As a salesperson have you ever wondered why a certain sales strategy is working in your competitor’s case and not yours? Is it just because you’re having a bad sales month or is there something seriously lacking in your approach?
Well to answer the above, there is no hard and fast rule for a sales process. Your sales strategy might work in case of certain customers and might totally fail in other cases. Industry experts will vouch for the fact that sale is less about a product and more about the relationship you build with the prospect. Let’s look at some techniques that will guide you on how to improve your sales strategy.
Decoding Buyer Psyche
One of the biggest challenges, as well as requirements of a sales professional, is understanding the buyer and his psyche. This in most of the cases would help in closing the deal. During the interaction with the buyers, a salesperson faces some challenges which can be pretty daunting to overcome. Let’s try to understand the same with the help of a car salesman example.
Often we observe that when buyers walk into our office or showroom for the first time, they don’t disclose anything. Most of the time you would get something like, “Oh! we’re just looking around”. They won’t inform you about their needs even when they actually want to buy something from you. This could happen mainly because of two reasons. First- they don’t trust you and secondly- maybe they lack clarity. To overcome this hurdle and understand how to improve your sales, you need to create a sense of comfort within your buyers. Don’t be too aggressive with your pitching or “how may I help you”. Give them a reason to come to you and not the other way round.
As buyers, a lot of us are guilty of this particular habit. In the process of understanding the product, we end up showing a lot of fake interest in it. This is usually done in order to gather more information from the salesperson; as salespeople tend to go deeper and reveal exciting stuff depending on the level of buyers’ interest in the product. This ends up creating a false impression of buyers’ interest level. This act of deception, if I may call it so, ends up creating quite a bit of inconvenience for both the parties involved.
Buyers end up receiving quite a few calls and emails as reminders as a part of follow up causing a sense of uneasiness for them. As for the salesperson, he/she is in a complete delusion regarding the situation as the buyer wasn’t straightforward in his approach. To overcome this, a salesperson must create a comfort and space for the buyer to figure out what he wants and when he wants. This really helps the buyers in trusting you. If they have come to you, they have some intent in buying the product. Stay positive, stay calm and most importantly, don’t pitch the product immediately. You need to wait and allow the customers to make themselves comfortable.
This is the trickiest and most common problem that most of the sales professionals face. With access to information whenever and wherever we want, customers are coming rather prepared for the meeting. Their research more often than not is based on a simple google search and a few articles in newspapers and magazines. Armed with this information, which doesn’t always have great credibility, the customer often breathes down the salesperson’s neck. This can be a tough situation to handle as for how you react to this can decide the outcome of the deal. I’m pretty sure that as a sales professional this can be quite annoying as your years of sales experience is being weighed against the instant information from Google. What you need to do here is to keep calm and have a positive outlook towards the situation.
You may ask “What’s so positive about a misinformed and aggressive customer?”. That, my friend, is the catch. It’s safe to assume that if the customer did so much of research, he is pretty well intended to make a purchase, unlike the previous cases. Half of your job is done as the customer is already having an intent. All that you need to do here is show some appreciation for the effort he has put into the research and try to correct him where ever he is wrong but in a non-condescending manner. Customers really appreciate the frank and friendly sales professionals and that helps in closing the deal quicker.
Pointers for Sales Professionals on How to Improve Your Sales Strategy
There are a number of guidebooks and sales handbooks on how to improve your sales strategy. Yet, there seems to be a certain gap in the customer’s expectations and seller’s deliverance. Let me break it down into a to-do list in a simpler manner for better understanding.
Have A Systematic Sales Process and Back Up.
They say there should be a method to the madness, then one can only imagine how much of method should a sales process have. It’s crucial to have a systematic game plan for every individual sales pitch that you make. Sales process doesn’t just include the usual jargons like pain point, churn rate and so on but also your approach towards a sales pitch. The usual approach towards the meetings, the statistics, your research on the client, all come in handy.
It can be noted that there are times when all your research and planning might go in vain due to an unforeseen situation. Such situations require adaptability and having a backup sales pitch and strategy to engage client really helps.
Don’t Be A Yes Man
Let’s admit! Nobody likes a yes man who would agree with you even at the most ridiculous of the proposals. Be honest and upfront with the prospects and provide them with the clear and realistic picture. Also, mention to them about certain issues and shortcomings that possibly might arise. At the same time assure them that it’s a minor thing and you are always there to assist them with any such issue. You have to build that trust before anything else. This approach is often one of the biggest contributing factors on how to improve your sales strategy.
Pull not Push
This is a widely noted fact that when a customer or a prospect comes to you, the chances of sales are much higher than when you go to them. This is so because the intent to buy is higher in the first case. In order to achieve that, we need to provide some value to the customers. In the age of digital marketing, it has become easy for the businesses to provide great value and quality to the customers with the help of inbound marketing. Some other notable techniques are special promotional drives, trial offers, service guarantees and promotional offers.
The outcome of a sales strategy entirely depends on the people involved and not the numbers. The approach of the sales professional is all that matters. The core of any sales strategy is how the salesperson approaches the process. It’s important to make your presence felt at the meeting. Make your point in a clear and sharp way so that it creates a lasting impact.
Also, do take initiative on the client’s behalf and explain the whole process of budgeting, alternate proposals, troubleshooting etc. This way the buyer gets an idea of your honest intentions. The buyer will always get to the seller who tries to provide value for the product and not just the product.
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