In the early 1990’s it was assumed that saleswomen would not be successful in a sales career. Realizing this, any woman who wanted to succeed was able to take that demeaning thought and turn it into their advantage.
Smart women would take the top male producer out to lunch and include alcohol to soften the communication between them (as in eliminate the antagonism). The savvy saleswoman would then proceed to boost the salesman’s ego about how their success was admired. This would then be followed by the question, “What are your secrets to success?” The answers came fast and notes were taken.
1. Never assume anything.
In the case of the salesman, instead of letting ego take over, he should have wondered why he was being treated as royalty. And not for a second should he ever assume that the sweet woman across the table from him wouldn’t use the answers to her advantage.
While on appointments, should a client use vocabulary you do not understand, own up to it. Politely ask if the word or sentence could be further clarified so that you have a better understanding. This promotes trust in you.
2. Quick hit selling turns into “Outs”.
Most sales professionals try to make a quick hit sale in order to make their steep quota in time. They begin selling from the moment they step across the threshold. This rarely produces a good outcome.
Instead, focus on building relationships first. Find out why you are there, what the need and desires are, and the client’s perspective on potential solutions. Although it is a slower process, it is sure, steady, builds relationships, and a willingness on the prospective client’s part to move forward.
3. Absence of punctuality.
Many businesspeople believe that if they have a set appointment then the other party won’t mind waiting when a delay occurs. Wrong. Time management is essential for everyone to be successful. Lateness increases irritation and most likely, when you do show, you will be booted out. Upon recognizing ahead of time, that you will be a few minutes late, call or text ahead of time. Ask if it’s still okay to meet at the new time. Thank the person for their patience when you do meet.
4. Totem Pole Syndrome.
The traditional totem pole reflects stature. Many businesspeople speak down to those employees not in executive positions. However, everyone at a company should be considered the CEO of their own job, or as equals. In this manner you insult no one. More importantly you distinguish yourself from everyone else. Your personal brand speaks loud and clear. This distinguishing mark is where the receptionist and anyone else you meet will report back to the CEO about you, and how nicely they were treated. This goes miles for making the sale.
5. Questionable budget.
Fear of money conversations get in the way of a serious conversation. You need to know your prospective client’s budget in order to know which of your services will be a possible fit. By not asking, you waste everyone’s time. The easiest way to ask is upfront after the small talk. Present a general outline of everything you have to offer, ask if it’s of interest. Upon hearing Yes, ask where their interest lies and what is their budget. It’s their turn to supply the answer.
Adhering to these five principles will lead you to the Smooth Sale!