There are many young sales people starting out that think they have this whole sales thing down. The beauty about sales is often times when you think that, you are really just at the beginning.
In sales, as in life, there is always more to learn. There are always new strategies to discover and new psychology to try out.
Recently one of my husband’s recruits asked me some questions about selling and how I am able to be so effective with it.
I am happy to share with you the conversation.
Jeremy: You have only been in your current company for three years and you are in the top 1% in the area. There are people that have been there for 8 or more years without the same success. How have you been able to exceed those people in numbers? What makes you stand out and makes you excel faster than them?
Me: First, you need to know you company’s focus. I was fortunate enough to start my position having come from a place where I exceeding selling the one thing that was the company’s main focus. So they hired me right away. They were having trouble leading teams to sell that one thing, and I came from a place where I sold only that thing, so of course I came in and excelled at my goal. Since it was the highest weighted and highest paid metric that enabled me to make money while the company profited.
Now this year, the company’s focus has changed so it is important to be adaptable with where the company’s focus is. Now I will shift to that focus, and make sure that I offer that product 100% of the time to every customer.
Sure, not all customers will get it. But you haven’t missed any opportunities. Odds are you will exceed your goal.
Jeremy: That is interesting, and how do you make that shift?
Me: You make the shift by learning all you can about that product. Since it is the main focus now, I want to spend my time learning about that product. What are it’s benefits to the customer? What are some questions the customer might ask about it? I want to be prepared with confident answers to their questions. The more confident I am, the more they will be put at ease.
It’s a good method to talk about how you know that the product benefits someone else. If you personally have the product or have used it, then you can talk about it and what you liked about it. If you know someone, you can talk about their experience. Or maybe you have had a customer in the past that have said something great about it. Let your current customer know how the product has helped them. It’s called the Jones Effect. A product becomes more valuable the more good reviews it has, the more people who like it, the more it makes other people want to try it out.
Like a product review, you want to be able to have real customer reviews, product knowledge, and paint a clear picture for the customer on how the product will work for them.
Jeremy: That is great, so you need to get to know the product. Maybe that is my problem, I don’t know enough about my product. Sometimes when people ask me about it, I have to say I don’t know and that I will find it out.
Me: The more you can tell the customer the better. But most of the time it is not about what you know about the product, it is how that product is different from other products or other versions of the product. For example, you have two different car warranties. You don’t have to know every single detail about them both, all you have to know is how one differs from the other. No customer is going to ask you to go over every detail of each car warranty. No, they are going to ask you, what are the differences between them? They are already going to do the car warranty, they just need to know how one compares to the other so they can make an educated decision.
Jeremy: I haven’t thought about it that way. That is interesting. But what about when they are considering going with another company, should you know your competitors in other companies too?
Me: Of course you should. How many customers do you get that say well, I will get back to you, I have to go over to this other company to test drive their car. Then I will make a decision and if it’s this car, then I will come back to you?
Jeremy: Wow, maybe like 40% of the people that leave without buying.
Me: Exactly, what if you could tell them, I know someone that has had that other car and their main issue was that …. but this car is better because …. Wouldn’t it be nice to get this 40% back?
Jeremy: Yes, it would.
Me: Of course, there is a way to word this where it doesn’t sound like you are bashing the competitor. But it is called pain points. The most effective kind are the one’s that the customer tells you. For example, I sell a TV service that allows you to record in any room. The customer currently has a service where you can only record on one TV.
Asking questions like “Isn’t that frustrating when you are comfortable in bed and you find a show you want to record for later, so you have to get up, go all the way to the living room and hit record in there?” The customer will agree, yes that is inconvenient. “Wouldn’t it be a lot more convenient if you could just record in the room you’re in?” Again the customer will agree. You just made the customer agree that what they have is inconvenient, and now you offer your service which will take away that inconvenience and give them more value in their TV service.
And again, you don’t have to know everything about your competitors, but you do have to know the differences. You have to know their weak points and differences, and most importantly how those are things that won’t be an issue in your company; how your company will give them more value for their money.
Jeremy: Giving them more value will see my product as better.
Me: Yes, it’s not about which company is better or which product is better, it’s all about the perceived value to the customer. If your customer has no use for TV recording and never uses the feature, then it is not a good thing to talk about. Find out about the customer and what interests them, what they want in a product or service. Knowing your customer is just as important as knowing your product.
Once you know your customer, it will be easy to fit the benefits of your product to the customer and their needs.
Jeremy: That is very insightful and I already have some ideas on how to implement some of those strategies at my job.
Me: Glad I can help!
If you like these sales strategies and would like more inspiration and motivation delivered to you inbox, check out my newsletter.