Keynote Speaker, Author & Partner, Author of ’They Ask You Answer”, Presented 250+ Sales, Marketing, & Communication Workshops Worldwide
November 17th, 2009
Let me just start by saying the title of this little article is no exaggeration. What I’m going to talk about here is quite a novel concept for most professionals in the sales industry. But for those persons that actually attempt to implement what I’m about to tell you in your sales strategy, I can promise your life is going to change.
Plain and simple, you will make more sales and your sales identity will never be the same.
When I first learned how to sell, I was always taught that mentioning the word ‘sale’ or ‘sell’(or any other derivative) in front of the customer would not be a good idea. For example, if it’s a retail/store sales situation, most sales people are simply taught to do ‘small talk’ with the customer for a few minutes and then jump right into the presentation phase of the sale, i.e. showing the product. In fact, I’ve heard many sales people tell their customers, “I’m not here to sell you anything, I’m just here to show you our products.”
Now many of you may feel such a statement is proper sales strategy, but do you know what such a statement sounds like to me when I hear it?
“I’m not here to sell you anything (my thought: You’re not, then why do you even work here?), I just want to show you our products.” (No you don’t, you’re lying to me, because actually you want to sell me something.)
Do you catch my drift here? The majority of salespeople in the world start their sales process off lying and attempting to mislead the customer. But frankly, who actually believes such a line from a salesperson?
So what’s my take?-----Always be brutally honest with your customers. Don’t lie to them. They already know you’re there to sell them something so just tell it like it is.
For example, let’s say you’re setting up a sales call for an in-home sale. After you discuss the customer’s needs and expectations, and then set the appointment, you should ALWAYS say something like (Let’s use kitchen cabinets as an example):
Salesperson: “Mr. Jones, I’m excited to meet with you to discuss your kitchen cabinets replacement. I want you to know that I’m going to spend quality time with you when I come out to ensure we choose the perfect cabinets for you and your family. I’ve also given you (xyz educational material) to make sure you’re well informed about our company and our products before I come out. I tell you this because I want you to know that the purpose of me coming to your home is to earn your business. In other words, it’s my goal that we reach an agreement on your cabinets when I come out.”
Mr. Jones: (a little surprised) “Well Ok, that sounds good to me. I look forward to it.”
There are literally hundreds of variations of this sales statement and it can be used in just about every sales situation. But the underlying principle here never changes. You, as the sales professional, are actually honest and straight forward with the customer. In other words, you stand tall for what you are. You tell them, without any room for misunderstanding, that you are there to sell them something. Although many persons that read this will think the customer will be put off by such audacity, I can only say that your customers will appreciate your honesty. And not only that, but they will take the sales process much more seriously.
For example, if a couple knows you are coming to their home to ‘sell’ them something versus ‘show’ them something, do you think they will change how they act in the appt? Of course they will. In fact, if you use this powerful statement with your customers you will find the following:
1. Rarely will one of the decision makers miss the appt.
2. The couple will eliminate distractions from the appt as much as possible. (For example, they may decide to get a babysitter for the little ones.)
3. The potential buyer, if they are not serious at all, will quickly let the salesperson know it, saving the salesperson valuable time.
Remember, this technique is applicable to just about every sales situation imaginable, especially when dealing with in-home sales as well as retail. To close this article, I’d like to share an experience I once had with a seemingly ‘unfriendly’ lady who entered my store looking at hot tubs. Here’s the actual experience:
Sales guy: Hello, and thanks for coming to our store today, I’m assuming you’re looking for a new hot tub.
Lady: (very rudely and in what appears a very bad mood) Yes, I am. And let me guess, now you’re going to try to sell me one, aren’t you?
Sales Guy: Well of course I am Ma’am. That’s what I do. I sell hot tubs. And frankly, I’m very good at helping people just like you find the hot tub of their dreams. In fact, I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t do my job, wouldn’t you agree?
Lady: (stunned with mouth open…snaps out of it, then sheepishly says:) Uhhm, well yes, I do agree. This lady bought a hot tub 30 minutes later.
So there you have it folks. Believe in yourself. Be proud of who you are as a salesperson. And always let your customers know your intentions.
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