In selling, as in martial arts, there are times when being aggressive is the only way to close the deal. At other times, a softer approach is the way to go.
The difference is that in selling, our customers are not our enemies. The result of our interaction is that both parties should come out stronger in the end.
Closing the deal is just a matter of mastering the art of the soft sell and the hard sell, and then picking out the right approach for the prospect.
The soft sell
There are two “soft” steps to answering an objection:
- Listen and observe. You want to pay attention not only what the prospect is saying to you, but also how he or she is saying it. You want to hear the words and analyze the personality behind the words. Establishing eye contact early may lead to a strong relationship.
- Question their objections. You can’t counter an objection unless you’re able to understand exactly what it is and where it’s coming from. Only then can you see the possibilities available to make your product or service fit with your customers’ needs. So question your prospect’s objections, and find out how you can best resolve them. Ask them to explain, expand and elaborate until you fully understand the situation.
The hard sell
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a more aggressive approach to make a sale. Here are two tips when a “harder” approach is necessary:
- Let your enthusiasm and passion show. Customers should believe strongly that there’s a match between what they need and what you’re selling. There’s a saying in martial arts: “If you understand yourself and not your opponent, you win half the battles. If you understand your opponent and yourself you win 100% of the battles. If you understand neither, you win no battles.” If you really understand yourself and what you’re selling, and you really understand the customer, you will come away with a win-win situation.
- Be able to support your beliefs. In sales, belief and enthusiasm can carry the day — if they’re backed up by knowledge and understanding. Have all your facts and figures down, and try to offer three or four strong reasons your product stands out from the rest.
Source: Barry Farber is the author of Superstar Sales Secrets and Diamond Power. He can be found at www.barryfarber.com.