Sales is both an art and a science. Like most things that live in this duality, it can get complicated. But it doesn’t have to.
Art is all about personal style. Going with the flow. Using our unique gifts and talents to create something beautiful. Closing a sale is quite beautiful.
Science frames standard practices from methods tried and true. Experiments and formulas. Over time we may notice that some things work more efficiently than others. A certain style, script or tactic closes more sales than another. It’s all about the numbers.
How can we put the two together? As simply as possible. What works for one person might not work for another. There’s certain nuances based and personality and other unique factors that shouldn’t be replicated. However the same general method always stays the same.
A salesman must find a way to add value. What do we bring to the table? How can we help solve a problem? This requires really listening.
What if we went to the doctor and they prescribed the most expensive treatment for a minor problem? Don’t we want premium services a reasonable price? I think we all do. But a doctor who prescribes a surgery for something that could be cured with a simple pill wouldn’t last very long in the sales world.
Being able to accurately diagnose and propose the simplest solution will not only bring success on the current patient, but they will get referrals. A salesman lives or dies by referrals. If we give good customer service, the prospect has no reason not to tell a few family or friends about how painless and inexpensive the trip to the doctor was. The doctor added value in an easy and affordable way by prescribing some antibiotics.
What about the doctor who ordered a major surgery for this minor problem? Of course the patient is going to experience buyer’s remorse and tell a friend and family. The truth is: satisfied customers tell on average 1-3 people about their positive experience. On the other hand an unsatisfied customer complains on average to 7-10 people.
If we’re treated unfairly we want to spread the word so others don’t experience what we did. If we’re treated justly, we tend to expect that service and don’t make as big of a deal about it.
If we’re very upfront with our clients and prospects we’ll get more referrals. A lot of people are afraid to perform so they don’t ask for referrals until they’ve closed or attempted to close a deal.
Just because we don’t close a certain prospect doesn’t mean they can’t give us referrals. If we awkwardly wait until the end after we’ve been rejected by our prospects, we most likely won’t get referrals. But if we tell them up front that regardless of if they buy from us, if they have a good experience and we could benefit the people they know, we'll be asking for some names at the end of the conversation. This will do several things.
First it will break the tension. They’re already going to be judging us and our product. This builds rapport and says it’s okay to be open and honest with us. We're okay if they don’t buy. Our goal here is to help and bring solutions to their problems. Not just them but their friends and family too.
Being up front about referrals also helps with the prospect opening up. This could speed up the process and if they’re not interested, they’ll tell us right away and save us all time. This also could open the door to grasp our client’s full attention. Now they’re listening. If we're willing to make a bold statement and put our current sale and have the balls to wager friends and families easily swayed opinion by their experience on the table. They’ve got to listen.
This also gets the prospect thinking. It’s all about them right now. But at the end of this conversation the attention shifts. Maybe they'll buy this if no one knows about it. But now that their friends and family might find out, this better be a superb solution to their problem.
We’ll never know if we don’t ask. It’s hard to have success if we ask but don’t listen. If we have an agenda to close and sell something to every person we encounter we won’t last long. We’ll get burnt out. It’s just the nature of sales. We hear no and get rejected more than we hear yes.
But if our mind set is to listen and offer a practical solution to everyone we come in contact with, we’re already winning. Do we truly believe our product will work and benefit every single person? If we do, we won’t have to work very hard and probably wouldn’t be reading this.
Zig Ziglar said the difference between a genuine salesman and a con artist is that a con artist can sell anything to anyone. A sales professional can sell a solution to a problem. If we ask the right questions, prescribe the simplest solution and ask to help others along the way we're true sales professionals.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve enjoyed this and it has given you a new skill, knowledge or insight, please pass this on so 1-3 more people can benefit. If this post was a waste of your time, please let 7-10 people know why you read the entire thing before you realized your mistake :)