Old strategies don’t work
As technology and the struggle for product differentiation intensify, you can no longer just rely on old strategies for sales success. Selling isn’t about learning clever sales techniques. And it’s not about becoming a better closer or memorizing the right words. That’s all in the past.
Today, selling has to do with recognizing what’s happening with customers and finding ways to help them become more successful. It’s about winning over customers by understanding them and what they want to accomplish.
It wasn’t so long ago that customers and prospects actually welcomed salespeople. All it took to get an appointment was a telephone call. Schmoozing was in.
The old rules don’t usually apply anymore. If you want to succeed in selling today, forget about what you want to sell and focus on what the customer wants to buy. The objective is to create a customer who’s convinced that it’s smart to do business with you.
Just as important: Find prospects who have reasons to want to be your customers.
Seven ways to give yourself a selling advantage in today’s changing world:
- Let your customers and prospects know they need what you know. Today’s customers need sound advice on how to reduce costs, operate more efficiently, increase productivity and service customers.
- Be more accessible. Prospects and customers work longer hours today to deal with a tight economy and intense competition. Maximum accessibility is the new reality, and it counts for more and more in business. It’s not when you want to contact the customer that counts; it’s when the customer wants to contact you that’s critical.
- Don’t waste the customer’s time. In today’s tight market, saving time is the customer’s highest priority and a salesperson’s most valuable asset. Show customers and prospects you understand their situation by being highly efficient.
- Improve your sales cycle management. Improved productivity is the key to increasing your sales. This requires careful and continuous follow-up with an increasing number of prospects and customers.
- Ask more questions. This is the most effective way to reveal the extent of your knowledge of customers’ businesses. Thoughtful questions demonstrate that you know them.
- Create a buying environment. Try not to go into an appointment preoccupied with what you want to sell. Focus your attention totally on the customer and what you can learn. Customers usually pick up on salespeople who are only thinking of making the sale. When the customer feels secure and in control, the business is probably yours.
- Fight for your credibility. Closing the sale is no longer just a matter of being on great terms with the customer or overcoming objections. More than ever, it’s a matter of trust. Accurately weighing the pros and cons of your product or service for the customer creates confidence. Not trying to hide limitations and refusing to overstate benefits sends the message that a salesperson can be trusted.