So you convert four prospects out of ten. Does a 40% success rate mean you are wasting 60% of your marketing budget? No, but maybe some sales training could increase your rate to 60% – and that would up your turnover by 50%!
Here are a few tips that may prove valuable
- Get yourself into the proper frame of mind. You can’t expect to do a good job if you are still fuming about the idiot who cut you up on your way to the appointment. Let go of the day’s frustrations and concentrate on the customer.
- Find some common ground. Sometimes this means talking about (or letting the customer talk about) last night’s football or the awful state of the country before getting down to business. Just don’t let it get out of hand!
- Clearly identify the customer’s need. It’s a cliché but don’t try to sell the drill bit – sell the hole!
- Use their words, not yours. Sometimes we get carried away with our own clever jargon. If the customer wants ‘plenty of loft space’, don’t turn it into ’30 square metres of unobtrusive storage solution’.
- Paint attractive word pictures. Ask the customer to ‘imagine yourself driving through the countryside in your new convertible on a sunny day’.
- Use positive reinforcement. When the customer himself talks about the benefits of ownership, don’t be tempted to add lots more features – (s)he knows what (s)he wants. So just agree and ask for the order.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Try to see things from the customer’s viewpoint; ask yourself, ‘Would I buy it from me?’ If you can’t convince yourself ….
- When they suggest a feature they want, ask questions. ‘Why is that important to you?’ The more you ask, the more you will understand what they are looking for and the better you will be able to match your product to their requirements.
- Always be credible. Don’t make outrageous claims. Most customers can spot them and the ones that don’t come back looking for refunds when they discover the truth.
- Be prepared to say no if you believe they are making a mistake. It’s awfully hard to turn down a sale but they will thank you and probably become your most loyal customer in the future.