Steps to Successful Selling

The art of selling has changed dramatically since the development of the global market. Salespeople no longer regard selling as pushing an unwanted product onto a reluctant customer. The image of the fast-talking used car salesman has evolved into a partnership between the salesperson and the customer. The ideal sale is one that results in satisfaction on both sides. The following steps will enable even the novice salesperson to understand the basics of today’s sales techniques – and make selling enjoyable as well.

1. Target your Product to your Customer

Give a lot of thought to your product and the customers who are most likely to buy it. You will ultimately find that something unique in your product or your product line keeps certain customers coming back. You probably won’t be able to sell your product to everyone, nor should you try. You’ll want to maintain your best customers and develop new ones based on the unique qualities of your product. Whether you’re selling bathroom safety bars or custom-made dog collars, you’ve got a target audience for your product. This group will want to hear about your product and its benefits to them. They will be your core customer base.

2. Know your Customer’s Needs

Every salesperson knows his product inside and out. He knows what benefits his product will bring to his customers, and he understands the importance of appealing to the needs of his customers. If you lead off with this benefit in ads, it will insure that you’ve got the attention of your core customers. Keep giving this benefit prominent play in your website and other promotional material. Your customers are going to realize that the product meets a need of theirs. They’re going to remember the product and you.

3. Individualize your Approach for Each Customer

Every customer wants to feel singled out for special attention. We all know how it feels to be ignored by a salesperson. Think how much better you feel when you’re approached and addressed by name. Then, for example, you’re given a sample product with information directed specifically to your particular situation. That kind of attention is going to resonate with your customers. But to do it effectively, you’re going to need different messages to appeal to your different markets. Do this by developing several informational packets and webpages with targeted markets. This takes time and effort on your part, but the results are well worth it. Later, we’ll talk about software that can help you refine this targeted approach even more effectively.

4. Give your Customer Specific Information

Avoid talking about your product in generalities. Your customers need to know very specifically what your product can offer them. If a software tool can increase sales by 15%, tell your customers that. Then tell them how and why such a super increase can be accomplished. This is an important way to build trust with your customers. It also makes selling a win-win situation, with both you and the client working toward the goal of bringing added value to the client’s situation.

5. Help your Customer Visualize the Benefits of your Product

Choosing a particular product is usually an impulsive act, based upon the customer’s emotional response. If you can engage the customer’s emotions, you’ll improve your chances of making a sale. Use words and pictures that allow the customer to imagine herself enjoying the benefits of your product. Madison Avenue has known this for decades – you can use the same approach in designing your brochures and website so that they have emotional appeal.

6. Keep Up with Technological Advances

Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to various software programs used by companies to store and utilize information about customers and their buying habits. It can also be used in campaigns to develop new customers. The ideas behind CRM are streamlining customer service and increasing the customer base. The data derived from the programs is used by company personnel in a company-wide effort to improve customer relations in many ways. While start-up companies are not likely to be investing in such complex programs, staying alert to developments in this field is important. You need to know what the bigger companies are doing to stay ahead of the game.

7. Conclusion

The new view of the salesperson is someone who is there to assist the customer in making a good purchasing decision. Ideally, the salesperson is regarded as an ally and advisor who wants to provide for the needs of the customer without coercion or manipulation. To do this, the salesperson is expected to understand his client’s needs and be willing to meet them with a fair price and a suitable product. The six steps above will help you make selling a win-win situation, with satisfied customers and long-term client relationships.

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