I’ve recently been circulating a questionnaire on fears around selling. (There is still time to do it here – it takes 2-3 minutes). One of the responses jumped out at me:
“I didn’t think I had any fear around this but I realise that I do. I don’t really knows sales etiquette and I don’t want to be pushy. I’m not sure I show myself in the best light, scared of coming across as a know-it-all”
This imposter syndrome fear, ‘who am I to tell them what to buy ‘is so common and something I work with with almost all my clients.
The thing to remember is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Old-style selling got it the wrong way round: first impress, dazzle and bamboozle people with all the merits of your service or product by telling them about it in great length and then ask them if they are interested!
How engaging is that? How interactive is that? How caring is that? No, no, no.
The most important skill in sales is listening; finding out what the person’s problems are, listening to what they are NOT saying as well as what they are. Listening to the intonation and the energy behind their words for when they are convinced and passionate and when they are not. Using skilled questioning to get to the real issue.
Ask questions first to demonstrate that you understand and that you care.
Once they know you care and trust you, then you can tell them about similar people you have helped in the past, the results you have had for your clients and check with them if that is the sort of thing they want.
Consider their issues honestly and openly – if you can’t help, you may be able to direct them to someone who can. But if you can help, make sure you get across how you want to help them and how you would do it. Then let them make their own minds up, but check they have enough information from you to make the right decision.
Be your caring, interested self. See this way of selling as a service, as solving problems, as giving them value by solving a problem that is causing them issues in their life or business.
You won’t need to use clever closing strategies and manipulative techniques if you have an open honest conversation with someone about what is troubling and if/how you can help them.
Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on.
For more trusted sales training, sign up for the next online workshop and workbook here, “Time to end your fear of selling!”