There are so many road blocks when it comes to selling goods and services. It’s no secret that companies hire several candidates for sales positions with high turn around. Sales jobs aren’t for everyone. Not everyone can effectively communicate with people to get their point across. Salespeople need to be compassionate and caring. They must believe that they are truly helping others by selling a product that people truly not just want, but need. If you really want to excel in a position like this, there are steps you can take to succeed. However, the first and most important thing to do is to believe in yourself. However cliche it sounds, it’s absolutely essential.
The biggest hurdle in sales in today’s market is getting a buyer’s attention. There are so many ways to block ‘unwanted numbers’ and phone soliciting is thought of as the worst sort of harassment.
Here are some tips for getting a client’s attention without being too pushy, and then some steps to take once you’ve established contact and engaged with a client.
Believe in yourself
This sounds crazy, cocky and vain, but remember that you are the product expert and you are doing a favor to a potential client by telling them about how this product will improve their lives. When you call someone, sound confident and polite. In your mind you have to believe that the person wants that phone call or appointment.
State your name and why you are calling
Always state your name and why you are calling, but do it in an assumptive manner. For example, “Hi John, I am calling to talk to you about your insurance” isn’t as effective as “Hi John, this is Summer from Company XYZ and I am calling to go over your quote for insurance.” The second opening gives the client a minute to think, “Hmmm, maybe I did ask for a quote.”
As soon as the client starts to talk, take cues from their tone of voice. Allow them to think they have all of the power for their decision. For example, “I am so sorry to have bothered you. I know I can save you some money, but I can call another time.” If they answer “No, I can talk now,” they believe they are in charge of the conversation. They won’t trust you completely yet, but it’s a start. It’s also the ‘take away.’ “I can save you money but I guess you’re too busy” will often times make a person want to hear what you have to say just to be in control of the situation. It’s an old method, but it’s effective.
Give them something personal about yourself
Before you discuss business, tell them something personal about yourself. For example, I always mention I am from Canada and I hate the heat in Texas. Over 90% of the time, the person starts telling me where they are from. I give them a little, they give me a little, and we are building a friendship. People trust friends. People don’t trust strangers.
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Send a text~root~>
If you cannot get ahold of a potential client by phone, send them a text. Do not send a generic text. They are boring and deleted. Send something personal. “Please call me to get a better deal on your insurance” would not be as effective as “Hey Tom, this is Summer with XYZ Insurance and I have a great quote prepared for you. Please give me a call or let me know if you’re interested.” This brings the customer to make a “call to action” meaning they have to respond. “Yes I am interested.” This is all you need. Keep texting and then suggest a phone conversation. Don’t concentrate too much on the business. Talk about personal things and build up trust. Texting is a MUST if you’re going to get someone’s attention. No one ever listens to voice mail and even email is becoming antiquated. If your office has no way to send texts to clients, they are missing out on a huge part of the population and you should suggest downloading some software for texting.
Take follow up notes
Make specific follow up notes with personal information. If Joe tells you he has two boys in college and you follow up with Joe, ask him how his boys are. Natural salespeople really do care about their customers, and people can feel whether or not you’re being sincere. The biggest mistake you can make is to lead a person to believe that you only care about their money.
Explain the process
Once you have the sale, explain the process in layman’s terms. Don’t use a bunch of fancy words that won’t stick with the client. Tell them there is no question too big or small to ask. Make them feel relaxed and not as if they will feel stupid if they do have a question.
Send a hand written thank you card
Always send hand written, snail mailed thank you cards, preferably with your business card inside. A hand written note speaks volumes about your consideration in handling customer service, and your business card will come in handy when your client tells their friends and family about what a great, honest salesperson they have!
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Never give up~root~>
Follow the same process every day. Set a goal for yourself.
- “I am going to quote 10 people today for the product.”
- “I am going to make 2 sales today.”
Set goals and stick to them, and always have a can-do attitude. Do the extra steps for your clients and you will have them for life. You will get frustrated but know that this process works, and you can do it!
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