Why the best way to sell is …er…not to sell
Time and time again when I am running my training courses, particularly those that focus on basic sales techniques, delegates express their worry that they don’t want to be pushy or too ‘salesy’. This is for a variety of reasons (aggressive telephone selling, the cliche of the smarmy salesman, people not giving up when there is no interest or desire), but actually they don’t need to be like this anyway.
Most customers are fairly sophisticated and know when they are being ‘sold’ to. I’m the same – the minute I get a phone call from someone who asks “How are you today?” then I know immediately what they are up to and I zone out. I can’t help it. And I am sure you’re the same.
Fortunately, that does leave an opening for the rest of us who are not employed in telesales.
Selling has changed a lot in the last few years – it’s all about relationships now. So if you are not that great at being pushy, guess what? YOUR TIME HAS COME!!!!
Now that doesn’t mean learning some sales techniques won’t help you – it definitely will (otherwise I wouldn’t be in business) but there are lots of things that you can do as a person, a human being, a helper, a solver of problems that will enable you to close a lot more business than you are right now. Check out this list:
- Listen – ask questions, then shut up and let your customer talk. The more they talk, the more you will learn about what is important to them.
- Keep in touch – try lots of different ways – telephone, email, letter, social media, face to face. Keep it varied
- Be human – don’t treat prospects like potential money and nothing else. Behind every decision is a real human being with real human desires, problems, worries and concerns.
- Try and be different from everyone else. When was the last time you sent a customer a hand written note, a ‘thank you’ card, tagged them on an interesting social media article or made an effort to find out about their hobbies and what they do in their spare time? It’s not an accident that a lot of business takes place on a golf course.
- Help other people first and without expecting anything in return. If you recommend, refer or give a testimonial, particularly if it is unsolicited, then people remember you and will return the favour if they can.
- Only do something you feel passionate about. People can sense if you don’t truly believe in what you are doing, so make sure you absolutely LOVE IT or they will sense that you’re not the real deal.
So be yourself, get out there a bit more and help people. What could be better?
Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year and, in November 2015 won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the Enterprise Enfield Business Awards.
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