June 21, 2017

“I have always said that everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.” – Zig Ziglar

Truer words have never been spoken. You might not think of yourself as a salesperson, but, like the quote above suggests, you are. We often describe people as a ‘born salesperson’, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s a skill you can learn. Closing the sale is a vitally important step if you want to succeed in today’s competitive market. Improving your sales processes is the first step towards increasing your productivity and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Before you start conjuring up images of having to learn a bunch of slick, slimy sales tricks, remember that you don’t have to become something you are not in order to sell and improve your bottom line. Be yourself. Sincerity sells.

Equally important is the art of listening. You need to step into your customer’s shoes and view things from their perspective. If you’re so busy talking about what you have to offer, you might miss hearing what the client needs. Elicit that by listening carefully to what they have to say.

When you are ready to speak – or should we say persuade? – address the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?). Make sure you understand the difference between features, benefits and advantages.

  • A feature is a fact about your product or service.
  • An advantage is what is good about it.
  • A benefit is what it offers, or does, for the client. (Another way of describing a benefit is that it provides the solution to a problem. It is the perceived value.)

Take a dentist’s office that is open on weekends, for example. The feature is being open on weekends, the advantage is people can have an appointment during their free time, and the benefit is they don’t need to take time off work. The client connects the most to the latter so start by talking about benefits, then move on to advantages and cover features last. Provide them with a solution to their problem.

In other words, consider the value to the client. That’s what you are selling.

In his book, The Secret of Selling Anything, Harry Browne wrote: “It is not how long you work at some task that determines what you’ll receive for it in exchange. It is the value someone else places upon the product or service that determines what it is worth in exchange.”

He went on to say: “So the price of your service is going to depend upon one factor alone – the value others place upon it.”

If you struggle to articulate the value of your product or service to your customers, take a look at our Values Based Selling coaching service. Together we’ll review your current selling systems and look at ways to improve them. We’ll also help you to create and implement an ongoing Sales Action Plan.

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