Selling a product, service, or idea can all benefit from the same proven sales tactics. Sales are often a difficult thing for new business owners. Sales drive every business and can be the most challenging part of opening a new business.
This article will give you simple tools that will work for virtually any business model. If you have never been in sales, these tactics will help you get started:
- Believe in what you are selling. It sounds simplistic, and it is. To convince others that they need the product or service you are offering, you need to believe it is true. People respond to those they feel are authentic, and this is the first step in being a great salesperson.
- Know your customer base. Research those who are most likely to be potential customers. The more you understand about them, the better odds you will have of connecting with them. Connections are what make sales. Know what their needs are and determine how what you are selling can help fill those needs. Sell them solutions to their problems.
- Always listen more than you talk. Learn the art of active listening. Active listening is interactive listening where you reflect what you are hearing the customer says. Listening makes the customer feel important, heard, and understood. This technique not only helps you identify what need you can fill, but it also helps establish a relationship. Relationships with your customers are where brand loyalty is born.
- Viable leads require nurturing and follow-up. People do not like to feel pressured into a purchase or decision. High-pressure sales tactics have proven ineffective, especially for developing a repeat customer base.
- Make sure your customer is delighted and then ask for a referral. Word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. If you have helped a customer solve a problem, or sold them a product you know they are satisfied with, then politely ask that they send other customers your way.
- Never miss a deadline. If you do, offer a sincere apology and do whatever it takes to make it up to the customer. You want to be the go-to resource for whatever product or service you are selling. Inconveniencing your customers is a quick way to lose business. People do realize that life happens though, and sincere apologies and the desire to make up for a mistake can earn you loyalty from customers.
- Understand your target market. Not every person will need or want your product or service. Do not waste valuable resources targeting those who do not make up your most likely market. A scattershot approach to sales is nonproductive and a waste of time.
- Ask open-ended questions to determine what your customer genuinely needs. Your customer may be inquiring about a small widget. You still take the time to have a conversation. During the discussion, you may discover that your client needs an entire system of widgets to meet their needs best.
- Stand by your product. Customers will feel more confident in purchasing something that comes with some guarantee. What type of return policy, warranty, or guarantee can you offer your customer as an incentive to buy your product?
- Be able to show customers that your product works the way you say it does. You may have to be creative here, depending on what it is that you are selling. If you are a portrait photographer, this is as simple as a portfolio showcasing your best work. If it is a service, then recommendations from previous clients may be the hook. Create a way to prove that your product or service does what you are saying it does.