Ravin S. Papiah - "EPIC YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH SALES LEADERSHIP THE RAVIN PAPIAH WAY !"
SHOW 5 – Sales Leadership Lessons 1
Welcome to the fifth show on Epic Your Business ….the Ravin Papiah Way !
Although the definition of a sale is simple enough, the process of turning someone into a buyer can be very complex. Today’s Show will give you a basic sales process, plus some basic sales tools, that you can use to seal the deal, no matter what the size of the sale.
Segment 1 – Understanding the Talk
Like any profession, sales has its own special vocabulary. There’s nothing particularly difficult about the language of sales. Mastering it just takes a little study and practice. Knowing the language will make you feel more confident and prepared to start selling.
Characteristics of the different types of sales:
Telemarketing: In theory, the telephone allows you to reach just about anyone on the planet. In practice, however, many people screen their calls and it is often difficult to get through to a real person. If you use the phone for sales, have a brief curiosity-building message ready to leave on the voice mail of potential customers.
Direct mail: Believe it or not, a one percent response rate for direct mail is considered average. Despite these long odds, many companies still rely heavily on direct mail to generate sales.
E-mail: Legitimate e-mail selling is different from spam, the “carpet bombing” approach that sends messages to thousands or millions of people whether or not they have expressed any interest in the product being hyped. If you use e-mail for selling, try to put something in the “subject” line of your message that will attract attention and keep people from deleting the message without reading it.
The Internet: Most companies offer information about their products on their websites, whether or not they actually do any selling online. If you are in person-to-person sales, you need to be very familiar with what your company says about its products online. The growing interest in social networking sites, such as Facebook, offers new opportunities for online sales.
Person-to-person: Most sales are still conducted face to face. When you eat at a restaurant, check into a hotel, or buy bananas in a grocery store, you are the customer in a person-to-person sales transaction. Since this is the most common type of sales, we are going to talk more about it in the Sales Leadership Lessons during these last 3 weeks.
Segment 2 – 3 Common Sales Approaches
Consultative approach: This is a long-term approach to sales. It may not lead to sales right away, but by building a relationship with a client it aims to create sales opportunities in the future. The more you learn about a client, the better able you are to understand the client’s wants and needs. It is an approach which depends upon trust – you trust that the customer will see the benefits of buying from you and they trust that you will give them the correct steer. The danger with this approach is that you may spend a considerable amount of time building a relationship and then having nothing to show for it. By building a relationship, however, you increase the chances of large-scale and repeat business.
Hard sell: Many people are turned off by this approach. They consider it too pushy. This approach is used most often with clients who have a hard time making up their minds. It is only advisable to use the hard sell in a one-off setting where time is at a premium – if they don’t buy now; you are not likely to see them again. Therefore it is “now or never”.
Technical sales: This approach is used most often with highly technical products and services. Sales personnel need some technical knowledge so that they will be on an equal footing with clients. The client will have a clear idea of what they are looking for, and a checklist of priorities. You will point them towards a range of items which meet those priorities – if not entirely then as well as possible. You may offer a personal opinion based on an understanding that you know what they want and they know you have enough product knowledge to point them in the right direction
Segment 3 – Getting Prepared to Make the Call
Preparing to make a call begins with learning about your client — specifically, what your client needs, and how you can meet those needs. Before you even pick up the phone you need to have a clear impression of how not only you’re opening, but the following few stages of the conversation are going to go.
In preparing this way you will be able to anticipate various reactions from the potential customer – enthusiasm, caution, reluctance etc. – and tailor your responses to their questions or expressions of reluctance. This will ensure that you can mold your selling tactics to get the best results time and again.
As a salesperson, you will be required to make many phone calls to potential customers, whether they are “cold calls” or “warm”. The object of the calls will be to try and get a sales agreement in place as soon as possible, so you need to get as many facts nailed down as possible.
Having a pen and paper nearby is obviously handy, and you should then decide on a strategy for going forward with the call. The more you know about the person to whom you are speaking, the nature of their business, and what you can do for them, the better for any eventual sales pitch.
Identifying Your Contact Person
There are many ways to find a contact person. Perhaps the most valuable is through networking and referrals. A referral from a third party gives you instant credibility, especially if the third party is well-known and respected by the potential client.
In looking for a contact person, it is often worthwhile to go through a “pre qualifying” process. This involves doing some research to determine if the contact is really the appropriate person to talk to and if the contact’s business actually has a need for your products.
There is no point wasting your time chasing contacts that won’t do you any good. Their position in the company and their closeness to the decision maker will decide this. Glean as much information from the third party as is appropriate.
When you first speak to the contact it will be appropriate to let them know who referred you to them: “Hello, I’m from _______and I’ve been given your name by_______ from _______. I was wondering if you had a few moments to discuss _______”. By letting them know that you have dealt with and supplied a person they trust, you will immediately become more trustworthy in their eyes. Don’t go straight into a pitch, but make preliminary enquiries to strengthen your sales prospects.
Segment 4 – Performing a Need Analysis
Clients need many more things than you might be planning to sell them. The more you can do for a client, the more you will be seen as a valuable partner. Here are some suggestions about how it might be possible to meet some other client needs:
Information. You might be able to act as a consultant to a client, providing information about the latest developments in your field.
Training. If you provide a product that requires some training, make training part of the package.
Financing. If your company does not provide financing, put the client in touch with banks that do.
Community. Communities often grow up around particular products, especially high tech products. Introduce clients to users groups or trade organizations.
Personnel. You probably know a number of capable people who are thinking about changing jobs. Helping a client find skilled employees can benefit everyone involved. If the people you recommend are hired, they will become some of your strongest advocates.
Creating Potential Solutions
Providing solutions is a matter of finding ways to address the problems identified through the questions you ask a client.
If the client’s problems are fairly simple, you may be able to offer a solution on the spot.
For more complex problems, you may need some time to study the situation before you come up with a way to deal with it. In addressing these more difficult problems, you might take the same approach you would use with a problem in your own organization. Assemble a group of knowledgeable staff and ask them to brainstorm solutions.
Find the best ideas and implement them. A successful research of the problem will help you build a good reputation.
See you Next Wednesday for session 6 of our Show!
CONTACT DETAILS :
Name of Host : Ravin Souvendra Papiah
E-mail : email@example.com
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