Whenever I’m trapped in a traffic signal, immediately I find one poor face around my car trying to attract my attention to get some monetary help. I’m sure most of you have experienced this too. What do you do in that situation? Do you help everyone or some particular ones? Even though we’ve money in our pocket, we don’t help each and every one. We try to judge whether that poor fellow really need our help or not. Unless s/he can convince us fully, we don’t bother to help him or her. Don’t take it otherwise, but some of them do know how to convince us and get the money out of our pocket. Not all the beggars earn good money, but some do. They always win. They apply their own techniques.
Last week I was conducting a training session for a group of marketing executives of a corporate and I was asking them what the most important criterion for a good salesperson is. Some of them said ‘communication skills’ and ‘presentation skills’ while others mentioned ‘persuasion skills’. Yes, these three are of course needed. However, the most important aspect is to be a ‘likeable personality’. If your potential customer does not like you as a person, s/he would never buy anything from you. We had three grocery shops in front our apartment when my family used to live in old Dhaka. I never bought from the middle one just because I did not like that shop keeper. It is true for everyone. We buy things from the people because we like them and rely on them, not necessarily because they offer lesser price.
Zig Zigler, the ‘salesman’s salesman’, while conducting a session on sales techniques once said ‘Selling is something you do FOR somebody, not TO somebody’. Few weeks back I was getting a phone call from a marketing executive of a Banking institution. She was requesting me to keep fixed deposit in that Bank. When I asked why I should change my Bank, her reply was ‘Sir, I have a target to fulfill and it will be really helpful for me if you transfer your fund here.’ Come on! Why should I bother about her target? She should have told me the benefits and advantages instead. What do customers care about most? Right! ‘Themselves’. Therefore, you need to present your product or service in a way that benefits the customer, not you. You should never try to sell something just because you would get sales commission or your promotion would be ensured. If you do good for your customer, it will do good for you eventually.
Another important aspect is to know about your product or service inside and out. Whether you are selling a laptop or an insurance policy or a needle, you need to find out the advantages of your product or service. You need to have a good understanding of similar products or services offered by the competitors so that you can answer all the queries of your customers. Unless you yourself are convinced and confident about what you are selling is the best in the market, you cannot convince your customer and neither can you sell. Your body language also plays a big part while you give presentation or demonstrate your product and answer the queries. Positive body language always makes a big difference.
The last point that I would like to discuss is that when you talk to the potential customer, talk about the benefits, not the technical terms. For example, instead of saying that your product is having extra 2 GB space, you can say it can store 600 mp3 songs more than any other products. Most of the customers do not understand technical terms; you need to simplify those for them. I remember once I was asking one of the electrical service providers to fix some wiring problems in my office. Before leaving, the head electrician came to me and suggested to buy an electrical item. When I asked why, he told lots of things but I could not understand most of them and I was not convinced. I wrote down the name of that item and told him that I would think about it and let him know later on. I did not buy. Few weeks back, I was calling another electrical service provider to fix another problem. Once they were done, the head electrician suggested me to buy the same item that the earlier guy insisted. When I asked why, he explained me how it will protect our PCs and ACs and also would reduce electricity bill by 20%. He could convince me because he talked about the benefits, not the technical terms.
Everyone wants to buy the best solution. So, put yourself in the customer’s shoe and try to understand their point of views. You can definitely SELL MORE.