Stop selling. Start helpingZig Ziglar
Often, if people feel that they are being sold to then they won’t buy. If they feel you are helping them – either by adding value or solving a problem that they have – then provided they perceive the value of your offering to be greater than the price, they will buy from you. So how can I be successful at selling? Here we talk about some of the things you can think about when it comes to selling your products or services.
The Oxford Dictionary defines sales as ‘the exchange of a commodity for money,’ so we could adopt ‘the exchange of goods or services in return for money’. Will the value of the goods or service need to worth more or less than the money your client or customer will part with? Of course the value has to be higher. So who determines the value? Your customer. The value is PERCEIVED by the customer so it is our job to articulate the value to them.
There are 4 different types of seller:
- The Order Taker – the order taker sits back and waits for the sale to come in.
- The Product Pusher – this type of seller sells many products – regardless of customer needs. They do not listen to what the customer wants.
- The Over Seller – they will say anything to get a sale – even if it is not true. The only thing that matters is the sale. It doesn’t matter if the sale is not in the best interest of the customer.
- The Problem Solver – this type of seller identifies real problems and offers solutions. They consider the wants vs. needs of the customer, the benefits vs. features of the product or service and think about the ‘whats in it for me’ for the customer. This type of seller must also be ready to handle objections, for example, no time, no money, too busy or I won’t use it etc.
The 10 must do’s
It might be a good idea to think about these 10 must do’s when contemplate your product or service.
- Your target market: What pool do you want to play in? Consider where your target market hangs out in the greatest numbers. Where do they meet, eat, and what do they read?
- Articulate your value: This is sometimes referred to as your Core Purpose or why your business exists. For example, Disney’s Core Purpose is ‘to make people happy’, 3M’s is to ‘solve unsolvable problems’. Consider why people should buy from you over your competition.
- Commit to what you promise: This is the most effective way to build trust.
- Use a system: Write down your Sales Process from lead generation through to product or service delivery and train your team on how to use the system. Review it often and amend as needed.
- Ask don’t tell: If you are doing all the talking then you will not engage the prospective customer. How can you solve their problems if you don’t ask them about what they are looking for?
- Benefits not features: Your customers are generally not interested in the things that go together to make your product or service do what it does – just as most of us don’t know the workings of an internal combustion engine but still like the benefits of travelling by car. Consider your most popular product or service, and what the benefits of it are. It’s important to articulate WIIFM – What’s In It For Me as the customer?
- Establish the value: When you’ve asked the customer what problems they are encountering (that your product or service will solve) ask them what value they will gain from having these problems solved – it may be time savings, cost savings or minimised risk. If you’re writing a proposal, be sure to reference this value – in your customer’s words. Remember we are going to – ‘stop selling; start helping’ – so what is that value you will add? Always establish value before quoting price. Consider documenting this value for each product or service you offer to get clearer on this.
- Options: This gives a choice of yeses. This is often referred to as either upselling (offering a bronze, silver or platinum version) or cross selling (offering a product along with a supporting product as well).
- Focus on the relationship: It is not about closing the sale; it’s about opening the relationship with your customer – you need to build trust so that your customer will buy from you again.
- UPOD: Under Promise and Over Deliver. What is your after sales service offering?
Three essentials to create value
We’ve talked about how important it is to articulate value – but what are the components of value?
If a customer declines to buy from you it’s because they don’t see the value; perhaps you haven’t articulated it well enough. There is always money for what people want to buy; it’s about the value, not the money.
Here are the three ingredients that determine value:
Service: Most people expect good service, but do we always get it? Some questions you may like to ask yourself:
• What do you do that is exceptional?
• What could you do?
• How can you demonstrate this to your prospective customers?
• Is your service level consistent across your business?
• Do some team members need training or perhaps to be shown the door of opportunity if they are not performing?
Remember that bad news travels fast, so if you’re not providing good service your prospective customers will hear about it.
Quality: Isn’t this a given too? Yes, but how often do we get great quality? How can you get previous customers to articulate the quality they have experienced from your products or services? Can you offer a money back guarantee?
Price: By now you should have asked enough questions to know what problems your customer requires a solution for – and the value of that solution. So where are you positioned price wise in relation to your competition? If the value you provide is greater than the price – a sale will happen – so connect your price to the value. If you are at the high end then use this to your advantage; promote your quality. If you wanted a heart surgeon would you want the cheapest or the best?
Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about how we can help your business.
A few months ago we wrote about effective selling, you can view part 1 of the series here.