You’ve just started your business selling widgets. What is a widget? Doesn’t matter for the sake of this article, but it can be some electronic gadget, fashion handbag, the latest sports gizmo, etc. Whatever it is, you are now in the business of selling it. You know you have a great product, but lack the fundamentals to get it in the hands of a buyer, so what do you do?
In this article we will try and give you some insight on how to sell your product (or service, if you are in the service related industry).
Karen Klein of Business Week said it best, “People buy from people they like and trust.” That is the focus of what we talk about here, how you will get your customers, or in this case, potential customers, to like and trust you.
Selling is relationship oriented. It is the process by which you get to know someone or try and get to know them better. John Delmatoff says, “the most common reason for buyer reluctance is that the buyer`s need to make the purchase is inconsistent with the seller`s need to close the sale.” Meaning that, if you are in a rush to close the deal, you run the risk of losing the sale. Delmatoff continues, “Try early on in the selling process, asking the buyer to describe for you their purchasing process and timing. This information will go a long way toward keeping everyone on the same page regarding the purchase.”
When needed, provide additional information to the buyer. Klein claims, “Sometimes a buyer is reluctant because he or she just doesn`t know how to say no and put a merciful end to your sales efforts.” Giving them more information may turn that no into a potential yes. For instance, ask the buyer what additional information they may need in order to take that next step to buy your product or hire your service. Buyers often end up in a frozen state of decision. A state where they just can`t seem to make up their mind, walk away or follow through. Having them provide more information can help you “unfreeze” them if you will, and get you closer to the sale. In the movie “Groundhog Day”, Richard Dreyfuss wrote a book called “Baby Steps”. That is what you are doing here. You are getting the buyer closer to the sale by moving them in baby steps toward the end goal, which is them buying your product or hiring your service.
You shouldn`t focus all of your effort into trying to obtain new customers that hem and haw over the buying process. In the sales industry they are ususally labeled “slugs”, short for sluggish prospects. Klein says, “putting all your eggs in [one]basket will most likely leave you frustrated and without the business you are looking for.” Eventually you want to fill your buying pipeline with a solid customer foundation, so that when the “slugs” do roll around, you can use your existing client base as referrals or references, with testimonials etc.
“Pick one niche at a time to focus on and your marketing efforts will be more productive and make it easier to sell [to]each prospect. Many entrepreneurs are nervous about excluding lots of potential clients, but by not doing that they appeal to no one. A potential customer wants to feel that you are speaking to him or her directly, that you know their business, their industry, or whatever their needs are. The buyers can get their thoughts around what you are saying because you are speaking their language,” Klein says.
It is no surprise and comes as no genius input that, if buyers know you, trusts you and likes you, they will buy from you. Show interest in your buyer, who they are, what kind of people they are, what they like to do, and chances are your success of a sale isn`t too far behind.
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