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 sales skill 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.
In The Field:
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 Sales Training 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. "
Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based sales training company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.
In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling Sales Training while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.
Contact The Sales Board for more sales information or sales training that's been documented and research-proven to help you sell more! 1-800-232-3485