You Want Me To Sell !
When I was contemplating getting involved in selling, this was the the first question I asked myself.
Do I have any Selling Ability!
Can I sell!
This was a very important question for me.
For the previous 19 years I had been working as a Civil Aviation Contracts Officer for the Australian Government.Just the thought of getting into selling was scary, very scary, especially with a new wife and a second child on the way. I had always thought I was on the better side of the selling process when I was doing the buying. But life does not always put you on the easy path.
Not only was I getting into selling, it was a commission only position.So, I took a hard look at the process I used when I was buying.I wanted to find out if I had enough selling ability, to be able to convince a customer to buy.....from me. At the same time I had to be sure I could create an income for my family.
My sales manager at the time explained selling is.
"Just telling somebody about something you like,
and showing them how to get it".
We do this in our everyday life. Like last night we wanted to go to the movies, there were 10 to choose from. So the process I took was to go online and see what movies were playing. I read the synopsis, watched a couple of previews. Armed with this information I convinced Michelle, that I didn't want a horror movie, a cartoon movie just a plain old happy romance movie.(Product knowledge) got her agreement, (verbally) went and watched the movie. This process happens in our lives several times every day. Going to a market and bartering for a product. The process is always the same.
So lets just look at some of the many things a salesman must understand:
1. Know exactly what the Customer wants.
There are so many options out there when we go to buy anything, ( 10 movies) I had to figure out the specific item the customer wants. When it came to me selling something, my first challenge was this communication with the buyer. Find out exactly what he needs/wants. We'll talk another time about the difference between needs and wants. For now we'll just call it wants.
There is no point in having a great sales patter, all the technical knowledge in the world, if you are trying to sell something the customer doesn't really want.
You've had sales people like that, they just like to hear their own voice and don't listen to you.
Telemarketing people are like this, they do not listen to what you have to say. They just keep reading the script.......then I hang up.
Don't be that sort of a sales person.
Find out what your customer really wants.
Ask Questions and Listen without your own agenda.
Keep asking until you understand the customer's wants, and you fully understand the outcomes they want, don't try and sell.
To make sure, have the customer confirm what they want, either verbally or in writing. This is the fun part of selling. In the process of asking questions you will find out heaps about your customer. This results in building customer relationships that may continue for years to come. Make this enjoyable.
The worst thing you can do is assume what they want. This will result in a lost sale, a waste of your time and the customers, and no income for you.
2. Determine if the customer has the funds to make the purchase
Recently we approached the ticket counter at our local theater, immediately we were asked if we wanted VIP seats right up front, extra charge of course. Firstly, we don't like sitting with our necks bent back looking up at a huge screen and secondly we only brought into the Theater enough cash to buy the normal tickets. We weren't going back out to the car, in the rain, to get a few extra dollars. Maybe the theater should have asked what sort of seats we prefer. The theater did not make that upgrade sale. And nobody sat in those seats for this showing of the movie.
Many customers however do get carried away with all the possibilities of what they can purchase. As a salesman, you can also get carried away with all the options you have to offer and you can lead the customer up the wrong path. Again, both you and the customer must agree on exactly what is wanted. Remember from point 1 above, Asking questions is a huge part of the sales process. The few extra dollars that the shinier item may cost, and the opportunity for you to make a higher commission, can push the customer beyond their budget and the sale is lost.
3. Know what you are offering your potential customer? (Product Knowledge.)
You must know your product or service, inside out, backwards and forwards. There is no excuse to be ignorant about the product or service you are providing. With the internet available, you must assume the customer has already checked out what they want online. I did before I spoke to Michelle about which movie I wanted to see. When you are talking with your customers, asking questions, going through the whole sales process, the first time you know less about your product than the customer. You lose! You must know more than your customer. That is one way your customer will gain confidence in you and your ability to help them. Goes along way into getting the sale.
4. Ask for the Order
This may seem an unlikely point to make here. However, many salespeople wait for the customer to buy. They may be waiting a longt time.
Provided you have completed the 3 points above,
1. you both know what is wanted,
2. there is money available for the purchase and
3. the product is exactly what the customer is looking for,
all that remains is where and when is the delivery to be made. This is asking for the order.If you leave out any of the steps 1, 2 or 3, the customer will have many more questions that should have been answered in those steps. This will prolong the sales appointment with the possibility you will lose the sale.
As to whether I had the required selling ability, the above 4 factors helped me to decide my future in selling. As I said earlier there are many other factors that I have learned over the years as I became a salesperson.
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~ Rob & Michelle
” If it doesn’t challenge you,
it won’t change you”