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How can I sell more?
Whether you’re a business owner or a sales person you’ve undoubtedly asked yourself this question. You may be suffering a sales slump or simply trying to improve your output - either way, it’s natural to want to do better.
High pressure selling is dead
People don’t want to be sold, they want to buy. If you appear to aggressive or forceful a customer’s defense system immediately goes up. Too many new sales people jump directly into a sales pitch. Shoppers today are more wary and can immediately sense when they’re being manipulated or rushed. The trick to selling more is to not sell at all. Instead, you need to solve problems and present solutions that meet needs.
Ask questions, then ask more
Often when we first meet potential new clients we’ll sit and talk with them for as long as they’re willing. We try to have them discuss their business and the challenges and problems they’re encountering. We want to know what they’re looking for, how they’ll judge success, etc. So we ask a lot of open-ended questions to keep the conversation going. Sure, the questions are targeted towards uncovering the troubles they’re having, but it’s also helping us to determine if our solution is the correct one.
The initial “date” benefits you both
There’s an old saying, “if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” Your solution my not be right for every customer - and that’s OK. Knowing when your solution(s) doesn’t fit is part of selling more. You need to be able to identify this and avoid trying to sell your hammer for every solution. If you can’t help or solve the customer’s problem, tell them so - and if you’re able, direct them to a potential solution.
There’s no such thing as mind control
No sales pitch, whether soft or hard, or filled with gimmicks can flip the switch in a customer’s mind. And you shouldn’t try to push for a sale. If you listened closely to the answers to your questions and you’ve determined you have a solution to their problem. Then simply frame the solution as a choice and allow them to decide.
Customers that decide to buy are happier
When someone decides to purchase something they’ve perceived it has a benefit to them or solves their problem - they end up happier. It’s why no-pressure or low-pressure sales people tend to have higher reorder rates (provided they’re good at follow-up). Conversely, when high-pressure sales tactics are used, even if the sale is successful, there’s a higher incidence of buyer’s remorse and a lower overall satisfaction level. When you feel tricked or uneasy about a purchase you’re unlikely to buy more.
It’s not why they bought, but how they felt
When the sale is the decision of the customer they feel fulfilled. Since they chose and controlled the outcome they aren’t remorseful about their purchase. In fact, it’s likely they’ll be enthusiastic.
And in the process of converting sales into long-term customers - keeping them happy and satisfied after the purchase is made is a big win towards the next sale. Because most people won’t remember exactly why they purchased something - but they will remember the experience and how they felt during it and afterwards.
Jul 14, 2013
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