In any major sale, a prospect makes a predictable series of buying decisions that lead up to the final purchasing decision. The first and most important of these is: “Do I ‘buy’ the salesperson?” This decision is always made before the prospect will seriously consider other factors such as product features or price.
Most salespeople devote the majority of their selling time to “pitching” their products or services. Here’s the problem: Whether prospects realize it or not, the first thing they decide is whether they like and trust you. If you bury your prospect beneath a mountain of product features, while they are making the salesperson decision, you’re probably in deep trouble.
If prospects make the salesperson decision while you’re droning on about product features, their answer will be “No!”
When prospects like and trust you, everything else about the sales process becomes much easier. So how can you sell yourself better? Here are a few ideas:
Demonstrate your interest. Quit trying so hard to be interesting. Be interested instead. Ask questions to learn about the prospect. Don’t talk too much about yourself.
Show that you understand. People have a strong need to feel understood. Ask questions, listen and make sure you understand your prospect’s needs. Restate the prospect’s needs so they know you understand.
Use an organized procedure for sales calls. Action Selling’s step-by-step procedure keeps you on track and helps you appear methodical, thorough and professional. Your professional approach will sell you.
Prospects ‘buy’ the salesperson during every sales call – or they don’t. The other buying decisions the prospect makes are far more likely to go in your favor when you are effective at selling yourself.
Action Selling In Action
Equity Corporate Housing of Chicago, a division of the largest owner of apartments in the United States, trained and certified their sales groups and executive team on the Action Selling™ process in 2002. Outstanding results followed, beginning with a 13.5% increase in apartment rentals in the first six months after the training.
But why did Equity choose Action Selling and The Sales Board in the first place? Because Equity’s regional sales manager first ‘bought’ the salesperson. “The Sales Board training consultant we worked with was outstanding,” she said. “He asked all the right questions and was flexible with what he had to offer. We trusted him and he was honest with us. His knowledge and understanding of our situation was a major reason why we chose Action Selling. He used Action Selling.”
ABOUT DUANE SPARKS
Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).