Are you working on commission or trying to improve your salesman skills? With a little bit of planning you can sell anything:
Make sure you had your coffee – Although business hours are normally from 8 am till 5 pm, give yourself time to wake up and get a plan together. You are about to make a sale and you want to be at your best. If you call someone at 8 :05 am a receptionist may pick up the phone and never forward the message. Even if they do, you want to make a sale not to leave a message that may never be retrieved from the voice mailbox. After all, you are trying to reach the people in charge of making decisions so give them time to wake up as well. Best times to catch someone in the office is in between 9:30 am till 11:30 am and 2 pm till 4 pm.
Be respectful – We probably all get advertising calls during our supper time from people who don’t recognize our time as being important. They will call you when you least expect. Don’t be one of them. Learn how to call or visit with people within the business hours. If you are calling the customer make sure you tell them who you are and politely ask them if they have a few minutes for you. If they don’t, ask them when it is a better time to call back and follow up with them. However, if this is your first sale with this customer it would work best if you met them face to face. You could also ask for their email so that you can send them more information if they are interested but don’t have time for you right then and there. If you are trying to make a sale over the phone make sure you have prices handy. The first thing the customer may ask you is “how much is it?” and you don’t want to be unprepared. Respect their time and they will listen to you.
Dress for success – In the business world your appearance matters. If you want to make a sale dress appropriately. Casual dress works best as you have a relaxed look but are still clean and approachable. If you dress better than the people you are trying to make a sale to, you may look intimidating to them. So, just keep clean and ladies never reveal too much. Remember it is all business. On the way out the door in the morning don’t forget your smile. That is probably your best attire. Happy people sell more because they are approachable.
Know your product or service – Before you face your customer ensure that you know that product in and out. Do not act like you are surprised by their question or that you forgot your brochure somewhere else. There may be instances when you simply don’t know an answer but still try your best to keep them interested. Also make sure you leave something with them even if it’s just your business card and a quote.
Listen – When you make a sale don’t just talk the entire time. Leave room for thought processing. Customers don’t want to be rushed, and if they are, they will shut you down very quickly. You would definitely not want a door slammed in your face or a phone hung up. Listen to their concerns and help them make the best decision they can in buying your product or service. Answers all the questions to the best of your abilities and do not avoid them. If you don’t know an answer tell them you will get back with them soon, and make sure you do. You may also find out that they are not interested in your product because they simply don’t need it, and that’s OK. However, they may refer someone else to you, if you just listen.
Be consistent with your presentation – Do not jump from one thing to another missing out on important information that could be a deal breaker. Practice at home if you have trouble relating to people. Whatever you do, don’t get nervous. Customers are people like us who need or may not need a product or service. If they don’t need it, politely ask if they know of someone else that could use your service. Keep it simple and to the point.
Don’t lie – Lying to anybody is unethical. Lying to someone who is about to purchase something from you is a huge mistake. Do not tell them they will get an extra service for free along with their product if they are not. If you have trouble remembering all that they will get for their money, simply write it down before meeting them. Once again you need to know that product or service.
Speak clearly – If you have a foreign accent, like me, you know that we need to do a little extra work to make a sale. We face two disadvantages: The first one is when we are trying to make a sale in person. Customers will ask us where our accent is from, which takes the focus off the business and possibly jeopardize the sale if we talk more about ourselves than the product. Secondly, if we are making a sale over the phone we shouldn’t mumble. Sounding uncertain plus the accent is a recipe for disaster. A course in public speaking may be very helpful to you.
So go out there and make some sales. However, first make sure you are well equipped with knowledge and manners.