The best way to make more sales is not to be more salesy. Helping somebody get into a position where they'll decide for themselves will always be easier than using pressure tactics and hard selling techniques. The latter will always turn more people away from you instead of towards you.
In the final stages of a sale, people want to feel like they're making an informed decision. The more information you provide a potential customer, within your conversation, and show that you've given them all the necessary facts, it will result in them feeling confident about their purchase decision that they are about to make. Too much information on the other hand, can cause people to turn away. You must find the balance between too much and too little - this comes with practice.
Great Sales Conversations Have the Right Amount of Information
The best way to make sure you're providing them with the right amount of information is by listening and asking questions. That means you being quiet most of the time and allowing your potential customer to talk. You want them talking about their problems, not sat there listening to you. Asking a few well-placed questions will allow somebody to feel like they've taken care of what's on their mind.
If you're an expert in your field, it can be hard to keep yourself from spilling the beans about everything that is important for somebody who could potentially buy what you have on offer. Less is often more when it comes to sales conversations!
You want to be able to have the person wanting more when you get to the end of the conversation, not feeling like they've been fed too much information. That way, they will be the one asking to buy.
Sales Conversations Need You To Listen More
Many other factors are also in play when it comes to sales conversations. I've chatted about sales techniques to some clients, and even sat in on some sales conversations with those that I mentor. Too many people put in all the hard work to get the call in the first place, have the conversation, then find out the potential customer is struggling with something else entirely - maybe even personal problems. This shows that not enough of the right questions have been asked to identify the problems in the first place. Let me tell you now, this will lead your potential customer into making less than optimal buying decisions for themselves as well as how they feel about your conversation afterwards.
If it's right to, you should ask personal questions; it can be as simple as asking what they're looking for and take note of their responses. You will then know how best to show them the potential solutions that meet those needs with your products or services. If you get straight down to business too quickly, this might come across negatively because people often want some time first to make up their minds before committing fully. If we spend more time getting our customers comfortable at the outset, these are less likely to turn away from us later.
The psychology and understanding of customer buying behaviours should not be taken lightly. The best sales conversations happen when we understand what drives them from the outset, and then have an approach that meets their needs right off the bat.
Remember from the start, this is a sales conversion, not a pitch. There is a difference.
3 Questions to Ask in Every Sales Conversation
Imagine if you were a customer looking for a supplier like my team of marketing geeks over at HodgesNet – what do YOU think would be important for any member of my team to ask when starting a sales conversation? I've shaped a simple three-question conversation that helps any member of my team understand what to offer in terms of the right service - you can use it too in your business. And it's what I have been using since I started my business. There are some ways to qualify people before you speak to them (I'll cover that off in another blog post) but after that, there is almost always a positive sale when I get to any sales conversation - about 1 in 10 says no.
1 - "What is bugging you right now?" ...or... "What are the challenges you're facing right now?" - This helps the potential customer to see that there is interest in understanding the problems, challenges and pain that they feel right now.
2 - "What's going to happen if you don't get that sorted?"... "And if that's not fixed quickly, what could happen?" - This is about learning what their fears are - the ultimate things they want to avoid.
3 - "Where do you want to be in the next...?"...or "If we had a magic wand and could solve those problems for you right now, what does your business/life look like?" - I love this one. It gets the potential customer talking about what they want to achieve, what their ambitions are and where we need to take them on a journey to solve the challenges we can help them with.
Be thoughtful of how you phrase and pose these questions. Your customers are thinking a lot in this conversation and unpacking some potentially emotional things when you start to ask about frustrations and potential fears. See it as an opportunity to connect with them on a whole other level by asking great questions. Knowing as much as you there is to know, before you even start sharing about your business and what you have to offer is the secret.
Successful Sales Conversations Offer the RIGHT Solution
Armed with the information from the conversation you have just had, your job is then to offer the best solution for them. See how this works? You know all the struggles, the pain and the challenges, then you offer the ideal solution. It's like a doctor asking you all about the medical condition you have and then him prescribing the medication. Your job is to prescribe the right medication for your customers - something that will not fit their needs not just yours.
The reality is, you can't successfully sell something to someone if you know nothing about them. This is often where everyone goes wrong. The first thing that needs to happen before any salesperson speaks, is a conversation that builds trust, unpacks the information needed and serves the potential customer before they buy.
Remember, they are on the call because they think you can help, so help them and offer them a path to walk down that is right for them. In my experience selling my own business services since I set my first business up in 2007, having a "serve first" attitude and then allowing people to buy has made sales so much easier than going out into the market and trying to sell.
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If you need some assistance and want to find out how to start making your sales conversations convert better, click here to book a free call with me and let's see what we can do working together.