Sales Styles - Are You An Order Taker?
How To Convert More Of Those Enquiries Into Sales...
Chances are if you are like most people when you think about sales people images of a sleazy car salesman will pop to mind, promising the earth and over selling the product (the car) and overselling other products like a finance, insurance, clear coat protection, etc. Or perhaps a real estate agent will spring to mind, pushing their product, the listing, on to you without any real concern for you and your wants and needs. Now don't get me wrong, not all car sales people or real estate agents are like this, far from it, I know of many who are excellent, genuine and helpful. But it's the image than 99% of the population have in their minds of sales people in general, people think; they're not to be trusted, they just want to make a sale for their own interests.
So how do you think this general feeling affects you and your team when you go to sell the products or services your business sells? Well... in talking with hundreds of business owners over the years, most don't want to be either of the two types of sales people mentioned above, the Over Seller or the Product Pusher, and quite rightly too, nobody wants a product rammed down their throat that the sales person hasn't taken the time to really listen to see if you need or want it. In fact people often tell me, well James, I'm not a sales person, I'm a plumber, an Architect, etc.
Is this your default sales style?
Business owners and sales people the world over default to the third and most frequent of the 4 types of sales people, the Order Taker. The Order Taker, doesn't put what is often referred to by the Order Taker as ‘pressure' on people, in fact they often simply wait for the customer to place an order. While this makes the Order Taker more comfortable, it assumes that the customer knows what is best for them. Don't fall victim to the old saying that "the customer is always right", so we let them take control of the process. Now in customer service 101 we've all heard this saying and in part it's true, you do need to be polite, professional and deal with an issue in the best way to preserve a long term relationship. But don't blanket this saying across to sales, because if the customer was right all the time they wouldn't need your product or service. Remember, you are the expert in your field and they have come to you with a problem and they want you to find a solution, be it a product or a service, you are solving their problem.
Sales Secret - Sales is all about solving a problem, situation, challenge, issue, need or want.
So the 4th type of sale person is the Problem Solver, and to be a great Problem Solver you must first understand the Problem or situation. I always laugh when I hear people say; "what's his name is a great salesperson, they've got the gift of the gab". Now it's true, people can talk others into buying stuff, their tool is influence, but all too often an influencer will become a Product Pusher because they miss one very important part of sales, you must shut up and listen!
This does two things, it builds rapport and trust as you are listening to someone tell their views, but more importantly it helps you understand what is really going on to make sure the person gets the right product or service. Have you ever thought you needed xyz product or service, purchased, then later you realised you needed abc product or service. Annoying isn't it. Who's fault is it?... the Salespersons of course!
Never assume the customer knows what is best for them, help them out, be proactive, they'll thank you for it. Great Problem Solvers do not use influence or the gift of the gab to make the sale. They use one simple but effective tool... Questions!
This week's Action Points...
Write a list of questions, start general then get more specific. You are trying to fully understand what is going on, what the situation is. Test some of them out, this can start to form the basics of a script and this is how you can start to build a business that delivers the same Sales Process whether you are there doing it or not.