIR PROBLEMS and NEEDS
5. Being able to CLINCH THE DEAL
6. Producing ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS
IT IS A “STANDARD” SITUATION CALLING FOR “STANDARD” PROCEDURES
All that is required of you is that you:-
(a) Are in dialogue with the customer
(b) Ask relevant questions so that the customer can reveal their needs
(c) Summarise the customer’s needs and get agreement that these are correct
(d) Use relevant SELLING STATEMENTS to link the customer’s needs to the BENEFITS of the product
(e) Summarise the benefits showing how they meet the customer’s needs
(f) Ask for the ORDER (not always easy, even for the most experienced salesperson!)
(g) Learn a technique to overcome objections politely without conflict
NOTHING MORE IS REQUIRED IT WORKS IN ANY SELLING SITUATION
THE SECRET LIES IN LEARNING THE STANDARD PROCEDURES AND ALWAYS USING THEM!
The first two procedures will be covered in the next instalment but before then it is worth considering why people buy things.
People BUY things for exactly the same reason they DO things; because they are MOTIVATED by one or more of the Basic Motivating Factors which affect human behaviour
PROFIT –the desire for gain
FEAR -the desire for security
PLEASURE -the desire for enjoyment
PRIDE -the desire for ego satisfaction
LEISURE -the desire to have life made easier
LOVE -concern for others and the desire to please
Everything human beings do by choice is done for one or more of these reasons; one of these “MOTIVATING FACTORS”
Everything people buy is bought for one or more of these reasons; in selling they are called “BUYING MOTIVES”
It is pure logic that the more MOTIVATING FACTORS to which a sales proposition appeals, the stronger and more persuasive it becomes.
A product which produces PROFIT, removes FEAR and creates SECURITY, gives PLEASURE and PRIDE and makes for increased LEISURE is a highly saleable product indeed.
Over the next few weeks we will explore how analysing our product offering in terms of its benefits and buying motives can increase the chances of making a successful sale!
Eric Alston is a former head of European sales for a major international chemical company.