One of the most important aspects of sales is the buyer's confidence in the seller. If a potential client doesn't trust you, how can they trust what you are selling?
A trustworthy salesperson stays top of mind with customers and is the first person prospects go to for a solution. If you’re wondering how to become that type of salesperson, these 5 tips are for you!
1. Listen to Empathize
A vital skill for any salesperson is knowing how to listen to empathize, not listen just to sell.
People are naturally cautious and don’t like to feel that they are being sold to (even if it’s clear that that’s your job). Don’t risk coming off as superficial or insincere by diving straight into your pitch. If your prospect is in the middle of something or not in a good mood, you may even face hostility or aggression.
Instead, make active listening the goal of the first few minutes into meeting your client. Pay attention to their speech and expression. Strive to sympathize with their role, needs, and concerns by shifting your focus from making the sale to the person making the purchase. It’s the best way to show your prospect you care, by building trust and rapport.
A helpful tip is to paraphrase what your prospect has said and ask if you have summarized it correctly. This prevents misunderstandings and allows you to position your product to as the solution to their pain-points.
2. Ask The Right Questions
The easiest way to find out exactly what a potential customer wants is to ask questions. And not just any questions, but the right questions. Do not try to push the client into purchasing with your inquiries; it will only turn them away.
Instead, ask open-ended questions that can provide you with important information. The difference may be subtle, but questions that start with “why”, “what” and “how” are more way more powerful than just “yes/no” questions. Notice how “what do you think is your biggest challenge this year?” leads to more discussion than “is there a specific challenge that is holding you back?”.
Asking the right questions also helps you discover your prospect's burning pain-points. Are they having issues with their current tools? Do they face similar problems as your other clients? What’s holding them back from meeting their goals? The answers to these questions will help you understand how your product or service can be useful for your prospect, how important it is to them, and will also give you a better sense of how to map your solution to their problems.
Also, be mindful about your prospect’s needs. You might be asking the right questions but at a bad time. It's very difficult to sell anything to someone who just does not have the time. Make sure your prospect is ready to engage in a conversation with you. If the they are busy, just reschedule and find a better time to talk about your product or service.
3. Be Genuinely Natural
How do you behave when you first meet someone on a first date? That's right, you are trying to find out as much as you can about the other person! What do they do? What are their interests, concerns, goals, and principles? The same amount of interest is needed for getting to know a prospect. Being genuinely curious about your prospect will make the conversation more natural and less like you are trying to close a sale.
Another tip is to speak to the prospect as you would speak to a friend, without florid language or hidden intentions to be more authentic. There is also no point in switching to a “selling” mode when talking to a potential customer. Sales is not a show where everything has to go according to a certain scenario. Selling is the goal, but completely different paths can lead to the same destination.
4. Avoid Long Speeches
Based on all the information you have gathered from your potential customer, ask to confirm any information or assumptions you are unsure of. Then, with an understanding of what type of solution your prospect needs and how you can offer it, make your pitch.
When delivering your pitch, do not go over all the features of your product of the specifications of your service. After all, you are not Wikipedia and the worst thing you can do is to bore your prospect to death with your presentation. Instead, explain to your prospect how they can benefit from your product in a simple, succinct way. This helps them perceive you as someone that is trying to create value for them. Besides, you don’t need to persistently explain the features of your product or service. It’ll come across as redundant and forced.
5. Don’t Be Pushy
Having earned your prospect’s trust and thoroughly explained the strengths of your product and how it can help them solve their specific pain-points; it’s time for them to analyze the pros and cons and make an informed decision. Don’t use pressure tactics that will only bother, or even repel your prospect. If you’ve carefully listened to your prospect and properly understood their needs, there is little chance for a negative answer.
At this final stage, ask the prospect if there is anything preventing them from buying. They may be hesitant because of pricing, or it may not be the right time to purchase. Inquire, and try to overcome any objections your prospect may have.
Practice these tactics to build your prospect's trust in you and your product or service, and keep the focus on your end goal, which is to help them solve a problem. You won’t be able to do so without taking the time and effort to really understand their needs.
Remember: Sales is strongly based on human relationships. If you’re able to establish long-lasting relationships with your prospects, and show them that you genuinely care about them and their problems, your chances of closing the deal will be much, much higher.
About the author: Frank Hamilton has been working as a translator at translation service TheWordPoint. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.