“Sales Are Contingent Upon The Attitude Of The Salesman – Not The Attitude Of The Prospect.” – W. Clement Stone
The excitement of a new meeting and the prospect of closing a new deal have always increased the endorphin levels of sales professionals. It takes years of efforts for a personal to develop a sales style which works for them and given tahat it yields results for them, they seldom change it. However, like a woodcutter has to keep sharpening even the best of his axe blades, one needs to change the pitch to make it more effective every time one sets out to win over a potential customer. Following are some important points to consider:
When you say a sales “pitch”, it seems like a one way delivery. However the most effective sales pitches are conversation based. Ignite the inquisitiveness of the client. Ask questions to increase the interest and awareness. Most sales executives mistake conversation with small talk where both of them are completely different. Keep the conversation on the track but avoid a monologue.
Although in above point, I emphasized upon the importance of conversations; an even important concept is to listen much more than you speak. Read between the lines. It gives you a deep understanding of customer behavior and preferences.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey
Use data, facts and figures in your pitch. Make the solution sound logically valid by supporting it with industry phenomenon. Use the comparative figures from the competitive landscape to establish the proof of concept. Do not make up the data. Do not use irrelevant information. Customer has the ability to see right through it.
The importance of research cannot be overestimated. Know all nuances of the products and services you are selling and how will it help the customer. Know the customer, their plans, industry dynamics, technology changes etc. However do not come off as know-it-all. Customer always knows more, and you should add to their knowledge rather than showing them down.
A good CRM helps you understand the history of the customer and the choices they made in the past. It throws out a lot of analytical information which may be used to strengthen your response to the customer and to customize your products and services to their liking even before they understand that they want it in a particular manner.
Ask, and then ask again
Most sales executives leave this part open to luck. They warm up the client but never go for the kill. Always, always, always ask. Ask once, ask twice and then ask once again. It shows you care for their business. Know when to ask and when to follow-up. Know when to wait and then knock again.
“People don’t buy because what you do is awesome. People buy because it makes them feel awesome.” – Tara Gentile