By Katie Scheer
It is a very competitive and fast paced consumer world. For your business to thrive, you must take the time to learn (and know) your product, competition, market trends, economic factors, and current events. Customer relationships have to be built, AND accounts must be qualified.
How can you qualify and build customer relationships? First, inquiring about the customer’s key needs and objectives are questions that must be asked during the sales process. Then, by understanding the needs of the customer, your sales process and pitch can be custom designed to match his/her key needs. What's better? Your customer will know that his/her needs are being met when you take the time to uncover his/her wants. This will lead to loyalty and ongoing sales, which also results in a strong relationship.
Turning an inquiry into a customer (or gaining the purchase) is the ultimate goal of sales. Improving closing ratios ought to be every business's goal. So let's dive in and discover how you can "c" more sales through these sales skills…
- Competence– To earn the customer's business you must show that you are both capable and able to properly speak about what you are selling. If you waiver and don't seem qualified to do so, the customer will lose faith and trust in what you are attempting to say. Build up your competencies by knowing your product and services inside and out.
- Confidence– "To sell, you must believe in your product or service – and believe in yourself. Your selling skills depend, in large part, on your level of self confidence." (Get Ready to Sell by Building Self Confidence by Susan Ward) You MUST have confidence in yourself and your selling abilities. For example, if you have a fear of asking questions or feel that getting to know your customers' needs takes up too much time, then it will be difficult to succeed. How confident are you?
- Comprehension- The moment you sound unsure of what you are saying about your company and its products/services is the moment the sale is in danger or lost. You must fully understand and be able to accurately speak to all details in regards to your products and services. If you can't, you need to study and test yourself until you have all information perfected.
- Creation– How would a movie, TV show, or TV commercial turn out if it did not start with a script? Probably choppy, unorganized, unconvincing, and unprofessional. Actors study their scripts over and over again until they can look, feel, and act the part. Similiarly, in sales, you must start with a script and become masters of your part in salesmanship. However, never sound scripted or inauthentic as you speak; you must naturally speak and mold each sentence to the conversation at hand and to each unique audience.
Keep in mind, "if you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will" (Bob Hooey). Be smart and use these sales skills so your competition does not earn the business that you deserve.