If the thought of “selling” produces instant nausea, it can only mean one thing: loud, fast-talking sales people clad in plaid slacks, striped shirts, and wide ties sporting a food stain was likely your sales experience. Is it any wonder you're left with a bad taste for selling? Couple that with years of a good economy where products and services literally sold themselves and it's easy to see how sales systems may be a bit anemic.
As with some trends (including double-knit pants), the passing of time can be a good thing. Selling, done properly in today's marketplace, is no longer about seducing your prospect into doing business with you. In fact, a recent study indicated that 92% of all business-to-business products and/or services were bought – not sold!
With your prospective client controlling both information and the velocity of the sales cycle, here are 10 key points guaranteed to help your prospects become clients and fortify your sales system.
- Have genuine conversations with your prospects about their needs and concerns. Selling is about identifying and satisfying the needs of your prospect.
- Be authentic. Develop sales conversations that are a natural fit for you.
- Know and understand the buying cycles driven by your consumer.
- Develop sales methods that attract (pull) rather than seduce (push) your consumer.
- Align your sales efforts with market segments that are growing.
- Make it simple and easy to buy your products and/or services by removing buying obstacles.
- Measure the effectiveness of your sales efforts to permit continual improvement.
- Implement a follow-up system that allows you to remain top-of-mind for your prospect and readily available as a trustworthy resource.
- Grow a sales system that produces a consistent experience for your prospects with each and every encounter.
- Establish sales goals that stretch – not stress – you. There's nothing more unbecoming than an anxious sales professional.
Bribing, seducing, or coaxing your prospect is no longer an acceptable sales practice for the 21st century. Although clients want to buy, they just don't want to be sold.
Are you curious how your sales skills measure up? Take the “Qualities of the 21st Century Sales Professional” test and see for yourself. Then, share what is most effective for you.