In professional literature and the everyday business world, we come across well-known sales techniques. These are usually “manipulative” techniques that aim at the psychological factors in clients in order to make the sale in the most subtle way possible. In ten years of working in sales and talking to hundreds of clients, I’ve come to the conclusion that sales can’t be generalized and that every single conversation needs to be tailored to the person on the other side of the table.
Why do certain techniques work with some clients, but not others?
In today’s world, customers are already well versed in conversations with different sellers and can sense when they’re talked to in the usual, sales-oriented way. Once clients feel that they’re treated like everyone else, sales can easily fall through. However, if you take the time to cleverly explain the value a particular product brings, sales can begin to move in the right direction.
This refers to the sale of more complex products, čiji je with a slightly more complicated and longer sales processi, for example CRM solutions or any other solution that needs to be adapted to client needs. In cases where a client buys an out-of-the-box product that’s known and recognized in the market, there is no need for additional steps – in that case, all you need to do is enable your customers to obtain information easily and quickly.
When talking about complex sales, especially when you don’t already have a contact in a certain company, you start from a relatively unfavorable position. Why? In a large number of cases, clients are aware of the fact that you are ultimately always aiming for them to buy your product. And when you think about it, they’re absolutely right!
What’s the best way to ensure that the client doesn’t see you as “just another salesperson”?
1. Be honest, because it’s always the best policy..
If the other party feels that there is a realistic approach to your story and that you’re not wasting their time by praising your product, but are really tryin to find out if your product is suitable for them, they will listen to you.
2. Don’t be afraid to mention the competition.
If your meeting is led well you stand behind your product and are not afraid to talk about the competition, the client will feel it.
3. Try to let the client make the next move.
The sales processes of most companies are defined in a way that invovles at least a couple of follow-up calls after the first meeting. In my experience, some clients don’t even need a call back and it’s best to let them make the next move. It may sound strange, but if the pitch was prepared properly, that follow-up call can be counterproductive and lead to a sense of pressure. This approach of leaving the next step to the client gives them more room for thought and initiative. The precondition for this is that it needs to be clear to the client that their move is next and that you’ve given them all the necessary information, which brings me to my next point.
4. Provide the client with enough information to make a decision.
In order to be able to look at the situation properly, the client must have the answers to all of the questions that interest them about the solution you’re pitching – about the solution itself, both of your roles in it, about earlier implementations you’ve done… Put yourself in their shoes and imagine thinking about investing in a new product – you would like to have as much information as possible before making a decision too.
5. Explain the specific value that your product brings to the client.
The client must be aware of the added value you’re providing with your product. After researching the client’s problems and how your product can respond to them, you need to communicate that clearly to the client.
6. Learn to recognize when it’s time to give up.
What should not be neglected is the following – if you’ve taken all of these steps and still realize that your product is not a good fit for your client, acknowledge it. If you find that the product as such is not for them, be honest and maybe together you will find a way to adapt their system to yours and vice versa, to reach a solution together.
And in the end…
Remember that in today’s world, as always, people buy from people. If you’ve succeeded in evoking positive emotions from the other side and shown that you really care, that could be a factor in their decision. The factor of trust is the basis of every modern sale. Conventional approaches can still be used in some cases, but in today’s environment, they are simply no longer sufficient as the only approach.