In all honesty some folks are natural born sales people who have the “gift of gab” or are naturally charismatic. In either case it’s important to know who in your company has this unique quality and who needs training. Sales are one of the functions of marketing. Training the sales force is most often overlooked in terms of budget allocation yet it is heavily relied upon to increase and sustain cash flow. Think about how many sales have been lost by employees or even yourself because of ineffective sales techniques. What factors led to losing the sale? Did the client show reluctance to purchase? Why? How did you or your employee attempt to solve the client’s problem? Here are the top three objections clients show when a sales person is attempting to close the sale:
Each of these objections requires a different approach by the salesperson. Initially this comes down to being able to listen to the needs of the client. Often the client won’t express these needs in a clear way so it’s important to be aware of what they are really saying. Addressing the needs of the client with an appropriate response is key to closing the sale. An approach that acknowledges their concern and then relaying the product or service information to their needs will more often than not solve and address their objection(s).
Closing is easily one of the hardest parts of selling for most sales people. Asking someone for their money is not a natural act we encounter on a daily basis. The fear of rejection or getting a no can keep even the most knowledgeable sales person from closing a big sale. It’s important to keep in mind that you are not there to strong arm the customer into making a purchase rather you are there to help them make an informed decision. That’s all selling really is. So when the client has had all their questions answered and is nodding their head in acceptance the most natural statement from the salesperson would be to say “Does this sound like it meets your needs?” Acquiring confirmation is the clearest indicator your client is ready to buy. If they say no you can follow that up by solving more objections but if they say yes then the next step is to ask “How would you like to pay for that today? Cash, check, or credit/debit card?” Sales people can delay this step in the most agonizing way by talking way too much. Save the chit chat for after they have given payment. Eliminate any extra steps needed to close the sale. Leaving a client waiting too long to make a purchase can sometimes lose a sale. Be ready to accept the form of payment and make the payment process easy, and efficient.
Finally, following up is often left out of the sales process, yet is the most important part of building customer relationships. This is especially important if you are in a high value sales environment. Calling or better yet sending a personalized thank you card to your new client is a great way to solidify your new business relationship and help establish loyalty. In addition, this is the perfect time to ask for a referral. Referrals build upon positive recommendations from happy clients to their immediate circle of friends and family. Essentially these are the clients you want coming to you since most of the selling has already been done by your happy client and the relationship you built with them.
“Business Tips” was written by Alejandro Castanon, Business Development Specialist of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact him at Alejandro.Castanon@angelo.edu.