While it’s no secret that sales is a challenging – and rewarding – profession, there are five secrets to improving your sales success. These secrets explore behavioral and motivational issues that reveal why some prospects buy – while others don’t – and demonstrate how you can adapt your presentation to increase the odds of landing the sale. To many in the profession, the sales process is a bit of a mystery. But it doesn’t have to be – as long as you understand these five secrets, and implement them into your approach.
1) Understand the Prospect: It’s Not All About You
When you sit down with a prospect, are you thinking about what you can gain out of the relationship? Are you figuring out a way to get what you want?
That’s natural. But, it’s also a huge mistake that derails your effectiveness. Instead of concentrating on yourself, focus on your prospects. Show them you’re genuinely interested about what concerns them. How? By being an active listener who not only hears what they say, but what they don’t say. Use these nuances to ask follow-up questions that can elicit responses to clarify want your prospects truly need, and better understand their mindset.
If you demonstrate an appreciation of what drives your prospects’ world, you’ll gain their attention, create a dynamic setting, and pique their curiosity about what you have to say.
2) Match the Behavioral Style
It’s a simple truth: People tend to favor those who are similar to them. So, what does that mean to you on a sales call? It means you should pay attention to how your prospect acts, using both verbal and non-verbal clues, and adapt your presentation style to mirror those clues. For instance, if your prospect is direct, energetic, and leans forwards when speaking, try to mimic that behavior – at least to a degree. If your prospect is calm, deliberate, and soft-spoken, attempt to be a bit more like that in your approach.
It’s also a good idea to know your own style, and be conscious of how others see you. Videotaping yourself in action is a terrific way to understand the view from the prospect’s side of the desk. Perhaps you’ll discover that you use your hands too much – or not enough, that you come across as too passive – or too emotional.
3) Listen for the Values
Do you understand what motivates your prospects to take action? Sometimes a prospect’s decision to not buy – or buy – can be puzzling. But, you can get some ideas why by looking at the value system of either the prospect or the prospect’s company.
Six major attitudes – theoretical, utilitarian, aesthetic, social, individualistic, and traditional – shape our lives. These powerful motivating forces govern our thought processes and decision-making. You can learn which of these attitudes dominates your prospects’ thinking, and in so doing express what you have to them in those terms.
How do you that? By asking questions that will unveil what matters most to your prospects.
4) Provide Context: Don’t Assume They Know What You Mean
Sure, you know what you mean. But, do your prospects?
It’s important to frame your presentation in its proper context: in a manner that allows your prospects to see why they should care about what you’re telling them – and how they can benefit from it. If you can’t clearly demonstrate to prospects what’s in it for them, you lose the sale.
Remember, it’s not up to the prospect to figure out your message – that’s your responsibility. Connect the dots for your prospects through real-life examples and story telling. These give prospects another way to absorb information. You want to be there for the priceless “aha” moment when the prospect grasps how you can solve their problems, and make their “pain points” go away; it’s an opportune moment to close the sale.
5) It’s All About Relating
Selling is more than just making sales. It’s about relationships – building them, managing them, and leveraging them. After you’ve landed the initial sale, be sure to regularly stay in touch with your clients. Doing so helps you “control” the relationship, and allows you to take an active role instead of a passive one. Other key points:
- Always take the time to answer their questions. Position yourself as an expert in your field, so you’ll be the person they rely on when they need help. This sort of a relationship opens up natural, unforced opportunities for future sales.
- Leverage your relationships by gaining referrals from your customers. Your clients will be much more willing to be one after you’ve shown you’re responsive to their needs.
- Realize that even the best salespeople go through slow cycles. But, if you maintain a positive approach and always keep pushing forward, you’ll stand a much better chance of reaching your sales potential.
Will using these secrets result in a sale or a productive meeting every time you talk to a prospect? No. But they will enhance your ability to connect with your prospects, develop the relationship, gain the sale, and distance yourself from the competition. The Collaborative can help you or your sales team learn The 5 Secrets, making them “second nature” to your sales persona – contact us via this form or email us to learn how.