The Art of Selling18/09/2018
On an average, a person encounters about three sales persons in a day. Your phone will ring one sunny morning; a jovial salesperson is on the other end of the line selling you cruise vacation tickets. As you condition yourself for a good relaxing nap, somebody begins knocking on your door and when you open it, an insurance salesman is right at your face smiling his heart out. You try to sort out your mails before going to bed and you noticed that half of them are promotional newsletters.
You might be tired of salespeople yourself. In fact, you might have hated the mere sight of one. But do you know that it is one of the most rewarding jobs around? Sales people are the very individuals who move the company. Their job is to market the products and make the company flourish in the process. If a salesperson is not able to do his job well, then the rest of the company will fall. The CEO, down to the rank-and-file employees, will soon be out of their jobs.
Do you see now how powerful salespeople can be? And because of this alone, they are quite indispensable in any organization. For a salesperson, every sale merits a commission. And for their every good performance, income spiffs and special bonuses, who then would not want to be a salesperson and become rich and successful?
Do you now want to be involved in sales? If you still don’t feel up for it, take this. It is in selling where money really lies. You do not even have to invest too much, nor would you need any capital upfront. All you needed is the right skills and the correct attitude for the job. Whatever product you are selling won’t matter at all. Your merchandise, service, or goods will all be sold in a matter of minutes, hours, or days, depending upon its complexity and worth. And you will achieve your first million sooner than you have ever expected.
Almost no one is born to become a top-notch salesperson, although some may have “natural” talents in selling. They are all trained to become one. And there are no tough pre-requisites for that. All you need is the willingness and the desire to succeed. Once you have that, you will get a good focus on your goal. You will notice that everything simply falls into place. You will become a master when it comes to selling.
Expect that selling is something that you can do well. Everybody can become successful in the field of sales. People go to the market each day. They shop for the food that they will eat and the things they will use. You see, almost every place is a marketplace. Selling is simply a part of our lives. Most of the time, you are in the buying end. But this time around, you are in the selling end. The bottom line is that we are usually involved in a selling deal. And because of that, you must have seen good salespeople at work, right? Try to observe how they can make people buy their stuffs or even ideas. They have a certain ability that makes them good at their job.
Understanding the Selling Market
Before gearing up to sell, you have to understand one essential thing in selling – and that’s your potential market. Potential market is simply defined as the group of people who could be interested in the product or services that you are offering. These are the people who you will be selling your products to; and apparently, their roles are very important.
Whatever product you are advertising, there is only one thing to keep in mind: you have to know who your target market is. It is not a good suggestion to sell beauty creams and makeup in a car-racing magazine, would it? Well, not unless you want to utilize whatever media you can put your hands on. But still, doing that is an incredible idea.
Segregating Your Market
Still referring to the answers you have for the questions above, you may notice that you have a rather diverse group of buyers. It is possible that your product caters for a big group of people, young and old, male or female. Segregating your market is essential so that you will be able to cater for their individual needs. According to several researches, doing that will take you closer to your prospective buyers and eventually, to sales and profit. To successfully segregate your market, here are the things that you have to remember:
Determine the Needs of Each Group
For sure, male executives buying your product will have at least one different reason from single mothers who will be buying it. Although you are selling the same goods to these two sets of different people, the presence of their individual needs and benefit still remains. This is something that you have to capitalize on as you plan your sales pitch.
You won’t effectively know your target market if you are just guessing what their needs and wants might be. You have to know them for sure and should not settle for the but’s, if’s, and maybe’s. Send out a survey. Consult with the experts. Read a lot about these people and be properly informed. Know how your competitors do it. Alternatively, if your budget allows it, hire a company to do all of these for you. Then test your market. The main idea here is for you to be reasonably assured that you are following the right strategy.
Say only the “proper” Things
You have to speak the particular group’s language. If you intend to sell to the young or the teenagers, you have to talk like one of them and not like strict parents asking them to do this and do that. Speak as if you are a teenager yourself. Know what their heart’s desires are. And give those to them exactly. You should talk like a member of their group, and not an outsider wanting to be a part of it. Your target market will most likely detect a hoax when they smell one. And the effects of that are rather unappealing.
Focusing on Your Market
Now that you know all your possible markets, you have to cater to each of their special needs. This is commonly referred to as niche marketing. A niche market is simply a specific portion of a bigger market. It is nothing but a narrowed group of probable customers that is often overlooked by a mainstream provider.
Always remember that every niche market has its own needs and requirements. That is going to be your focus. In order for you to successfully meet all their specific needs, the first thing that you have to do is to carefully select a profitable niche. Choosing the right niche starts it all. When choosing, consider its profitability. Keep in mind that a niche’s group of potential customers is relatively small, so focus on a highly lucrative group of people.
Analyze your market. Who are you competitors? Are they offering niches as well? If they are not, then you are lucky. All you have to do is to choose one specific area and focus on that. If unfortunately, they are offering niches as well, try to determine the area that is not yet serviced. Be creative. If your business is about home decors, a good niche is an exotic collection of decorative items from different countries all over the world, like Egypt or the Bahamas, for example. Your main goal is to be the best provider for that certain group. Maintain an inventory of the best products given at the best price.
Honing Your Face-to-Face Selling Skills
One way to realize your goal is to make sure that you sharpen your face-to-face selling skills. This is helpful if you have to do door-to-door selling, service sales, or customer service. To be an effective face-to-face seller, here are good tips you have to follow:
Make sure you have all the sales material at hand.
Don’t expect to make big sales if you are not prepared for everything. You have to always have the order forms, purchase orders, sales slips, selling materials, and specification sheets handy. Bring them wherever you go. Make sure you have extra copies of each in your car, your briefcase, desk, and counter. If you are always ready, you won’t give your customer any room for second thoughts.
Take advantage of good testimonials.
Good customer service will tell you that you don’t forget a customer right after every sale. Instead, you follow-up their purchase with the offer of support to help them with anything about the product or to answer questions about its use and functionality. It is also a good time to ask for feedback as to whether they are satisfied with the sale, both regarding the commodity and the quality of support or customer service they received. You can even ask some of your all-too-pleased customers for good testimonials. More often than not, they will be very willing to vouch a good word or two about you, the product they bought, and the company that made it.
Update Your sales Materials Regularly
If you are indeed using catalogs, visual aids, brochures, and leaflets, you have to make sure that they are all up-to-date and accurate. You customers are going to use the information contained in them to guide them with their purchase. They may even use the data you gave and compare it with your competitor’s products.
Now if you give them inaccurate data, you can expect either one of two results. The first result: your customer will choose other product over yours because what you have doesn’t fair well when compared to others. This will likely happen if you haven’t updated your materials with the innovations and improvements the manufacturer has made with the product you are offering. And the second result: your customer will buy your product, thinking yours is better than the others, only to find out they are fooled because of the inaccurate facts and figures placed on the brochure they took home with them. Either case, you will end up losing. On both counts, you lose a sale because the second customer is very likely to request for a refund.
Provide the Best Product and Sales Deal
A good salesperson does not think of what he can get out of each sale he makes. He also thinks about the person on the other end of the bargain. A salesperson should strive to fully understand what his customer wants. He has to help him make an informed decision among his legitimate options. Selling is also about caring and trust. This is the primary reason customers keep coming back.
Sell Related Products to Satisfied Customers
A happy customer may be all too willing to buy other products. For example, if you are selling designer clothes to prospects and at the end, they did buy one of your products, try to sell them designer shoes and bags to match. They may not buy right away, but it is such a great opportunity to present them other products that complement the item they’ve purchased. You will then have an active list of customers in the near future.
After understanding your target market, you should know exactly the type of people that will buy what you are selling. Get to meet them and sell to them aggressively. However the meeting goes, either you got a sale or not, get referrals. They will surely have other friends in the same field that may be willing to buy. Always make every meeting worth it, even if you did not strike a deal at all.
Provide After Sales Support
Sales support comes in various forms. It could be as simple as a telephone inquiry or as complex as a home service. In any case, whether it is your job or not, offer assistance when it is asked of you. The least you can do is to direct them to the right support group to handle their concerns. If there is no such group, provide them help as much as your company policies can allow. Always keep in mind that one unhappy customer can create more damage than ten happy customers can repair.