Sales people get a bad rap. While the American economy is almost dependent on businesses’ collective success, most Americans do not consider where the bulk of this success finds its roots. While business practices and plans are all part of the process for making profitable gains, the truth of the matter is business and economic stability come from the sales floor. And who creates that stability? The sales representatives.
Now in corporations like Walmart or Amazon, sales is a very different domain. Due to the general nature of the items they carry, these superstore chains are able to run without too much effort from their sales reps. However, sales representatives are still incredibly lucrative in car dealerships, furniture stores, cell phone providers, and even in online marketplaces.
The truth is, if a sales job is done right a consumer feels much more informed about the product they are buying. They do not feel cheated or confused, but are genuinely happy with the service the sales representative provided them.
This feeling of assurance all comes from one source: successful sales people know how to communicate.
3 Top Tips for Communication:
1. Speak to Educate Not to Sell
While every salesperson should go into the interaction thinking like a closer, they need to approach the consumer with the air of a teacher and a friend. When speaking with a consumer, do not try and sell them on the product right away. Instead, learn where they’re at by asking a few questions. Asking them what they know about the product will inform how much education they need.
Take for example how to sell a car. The first task you should do is ask your consumer a series of simple questions in a conversational manner. Ask her if this is her first purchase. Ask her what kind of features she’s looking for. Ask her what she needs the car for—work, pleasure, long travel, etc… Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to hear her needs and ask more specific questions about her concerns and desires.
Using the answers to these questions, the savvy salesperson will then understand just exactly where their consumer’s questions and concerns are. The salesperson's job is then to fill in those gaps by providing facts, figures, stories, and statistics to allow the person to make an educated decision.
This information should be demonstrated in such a way that the person is not overwhelmed by details. Asking questions in the beginning of the interaction will help the business person determine just how much information the consumer needs before they will feel prepared to make a decision.
2. Always Ask for the Sale
While the purpose of the interaction with the customer is to provide an education, a business person would be remiss—nay, stupid—to not give the consumer a call to action. When providing someone with an abundance of information, the business person is allowing the consumer to feel empowered about their ability to make an informed decision. If the sales person did their job right, they sold the product during the educational process. Literally, the only thing left to do at this point is set the consumer up with the best possible plan—and that is, of course, your plan. If you don’t truly believe this, then you should not be in the sales department at all.
3. Believe in the Product
If you are skittish about asking for the sale, you need to take a step back and ask yourself why. As a business person, it is incredibly important to believe that what you are doing is important. Helping your consumer should be your primary goal. By educating them, you are giving them an opportunity to take control of their needs. By giving them a call to action, you are providing the next step in their self-appointed solution. By believing in the product, you are providing them with confidence in their decision to do business with you. If you believe in what you sell, you will instill belief into your consumers.
If you do not believe in the product you offer, there is a simple solution. Use it yourself. See how it changes your life. And if you don’t need it, talk to your consumers who did. Hear their testimonies and let those stories fuel your fire. If they do not, your product or service might need some adjustments before it’s sales ready.
No matter what your situation though, these three tips will help you communicate value to your consumer as well as instill confidence within your own communication skills.