For top management and HR professionals, the easiest “items” or positions to justify are, more often than not, sales related.
The ROI of such roles is expected and assured, or so the thinking goes. But apart from product or service knowledge, sometimes the basics of effective selling are ignored or forgotten—and the end results are not up to expectations.
We asked Angelica Ventanilla, who has years of experience in selling, for her thoughts on reinforcing the basics of selling.
1. Sell yourself as well—not just the product.
One common oversight of most sales persons is that they focus solely on selling their product or service.
While of course, product knowledge is key, we should also remember that our clients are human, and they need someone to talk to outside of their usual daily lives.
Instead, a great salesperson should “sell” themselves too — regardless of the product, price and use. The secret is good communication and rapport. Apart from the product or service, your clients should enjoy talking with and relating to you. Be a good listener and develop empathy, and the sale will follow.
2. Profile your client.
While creating a profile of your client, recall the old adage: “different strokes for different folks.” Apart from researching on and finding out your client’s needs and wants, be sensitive to the communication tools you use. If your client is the typical “old school,” he or she will expect a visit or at least a phone call. Younger millennials on the other hand, will be comfortable and perhaps even prefer, communicating through social media.
Another example: If your clients are businessmen, give them the bottom line right away, and provide sustainable solutions. These clients may seem intimidating at first, but they may just turn out to be the best people to deal with. They are honest, frank and direct to the point.
3. Address common challenges right away.
The main challenges for your clients will always be: limited resources, manpower and budget. Learn how to address these and provide beneficial solutions. For example, give price breaks, alternatives, and discounts. Or come up with product or service bundles at every budget level.
4. Forget me, not
Never forget your previous clients. A good salesperson visits all clients on their available and convenient time. Visit them in good and bad times, and make them feel you are there for them no matter what. Do not visit them only when you want to get a sale. Before you know it, they will be calling you.
Ventanilla will facilitate a workshop titled “Basic Selling: Elevating your sales game with tools and techniques to close a sale” on Dec. 5, 2017 at the Inquirer Academy. The course is beneficial to account executives, sales agents, professional medical representatives, telemarketers and anyone who is learning the skill of selling.
Entrepreneurs and those in the field of marketing and operations will also find benefit from this course.