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Author Topic: 10 Steps To Make A Sale  (Read 2571 times)

Stephen66515

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10 Steps To Make A Sale
« on: September 08, 2011, 12:40:56 AM »
I have been meaning to put pen to paper with this for awhile now, just never got around to it!

Anyway, below is a few tips that will help you sell your products (be it at work, or something you have coded...it really doesn't matter what the product is, or who the client is, it generally works...)


1. Introduce YOURSELF BEFORE The Product

The first thing a client wants to know, is who is trying to sell them something, and this is the moment when you need to be the most awake.  All sales happen, within the first 30 seconds of the pitch

Its often said, that a prospective client buys YOU, not the product.  This is more true than you would believe!  Have you ever bought anything of any importance off someone who is miserable, downtrodden, and just honestly couldn't give a crap if you bought and/or used the product, because they don't BELIEVE in it?

This is why you must introduce yourself, in a friendly fashion.  Create a rapport with your client from the moment they say hello, they need to be your best friend by the time you tell them why you have called, otherwise you can kiss that sale goodbye.

2. Believe

Believing in the thing you are selling, is the most important weapon in your arsenal.  If a client can tell you don't believe in it, they are not going to buy it...simple.

3. Don't Rush

Once you have introduced yourself, and you have told them why you are talking to them, you will have a rough idea if they are interested (This is usually judged by if you are still speaking to them or not, but theres other ways to tell!).  If they are still listening to you, you have done well, however, you want the customer to ask questions, and become excited about the prospect of owning whatever your selling!  They really need to buy YOU, and sell the product to THEMSELVES!

4. Don't use stupid techniques

Honestly...A customer can tell when your trying to hypnotize them...it's not worth the law-suit that follows.  In all seriousness though, theres a lot of sales techniques that people will try to 'sell' you, but most of them are complete garbage, and are not worth the paper they are written on.  Just be yourself, trust your instincts, and be confident.

Also, unless you DO own/use 'one of these', don't tell the customer you do...everybody is sick of hearing the Telesales guy say "I've actually got 3 of these myself, and I even bought 1 for my wife, and 2 for my children they are that good"...We all know its a total lie, and it's annoying.

5. Don't try to close too quickly

Trying to close a deal at the wrong point, can literally tear apart any chance of making said sale.  You need to induce urgency into the deal, without adding any desperation!  Make them realize that they are getting a great deal if they buy NOW, but don't come accross too desperate with it.  On the same note, you don't want to come across like you couldn't care less if they bought it or not.  Trust me...this is easier than it sounds, and we will get to that a little later.

6. Answer All Questions HONESTLY

No matter what the customer asks you, tell them the absolute truth.  The last thing you need, is to mis-sell a product, and later be reprimanded for it.

Your client will realize you are being completely transparent and in turn, ask more questions focused on the actual product.

If you don't know the answer to something...Tell Them!...There is no point lying about it, or trying to avoid the subject.  You can always offer to find out and let them know at a later date, or if possible, offer to call somebody to find out the answer.

7. Starting To Close The Deal

If you have made it this far into your pitch, theres a high chance that the customer actually wants the product.  Try to avoid asking them if they can afford the product, because thats not too important right now.  The reason I say its not too important at this stage, is because, if they want the product badly enough, they will locate the funding to purchase it.

It is at this point that you want to start asking things like "How would you feel about owning one of these" or "Its a wonderful deal isn't it!"

If they respond positively to either of the above statements, chances are, they will buy your product...but don't get carried away just yet...you can still lose them.

8. Add more urgency

Without lying, you need to induce some sort of urgency into the deal.  If you can offer some price discount, or add any other products "if they buy today", this is usually a great thing to do.  Make sure you don't offer them earlier on in the conversation otherwise they will try get as much as possible out of you.

An other way to induce urgency is to explain that you only have a certain amount of time before you have to go see your next client.  This will let them know that they need to make a decision quickly.

9. Closing

Yay!  They have allowed you to get this far!  Congratulations!  Wait...What?...You can still lose them!

At all costs, you must avoid sounding too keen about the sale taking place, don't jump for joy, or scream "OMG THANK YOU GOD" because thats some-what off-putting.

Be calm, stay on pace, stay happy, and let the customer sell the product to themselves once and for all, by saying one simple thing...

"Well, unless you have anymore questions for me, I think we should get you signed up for this!"

THIS IS THE POINT WHERE YOU KNOW IF THE SALE IS GOING TO GO AHEAD

Now, 1 of 3 things will happen now...

  • 1. The customer will say no, and refuse to buy anything <--- BAD
  • 2. The customer will say "I need to think about it" <--- BAD, but can be turned good
  • 3. The customer agrees! <--- VERY VERY GOOD

1. If the customer chooses this option, you have lost the sale.

2. If the customer chooses this option, you can turn the sale around by offering something extra, and tell them its the final thing you can do for them.

3. Sign the papers, leave, and jump for joy!

10. Recap

  • Sell YOURSELF
  • Be Honest
  • Offer Extras (If you see fit)
  • Induce Urgency
  • Don't Appear Desperate
  • Be HONEST
  • Be Open
  • Don't Lie
  • Be Calm
  • BE HONEST





Well thats about it from me.

I am planning on writing a whole bunch of stuff related to this ASAP, but for now, if you have any questions, then ask...Ill be honest in my replies!  8)

Paul Keith

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 02:18:46 AM »
Not to derail the topic but a bonus tip would be to hire females and dye their hair blind.  :P


vlastimil

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 02:10:03 PM »
It looks like good advice.

I wonder how to adapt it to software sales, where the customer interacts just with the expressionless computer.

I guess sticking some of my photos on the web or inside the application could help, I have been thinking about it for some time. Though, I look pretty stupid on most photos  :D Oh, well.

steeladept

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 05:32:12 PM »
A few keys are missing in my opinion.  First, in steps 3, 5, & 7; you really need to consider how SLOW you may be going too.  I can't tell you how many times I was ready to buy something and had to wait until the seller got around to actually LETTING me buy.  It is/was unbelieveable.  And to vlastimil, this is even MORE important.  I have gone to one investment site more than once looking to buy an advisory to find out it is Stanberry & Associates.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I am not waiting for 45 minutes for them to drone on in their video to buy their advisory.  They spend no less than 45 minutes telling me teasers that never say anything other than other people think it is great.  Well awesome, but since you won't let me in without listening to your 45 minutes of drivel then I will never know!  (I actually let it run once while I went into another room to watch TV so I found out it was about that long!)

Secondly, in Step 6, the last bit of advice is great, but follow through!  You wouldn't believe (well actually you probably would) how many times the salesman says he will get back to me on that and doesn't.  First, they often want to close before they get back to you (a big no-no if you ask me) and second, they don't follow through.  I know I had a rep do that to me from AT&T when I bought my iPhone.  Fine, I went back to the store, found the rep and asked the rep next to them.  I then proceeded to buy it from the person who answered the question.  If you can't bother with me, I won't bother with you, ever again!

Stephen66515

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 09:12:13 PM »
It looks like good advice.

I wonder how to adapt it to software sales, where the customer interacts just with the expressionless computer.

I guess sticking some of my photos on the web or inside the application could help, I have been thinking about it for some time. Though, I look pretty stupid on most photos  :D Oh, well.

I'm intending to adapt that for software sales.  This one is more based around a scenario where you actually get to converse with the customer 'voice to voice'

The adapted version will be here soon :)

A few keys are missing in my opinion.  First, in steps 3, 5, & 7; you really need to consider how SLOW you may be going too.  I can't tell you how many times I was ready to buy something and had to wait until the seller got around to actually LETTING me buy.  It is/was unbelieveable.  And to vlastimil, this is even MORE important.  I have gone to one investment site more than once looking to buy an advisory to find out it is Stanberry & Associates.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I am not waiting for 45 minutes for them to drone on in their video to buy their advisory.  They spend no less than 45 minutes telling me teasers that never say anything other than other people think it is great.  Well awesome, but since you won't let me in without listening to your 45 minutes of drivel then I will never know!  (I actually let it run once while I went into another room to watch TV so I found out it was about that long!)


Haha yeah, the technique isn't always perfect, and it does take some practice to learn the key points to look for that your customer actually just wants to get you to STFU and sign the papers!  I'm going to go a lot more in-depth in the follow-up to this one, which will cover points such as:

  • Overcoming Objections
  • Knowing When To Sell
  • What To Avoid Saying

Secondly, in Step 6, the last bit of advice is great, but follow through!  You wouldn't believe (well actually you probably would) how many times the salesman says he will get back to me on that and doesn't.  First, they often want to close before they get back to you (a big no-no if you ask me) and second, they don't follow through.  I know I had a rep do that to me from AT&T when I bought my iPhone.  Fine, I went back to the store, found the rep and asked the rep next to them.  I then proceeded to buy it from the person who answered the question.  If you can't bother with me, I won't bother with you, ever again!

Thats my point exactly...most sales reps don't follow this part through to the very end, and that can be a deal breaker (It is 99% of the time) - If you say your going to find something out for them...and they really want to know the answer...why not just find out?  Seems perfectly logical to me!

steeladept

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 11:50:07 PM »
If you say your going to find something out for them...and they really want to know the answer...why not just find out?  Seems perfectly logical to me!

Amen.  I never really considered myself a very good salesman, though I did my time in that gig, and when I told someone I would find something out, I ALWAYS followed up.  The reason was I was curious to know the answer in case the question ever came up again.  After that, contacting them again was the easy part.  That is why I have always assumed if they don't follow-up with me, they really don't care about my business.  

The problem is getting worse, too.  This year alone I can point to two specific circumstances where I kept getting the "I will call you xxxx" and never get the call.  These are not little commissions either.  In one case, the guy said he is always so busy he sometimes forgets; so at least that one was understandable - once.  However, in both cases I have ALWAYS had to initiate the call.  Unfortunately both were under contract, so I couldn't JUST backout.  One was for a roof repair and the other is to sell the same house.  The roof repair was an insurance claim that was very slow to respond and even slower to call back.  The insurance claim named them the contractor, however, and it was more difficult to try to change that then to just deal with the issue.  Hey, they spec'd the job, if there was more damage because they didn't bother to call/fix it, then they get to eat the additional costs.  The realtor will NOT be getting his commission though!  He may have the best record for sales in the area, but I just got foreclosed on (it was a rental since it couldn't sell anyway - no real loss, other than a few years worth of payments).  Moreover, his record will definitely show a blemish if anyone bothers to contact me about it.  Then again, no one really looks at that either...these companies never really make them public, and the salesmen definitely won't!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 11:54:20 PM by steeladept »

cranioscopical

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2011, 06:29:50 AM »
I guess sticking some of my photos on the web or inside the application could help
Investing in a professional who will create business portrait photographs can really pay dividends. If you're busy someone will come to your office. My advice would be not to rely on snapshots, FWIW.

mikiem

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Re: 10 Steps To Make A Sale
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 11:06:40 AM »
FWIW... there are IMHO 2 kinds of sales: 1) to fill a want/need, & 2) because the buyer wants to do something for the seller... if you want to get into psychology you could argue that number 2 is just a subset of number 1, since feeling good about yourself is a psychological need, but I split it to get away from complicated gray areas like the person who buys because they expect some quid pro quo.

THE Most Important Rule is to avoid all negatives, & yes, that includes the salesperson. What type of person is negative? Obviously there are images that come to mind's eye about unkempt, rude smelling people, but beyond that no one has any real idea, because no one can know every like or dislike of every buyer. The best salespeople then tend to average in appearance, chameleon-like in demeanor, & excellent in projection -- whatever personality is called for, they project it. To do that effectively learn to profile or qualify everyone, always being prepared to alter your approach & personality as you read the prospective buyer. Remember, when buying to fulfill a need, the buyer would often rather not have to buy anything, and may well wind up not buying the best solution in favor of the least painful, least negative choice. Listening to a salesperson rattle off a long list of positives may be a BIG negative, whereas the one who says: "This much $ - problem gone" gets the sale, so again I stress learn to read people. If you can't, &/or if you can't control your tongue, Hire someone. Tech people tend to make the worse sales people in the world, because their mind is so full of tech details that they can't control their tongue!

On a side note, fulfilling a *Real* need makes for much harder sales. Apple's proof of how successful you can be creating a need that you alone can satisfy -- I haven't read of anyone trying to sell their virginity to pay for a Windows cell phone. And yes, you can sell to a real need based on a manufactured one -- focus on some more imaginary benefit, e.g. "Wouldn't you like to have all this time & freedom? Well buy from me & you'll have it because these other problems will go away". Better yet, if you're successful with or in that approach, at least a portion of their problems will go away &/or stay away, so every time they have another problem or concern you're the 1st person they'll call, begging you to do it again.

OK, so you want to make a sale, think you have at least the beginnings of this stuff nailed down, how do you do it -- what do you say? The best approach is a one-two combo -- know that you've made the sale before you started, & never give a prospective buyer a choice that includes the word: "No". Believing in yourself &/or your product is one thing, but unless you believe you've already made the sale, the buyer Will pick up on your doubt, & if you doubt it, shouldn't they? Saying No closes doors -- consider it irreversible. To get someone to change their mind you have to convince them that they're wrong -- not an easy thing by any means, & it's filled with negatives. Always create 2 or more choices, but never include a No [BTW I've even seen this spelled out in Dilbert, so your prospective customer probably doesn't expect you to give this option either]. At any rate, if you combine the two you never actually have to ask for the sale -- you *know* they'll buy -- so it's just a matter of now or later, and you do your best to incentivize the now.

If you don't get the sale, Don't try to make the same, exact sale again to the same people. Invent reasons to keep them aware of you. Learn about their biz & when you can propose another solution, propose it. Offer something else free or low cost that helps out with something else, even if it's just donuts for the crew. You'll most likely never know all the reasons you didn't make a sale -- the buyer's boss may have a guy, or the wife insists on giving the biz to her brother's friend, but things change, & perseverance is respected if not admired, as long as you don't become a PITA. You want to project that you're both a pro & a nice person that only wants to help them -- it was never about banking their cash, because while you're as hungry & aggressive as the next person, you're already successful at what you do. If you'd rather go after sympathy sales [just starting or down on your luck], or greed [I have to sell this so I'll take bottom dollar], that stuff can work too -- just don't plan on being respected & watch out for offers of repeat business where the buyer only intends to screw you as an easy mark.

If you can't do the basics above, seriously consider hiring the job out or taking classes. If you doubt it, read/research or even watch the adverts on TV with a critical eye, seeing just what it is they're selling & how -- most of the time it's not their actual product. If you think best products/service win, it's actually those whom are perceived as having best products/services wins biggest. If you don't do that stuff & your biz has customers now, that means competition with better sales hasn't gone after them yet -- maybe in the future they will, maybe they won't, or maybe they're not as valuable as the customers/clients you could have?