In the world of business, selling is a necessary component of what we do and while it's true that most people hate selling due to past experience or preconceived notions about it. It doesn't have to be that way!
When most people think of selling they think of that slimy salesman who will do anything to sell their product and doesn't care about the person after the sale is complete.
But what if you could sell in a way that determines whether the product or service is actually a good fit for the consumer, establishes upfront ideals on what the transaction will look like and moves the consumer into a position to where they don't feel like they are being sold.
The key to doing this effectively and ethically is to always stay on the no and have the goal of your sale to be a decision, that being a yes or a no. Establish upfront with the consumer that either way you are 100% comfortable with their decision and your time together is to help them make that decision. This eliminates the "I have to think about it" part of the follow up process.
Your goal in this sales process is to work to develop an understanding of what the customer actually wants and actually needs. It's often much deeper than what they actually tell you their initial reasons are.
To figure out what they actually want. You need to ask questions based off of their responses and questions. For example, if the first question is based on price you want to develop an understanding of what they can actually afford and then produce a range of prices that you offer.
Q: What do you charge?
A: Great question, price is something that is incredibly important to be aware of. Is price your primary concern?
Q: Yes, my budget is very important
A: I appreciate that and totally understand how important price is in a decision
Q: Do you have a specific budget you're trying to work with?
A: Yes between xxx-xxx
Q: Thank you for sharing that with me. The range of our prices is (higher than what they say). Is that something that you can afford?
Another important aspect to getting people to trust you is to work to understand who they are and what they do by asking a question for every question they ask. The process is called stroke, reverse, nurture.
The stroke is basically a validation that what they asked is legitimate and important to you, The reverse is where you ask a question, and then nurture is where you continue to build and show them that you care with your questions and responses.
For example if you meet someone out and about who asks about what you do:
Q: So what do you do?
A: That's funny, I was just about to ask you the same thing!
A: I work in IT consulting
Q: Wow that sounds like a great job. How do you like it?
A: It's great except that I sit at a desk all day!
Q: I can totally understand that. I actually work with people like you who work in IT consulting and sit at a desk all day. They always seem to have nagging lower back pain, but you don't have any of that do you?
A: Actually I do and it kills me everyday. How do you fix someone like me?
Q: Well the funny thing is I have no idea if I can actually help you out. I'm not really sure, but if you'd be interested I'd like to invite you to my facility where we can talk a bit and see if if makes sense to work together?
A: I would love to come down. Do you have a card so I can call you to make an appointment?
A: Aw man I actually don't have any cards on me or even a pen (this is not typical in a sales transaction and puts your roles into a more balanced format), but I can take your info and put it into my phone to follow up with you?
A: That sounds great!
Remember selling is about developing an understanding with the consumer, working to create a relationship where both sides are respected and appreciated and coming to a decision as to whether your product is actually a good fit for them. Because it is absolutely not a good fit for everyone!