How often do you get rejected by a prospect? Not once but several times. Somewhere along the sales process, something may have happen. It’s always easy to point a finger at your competitor’s pricing and product offerings. Most often, there are soft signals given out which you may not realize. It can be your body language and the way you bring forth the solution, verbal and non-verbal. A self check is good but to level up, successful salespeople will tell you these 5 things.
Like a sales bible, you must remember and swear by it!
Never Make Assumption
Here is the scenario:
You made assumptions in the first round of conversation due to the past incidents. Your predecessors pass down the baton, saying this client will talk about price. So, you start off with price emphasis. Naturally, the other party shifts his gear towards dollars and cents. How low can you go? Of course, not possible and thus, sales lost. And is that necessary?
Solution: Do not put the same blanket across all clients. Gather information first. A great way is to get a broader opinion: “Mr. A, what do you think of this product?” Should the client sounded interested, try not to assume again but question professionally: “Mr. A, what would be your consideration to make this deal happen?” Once you gather buying signals, get a final confirmation through closing question “Mr. A, when do you need me to deliver?”
Go the extra mile
You may not like it but hey, this brings you sales commission. You take the initiative after sensing that the client has repeatedly or subtly hinted at something obvious. Therefore, go all out to retrieve it, at a reasonable value – and of course honestly. Or find a substitute. For instance, a customer asks for specific delivery times today because he needs to fly out the next day. Either you can take the effort to deliver at your own will or schedule an on-demand delivery. If you do this, the client will remember you. You just get yourself a valuable contact.
Earn Your Badge
A client can be superbly egoistic, thinking he knows more than you. He is testing your emotional reaction. Sadly, he is the Decision Maker. Do you cross swords with him or back off?
Solution: Take a step back. The basic rule is to assess his personality. With a strong character – one of the options is to sincerely praise him, be humble and ask for his perceived comments of your product or service. Why? Respect is important. Once you gain his trust, he is likely to accept your view points. Then, you can move in to find the common ground. No matter what, never be too opinion-minded and make your client look tiny. And if you are unsure on cross-culture norms, don’t talk about it. Observe and inquire politely. Mutual respect – remember these 2 words.
Stories, stories, stories
The moment you start corresponding with your client, the first thought should be “how can I grow my relationship with my prospect?” Storytelling. Find a way to build personal anecdotes and things you have seen, woven into a mini story plot. Make sure your story line is related to his requirements. Never too cheesy but professional sharing.
Can’t think of one? Pick from external sources. Search for articles that will likely interest your client (you have done the groundwork). For example, he is keen to find out more about the e-commerce sector in Hangzhou China. Find a recent press article and make a story out of it – how Alibaba become global firms and where opportunities are that can probably make sense to your client’s business.
80% Listening, 20% Talking
Stories are great. Listening actively is powerful. To make sure you understand deeply, you concentrate, become sensitive to your client’s conversation. Use phrases like “from what I hear…..can I say that you are looking for…..” Take a mental calculation of repeated words and re-clarify thereafter. For instance, “I gather that you mention twice…how important is this to you?”
The client must be talking actively, not you. Get intelligence first. Then you can pepper your client with a key story. This is how listening and storytelling work out to be a winning combination.
Mastering the 5 rules may not be easy. However, if you make it a habit, you can easily develop your own style, comprising the golden rules and work your way up.