I have been fortunate to observe some business development people closely over the past few years. There are a few of them who can sell anything at will, but on the other hand, some of them struggle to even make it through one client call.
The interesting thing to notice here is that the people who are the best at selling are the ones who don’t actually sell. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that there is no fixed formula to selling, but below is one method that will help you improve.
Let me share 2 easy steps that will help you as a sales representative.
1. Understanding Customer Requirements – One of the most common mistakes made while selling is sharing more than asking. We are under so much stress to close a deal that we don’t try and understand what a customer is really looking for. Having a selling approach might help you with a handful of deals, but it won’t help you make relationships.
It is wonderful to be keen to sell, but one must be keener to understand. Recently I went to Dominos and ordered a pizza. The sales person recommended the new chicken pizza. I liked it, but I asked them if I could have it without cheese. The employee refused, saying that pizza cannot be prepared without cheese. As a result, I decided not to buy it.
The key takeaway here – you might have the best product in the market but if you only sell what you have and don’t understand what a customer is looking for, even the best product will be of no use.
2. Adding Value to Your Customer – Selling your product is not the only way you can add value to the customer. There are many ways of doing that. One common thing I see in sales training sessions is the focus on understanding who is not a direct customer. For example, I went to Big Bazaar to exchange a pair of shoes. After talking to the sales person I realized that I didn’t buy the shoes from that store. However, the attendant still helped me find the correct shop and made sure that my problem was taken care of. This was an amazing experience for me as a customer. I learned that adding value to people who are not your direct customer is better than avoiding them. It builds relationships that might even give you benefits like:
• Future business: If he or she plans to buy your product in future, you will be their first choice.
• Word of mouth: The satisfied person might still recommend you to somebody who is a potential customer.
At the end of the day selling is no magic and since you deal with humans, what you give comes back to you for sure. Even if the person does not buy anything from you at all, he might go to 10 different places and talk about you and your service.
So remember anybody and everybody is your customer provided you look at him or her like one and don’t just yearn the close.