When it comes to sales, be a product of the product. If you don’t use the product or service you’re selling, why should your prospect? If you sell Hondas, don’t drive a Jeep. These six strategies will help you build credibility up with prospective customers and clients – and also ensure you make some money in the process for your business.
1. Determine quickly if you really can help.
I recently got a call from a prospective client who wanted help completing interviews. It took me about 2-3 minutes to find out that their budget was too small for me to work with. I politely offered a referral to another firm that might be able to do the job. I didn’t want to waste any more of their time, and I didn’t want them to waste any more of mine.
A good salesperson should know the type of customers they work best with, and if the people they are meeting with are the right kinds of customers for their organization. After a few questions, you should be able to determine if it makes sense to keep talking. If not, end the meeting.
2. Address concerns completely.
When a concern is brought up, don’t skip over it. Stop for a moment and consider what could be causing it. Is it a real objection? If so, take a moment to prepare your response. Then fully address the concern with the customer. For example, if a prospect says your price is too high, focus on showing the value of your product or service. Frame your price in terms of the immediate and long term benefits the person or company will receive.
3. No mutual mystification.
Miscommunication is a major problem in our society and one that wastes time, money and effort. By paying more attention to detail and checking everything twice, you will be able to better ensure that everyone stays on the same page.
4. Give every presentation 110%.
Never sell a customer short. When you do this, you show them a lack of respect. Don’t take short cuts in your sales approach; give your all in every presentation you give. Instead of reciting generic information, customize your presentation to your prospects’ situation. In case they need to convince other people in their own company, your information should be clear and easily re-presentable.
5. Ask for the decision.
As a salesperson it is important to know whether or not an individual is able to make a decision. If you ask your prospect for a “yes” or “no” decision – and they say no—you’ve lost nothing. Maybe suggests you continue working until you make a sale; however, in reality, that maybe could be a no. If you have ten prospects, it is better to know that five of them are “yes’s” and five are “no’s,” rather than one “yes” and nine “maybe’s.”
6. Discuss other customers who are using your products and services.
The idea of being the first to try something is frightening; many prospective customers want to know about those who have made such a decision before them. By telling them about other customers who have used your products or services and experienced great results, you’ll be able to help set their minds at ease. It’s as if you are giving them a permission slip to invest in you and your service!
Dr. Lloyd Corder is the President and CEO of CorCom, Inc. The company helps clients more effectively market their products, services and ideas through marketing research and consulting services.