1. Self-Conviction as a Prerequisite for Sales Talks
You can only sell your own value well if you are aware of this value and stand by it. This applies not only to people, but also to companies, services, and products. In the sales conversation this conviction is essential and indispensable for sales success. If you are enthusiastic about your product or service, you will most likely be able to inspire other people as well. Therefore, it is first and foremost important that you know the offered product or service like the back of your hand. This enables a precise, professional, and convincing communication of the USP, the benefits and advantages of your service. In addition, you make sure that you thereby have an answer to every question of your counterpart and are well informed and prepared. This confident appearance in combination with an enormous fascination for your product or service will certainly bring you one step closer to your goal – the successful conclusion of a sale.
2. Efficiency in the Sales Process through Customer Selection
Invest your energy in prospects that match your profile of the “ideal customer”. By doing so you will achieve better sales results with less wasted effort. To ensure the best possible selection of prospects and to optimize your sales process in terms of efficiency, you can create lists of qualified prospects and track and analyze their activities. The main focus should be on people you have reason to believe will most likely make a purchase within a time frame appropriate to your sales cycle. The list created can contain information about the person you are talking to, the type of conversation, the resulting findings, and the time you will be contacting the prospect again. This will reveal patterns in terms of industries and decision-makers that are an attractive low hanging fruit in terms of potential sales closure.
These measures will lead to the ability to productively focus attention on the right people and use a more passive sales tactic for those prospects who show no sign of progress in the sales cycle. Thus, nothing stands in the way of intensive research and identification of the challenges and needs of qualified customers and subsequent professional sales talk preparation.
3. Leading the Sales Talk by Means of Questions
The goal of a top sales performer is of course the successful conclusion of a sale. To achieve this, however, he must enter dialogue with customers for the first time and conduct sales talks professionally and unerringly. By asking relevant questions, one can gain important information about the customer. To do this, the questions you ask should cover three dimensions – the past, the present and the future. Past oriented questions focus on the customer’s previous experiences. By asking questions about the current situation you can identify current challenges as well as limitations of the dialogue partner. Of course, future-oriented questions are of highest relevance, as they enable the recognition of the customer’s wishes, goals but also fears. In addition, you can use them to determine what exactly is important to your prospective customers when making purchasing decisions and which factors play a decisive role for them in the cost-benefit analysis.
Closed questions or alternative questions lead to many small partial decisions that are important for the customer’s purchase decision and thus promote the achievement of the sales talk’s objectives. Such a consent funnel works in the following way: The salesperson repeatedly asks the customer to make partial decisions. In this way, possible objections are recognized early on and not just on the home stretch. In the end it is easy for the customer to purchase the product or service and the goal of the sales talk is effectively achieved!
4. From Storytelling to Product Selling
Most sales teams are so enthusiastic about their new products and services in the initial phase that they focus on small details of their product’s features and functions during the sales talk – convinced that this is what potential customers are interested in. This is a common beginner’s mistake, as customers in the early stages of the sales cycle are not necessarily interested in the company or its products, but rather in whether and how they can be helped to solve their problems. Nobody wants to feel that something is being sold to them. Rather, they want to feel understood as customers. Therefore, it is the task of the salesperson to identify the pain point of the prospective customer and to focus on it during the sales talk.
The best sales tactic for this is called storytelling. This entertaining and captivating method of communication enables the listeners to visualize certain scenarios and the associated possible catapulting into another world. Artistically design a story that deals with a problem in the industry that affects your counterpart and captivate your interlocutor with an elegant solution for his pain point. Only when the customer has swallowed the bait can the products or services be presented in detail and the hook be set. Of course, the better the story, the more successful the catch.
5. Humor as a Lubricant in Sales Talks
When one customer appointment chases the next, the daily routine of a salesperson can become very stressful. Especially when the working day is tightly scheduled, there is often little or no preparation for the customer. In addition, there are times when one is demotivated and appears to be rather late for a sales appointment. Attention! This does not remain hidden from the prospective customer and of course has a negative effect on his emotional closeness to the company and the services it offers, and ultimately on his willingness to buy. It is therefore not only important to put yourself in a positive mood before every customer appointment, but also to break the ice by using humor and funny stories. True to the motto “Be funny – Make more money!”, the use of humor in the sales environment has a positive effect on the way sales talks between interested parties and company representatives are conducted. A witty sales joke also creates a pleasant atmosphere, allows gaps in the conversation to be bridged and can serve as a springboard for further sales talks. The result: a funny business with a real end result. Knowing how to use humor tactfully in sales is therefore a fantastic skill that every salesperson must learn. After all, laughter is the shortest distance between two people – and that makes humor essential in sales!
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