Sales is often misrepresented.
It is thought of as grunt work.
It is perceived of as getting your foot in as many doors as possible to maximize the revenue you generate at the end of the day.
That is why most of the times, sales professionals are not as well paid as some of their counterparts in different functional roles. The reality couldn’t be more different. There is a science behind sales.
Follow just these three rules and you will find yourself getting better at sales in no time.
#1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
Get a better sense of who he is, what he does, what problems does he face, the severity of those problems. And can you solve that problem? Or How do you solve that problem?
Do not fleece him off.
If you can’t solve his problem, but can think of someone else who can, say so. Get them connected to each other. Earn the trust, respect and credibility in the eyes of everyone you meet. Maybe today you won’t have their business, but you will be at the forefront of their minds always — in whatever business you do.
My team and I have a lot of fun. We learn from each other's experiences and help each other out whenever possible. Most of the learnings we receive are complimented with a cold pint of beer, sitting by the barbeque at my house. One of the first things I told them on SaaS sales was to let go of any agenda when going for the first meeting with any prospect.So what were they supposed to do? Talk, and listen. The intent and the directive was very simple:By the end of the first meeting, you should know more about their business and how they do things than most of their own employees.(Walking a mile in their shoes - it does pay.)
#2. Don’t take him for granted
Whenever you are trying to get an appointment from a prospect, he is absolutely aware of what is it that you want out of that meeting. It is called dollars. :-)
He knows that, and he is willing to listen to your pitch. He is open to giving you those 30 mins that he could have spent watching cat videos on youtube. The least you can do is answer this question before you step in for that meeting:
What does he get out of that?
It doesn’t matter whether your prospect asks you this question or not, you would be wrong if you haven’t asked yourself this question and have an honest-to-god response. Not some concocted bullshit you memorised from a writeup you received during your orientation week; an actual human response. One that is contextually relevant to the person you are meeting, and his work.
How are you helping him? How are you adding value to his life?
I want you to care. I want you to give a shit.
Since this is the point I see most sales professionals getting wrong, let me dig a little deeper.Your product features shouldn't and wouldn't cut it. That is not the value that you are bringing to the table. Why? I'll explain using an example.You go to the store to get some vegetables. Would you pick any three and walk out of there, or would you pick your vegetables based on what you are planning to cook for dinner? It's the same thing. Drastically different scenarios, sure, but conceptually the same thing. How can the value you add to the life of a clothes-store owner be the same that you add to the life of a person who runs a social media agency?Your client's life, his work, his approach to work and more - you would need to work out the possible value you add to his life based on a good understanding of a number of such factors. Do not list out your product features. Please!
#3. Build relationships
As kids you did not want to let your parents down. In school, you felt that way about the teachers/coaches who had high hopes for you. In life you don’t want to let your girlfriend/wife/kids down. When you build a relationship, a sense of accountability gets embedded automatically. When we feel accountable, we make it a point of not being callous in our approach.
Sure, your client might be getting a bang for the buck he is spending for your product; but as far as the business is concerned, for him, you are the business. He trusted you, confided in you, invested in your words and promises. Do not let him down. Do not cheat him.