7 Ways How Not to Lose a Surefire Sale
Most people don’t know how to sell and it’s costing them a fortune! (Tweet this)
Time and again I run into situations where I’m practically begging people to sell me something and they still manage to fail! (In fact, I wrote about it in the past.)
It’s mind-boggling to experience people who make a living by selling (hey – if you run your own business – that’s YOU!) to be so totally inept at the one skill that allows them to impact more people and put food on their table.
Because of the social stigma, lack of understanding what selling really is, and scarcity of good training on this topic most people suck at selling. Many think they are decent at it. But when push comes to shove, the only thing they are really great at is talking potential clients OUT OF DOING BUSINESS with them!
Let’s put a stop to it.
Let’s equip you with ethical, immediately usable, 21st-century influence and persuasion skills. Below are two things you can use right away.
First, a full length recording of a live training I presented earlier this week using Facebook Live. I think you’ll enjoy the story and the lessons – I sure enjoyed sharing them.
Second, if you’re pressed for time, I distilled the 7 key lessons from the video and posted them below. Of course, you get more out of it when you watch the full training, but the quick summary will give you the gist behind each mistake and how to avoid making it next time you are trying to make a sale.
Let’s get to it…
Watch This Story and Learn How Not to Lose That Next Surefire Sale!
Short on time? Here Are 7 Quick Lessons You Can Use Immediately:
1. Make a Great First Impression.
People will judge you! We all do it – we make quick assumptions based on first impressions. Give yourself an advantage by stacking the deck in your favor. Your personal appearance, tone of voice, punctuality and the choice of meeting location all communicate a message; make it say the right thing. And while most of us are not built to win beauty pageants, just adorning your face with a genuine smile will go a long way making people instantly like you.
2. Connect and Build Trust.
In that order – meaning people won’t trust you if they don’t feel a connection. In the old sales lingo this would be called “building rapport” and whatever you call it – it’s NOT optional. Even a simple question about someone’s day can get you there – if it’s genuine and you really care. People will see “fake”, but they definitely feel it!
Find a way to defuse the natural discomfort most feel when meeting someone for the first time, or when heading into a potentially stressful situation (like facing a buying decision.) Reveal something personal, be professional, show respect, use humor. Bottom line – your first 60 seconds will set the tone for the rest of the meeting. Learn to use it well.
And the trust? You must find a way to make the client trust you, the company and the product/service you’re offering. AND you cannot do it by simply saying “trust me” and “we’re a great company”. And one of the fastest ways to lose that trust is to admit that you yourself don’t use what you sell! Major fail!
3. Stay Present.
Most people in sales situations get so wrapped up in their script and offer they forget that each person is different. Continue connecting and find out each client’s reasons WHY they want what you sell. Even if you think you know it – pay attention. My daughter Paulina (who appears in the video and whose car-buying adventure triggered this post, summed it up the best:
“If you connect with people the right way, the product will sell itself!” (Tweet this)
4. Be Prepared.
This is so basic it’s embarrassing to have to bring it up. But apparently even such basics elude most people! Here are a few tips. Know your offer; be it a product or service you should know enough about it to clearly demonstrate / present it to a potential client. If it’s a product, have it ready to be shown. Anticipate the most common questions and prepare your responses.
Don’t default to “I’m new”, or “this is a new offer” as your excuse for not knowing the answers to your customer’s questions; if you’re selling it, it’s been in the pipeline long enough for you to learn about it and you were simply too lazy to learn. Look, there’s one major difference between professionals and amateurs – the pros practice, the amateurs wing it! Oh, there’s another difference – the amateurs never get paid professional’s rate!
5. Provide a “Buyer’s Experience”.
Most people aren’t masochists; they don’t put themselves through the “pain” of a sales process because they have nothing better to do. They want what’s being sold. So help them experience “it” as much as possible so they can quickly buy it.
If you sell a product – let the customer start using it. It’s the proverbial “puppy close” – you know, when the pet stores let the kid take the puppy home for a day to “see if they like it.” I don’t know a kid that’s willing to voluntarily bring that puppy back the next day. Not happening!
With services, you’ll need customer stories and case studies. But don’t launch into a “laundry list” of everything your product/service can do. This is where tip #3 – staying present – will pay off. Showcase only the right benefits – the ones this particular client inquired about the most.
Since most of my readers sell services let me dive into a quick illustration. For example, I sell training service packages that include access to online components. One thing I do is ask potential clients how they will be most likely accessing those modules. If they say they will watch on their smart phone when traveling, I can showcase how easy it is because the site is fully responsive (meaning it will look great on their phone and tablet), and because the lessons are divided into short, 5-15 minute bursts they can quickly and easily consume in between other tasks. Bottom line – the client starts seeing themselves using the services – imagining their experience as a buyer.
6. Provide New Perspective.
In the car-buying experience that inspired this post two people failed to sell me a car, even though I really wanted to buy it! How’s that possible? Well, the first time I gave them a reason why I couldn’t buy from them right there and then they simply agreed with me and let me be. “WHAT!? SERIOUSLY!? Please, put me out of my buying misery – please, sell me the darn car!” – that’s what was going through my mind! But they didn’t. They took my first no and retreated.
Two people left disappointed – them, because they didn’t get the sale, and me, because my problem wasn’t solved and I had to continue shopping. At the end, the guy who made a sale knew how to feed me information that allowed me to view my previous objections as not relevant, or not important enough to matter. He didn’t argue. He didn’t make me wrong. He made me think differently. That’s your ultimate objective during the sales process.
7. ASK FOR THE SALE!
This is another one of those “duh, I know that” tips. I bring it up because most folks on the selling side forget that while they do it again and again – and they know the natural next step is the sale – the buyers often only go through this process once, or once in a great while; they don’t know what’s next. They are not mind readers. They can’t tell you want their business just by looking at you. TELL THEM! And ask them to say YES and buy. It’s not that complicated. Just say: “I really want your business – let’s get started right away!”, or if there are still a few “new perspectives” to address, simply say: “I want your business – what needs to happen / what do I need to do – so you can say yes right now?”
And a bonus tip…
8. Treat People Well!
Even – and especially – if they don’t buy from you right away (or ever.) Two points here. When you make a sale, remember that’s not the end of your relationship – that’s when the real relationship starts. Make the new client understand they are more to you then a credit card and you’ll turn them into a raving fan. And it’s only normal that some people are not meant to be your clients. Don’t be mad at them because they didn’t (or couldn’t) buy from you. Leave them better off then before they came to you and wish them well. Do this for three reasons: a) you never know who they know and might refer to you, b) they might be a client at some point in the future, and c) most importantly – because it’s the right thing to do!
Well, there you have it – 7 tips to help you NOT lose that next sale. Where do you go from here?
First, realize that you can’t master sales by reading articles. It’s a great start, but not enough. If you’d like support with crafting better offers, developing a better sales process and attracting more ideal prospective buyers – our Business Growth Breakthrough consultation may be a good next step for you.
Second, comment below. Chime in with your biggest takeaway from this article, your own lessons learned in the trenches, and tips you want to share to help others get better at impacting more people through closing more sales. ;)