Today’s salesperson, according to Jill Konrath, is the primary differentiator in purchases. Buyers are aware that they can acquire a similar offering from another company as products and services become more commoditized.
What consumers can’t receive from any vendor, though, is the same sales experience that the sales rep creates.
This implies that sellers have nearly perfect control over their own fates. Rather of blaming low sales on a weak product line, a terrible month, being forced to work entirely remotely, or poor leads, unsuccessful salespeople should examine their processes and explore ways to make them more buyer-centric and buyer-friendly.
A few sales axioms hold true regardless of the business you’re in or the types of companies you sell to. These rules will help you sell more to almost everyone, and we’ll break them down into two categories in this article:
How to Sell Anything to a Business or Person
1. Make it about them.
Do you have a family member or a friend who dominates every conversation? They’re probably not your favorite person to converse with. They become much more irritating when they have a braggadocious tone to them.
Buyers don’t like listening to salespeople talk at length about their firms or offers, just like you don’t like listening to a self-absorbed acquaintance blabber. Prospects view what you consider to be informative and fascinating as unpleasant and irrelevant.
Always make it about your buyer, according to the cardinal rule of sales. Every email you send, every call you make, every demo you provide, and every meeting you attend should be centered on the customer. Always keep in mind, “What is the relevance to this specific prospect?” and tailor each engagement accordingly.
What will you do if you don’t know what’s important? See the list below.
2. Do your research before reaching out.
If you want buyers to take the time to learn about your product and offer you their time, you must first learn about them. There’s no justification to call or email a buyer without knowing what they do or what they care about in the age of social media.
Pre-call research does not have to be time-consuming. Depending on your sales cycle, even five or ten minutes per prospect may be sufficient.
Before you try to engage in conversation with a prospect, here are eight locations to look for information:
- Twitter (individual account of the prospect and corporation account)
- Page of the company’s news releases
- Pages of competitors’ news releases
- Financial accounts of a company
- Google , owned by Alphabet Inc. (prospect and company)
3. Build rapport first.
You wouldn’t greet a customer in a retail business by saying, “Hello, would you like to buy this blouse?” “How are you today?” you’d probably inquire, followed by “What brings you in today?” You may include phrases like, “”So, you’re shopping for a cocktail dress?” or other qualifying inquiries such, “I love the top you’re wearing.” I’d like to know what the occasion is.”
Similarly, when conducting B2B outreach to a prospect you’ve never met before, it’s critical to rely significantly on the research component we discussed in step two.
Whether your prospect resides in Phoenix, conduct a fast Google search for new eateries in the area and start by asking if they’ve been there and what their favorite dish is. Are they Colorado natives? Begin by inquiring about the snow this season and whether or not they ski.
The bottom line: Get to know your target before you go into detail about what you have to offer, why they should care, and how you differ from your competition.
After all, we’re just ordinary people. Before you speak to your prospect like a salesperson, treat them like a human.
4. Define your buyer.
This may seem counterintuitive, but the key to selling anything to anyone is to avoid trying to sell everything to everyone.
Whether you operate in retail, auto sales, or B2B, knowing the characteristics of your target consumers and fully qualifying each prospect against that matrix can help you succeed. This is referred to as an ideal customer profile, and it’s similar to possessing a secret weapon.
You won’t waste time on leads who aren’t a good fit for your product or service if you identify the correct type of “anybody.” Instead, you’ll have more time to focus on buyers who are likely to become customers.
5. Contribute first, sell second.
You’ll spend the majority of your day talking to business leaders who have problems that your product or service can answer if you define your target buyer correctly. However, just because you are aware of this does not imply that they are.
Don’t come out swinging with your pitch right away. You run the danger of enraging or scaring away the potential. Instead, provide your assistance in the method you believe will be most beneficial. You’re not sure where you can help? Ask.
Perhaps you could give a list of the most recent features of a buyer’s target car or a piece of content that speaks to their wants. Perhaps you can use your experience to talk about industry-wide trends that the customer isn’t aware of.
Position yourself as a helpful advisor rather than a salesperson eager to make a sale. When you finally get around to connecting their problem with your solution, you’ll find a more receptive audience using this approach. In a nutshell, always be willing to assist.
“Think of ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’ as ‘give, give, give, ask,’ says social selling specialist Jill Rowley.
6. Ask questions, and listen.
There will be gaps in your knowledge, no matter how extensively you’ve researched your prospect, and you won’t be able to help the buyer solve their problem if you don’t fully get it. As a result, it’s vital to ask a lot of intelligent questions during your talks.
Rick Roberge and Sean McPheat, sales trainers, recommend the following examples:
- “How could this happen?” says the narrator.
- “What are the features that are most essential to you?”
- “Has it always been this way?” says the narrator.
- “How do you think this product should make you feel?”
- “From zero to death, where is this problem being solved?”
- “How is the problem affecting your company/customers’ employees?”
- “How are you now dealing with the issue?”
- “What would you like to see happen with this in a perfect world?”
- “Could you give me a specific example?”
Keep an open mind. It’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions as a starting point, but you don’t have to keep to them if the conversation takes an unexpected path. People enjoy discussing themselves and their circumstances, so your genuine interest and curiosity will encourage them to open up to you.
After you’ve asked a question, go silent and listen. Don’t just wait for your moment to talk; pay attention to what the buyer is saying. Then, when they’ve finished their thinking, relay their message to them, asking them to confirm that you understood them right and asking a clarifying question.
You’ve now earned the title of active listener!
Not only can attentive listening assist you in gaining a better understanding of the problem, but it also makes the prospect feel good. And if you really pay attention, they’ll be more willing to reciprocate when you have something to say.
7. Be mindful of psychological quirks.
Our brains are wired to react to different events in different ways. You can use these psychological techniques to your advantage if you are aware of them.
Here are a few of the peculiarities that apply to salespeople:
- The anchoring effect occurs when the initial piece of information we receive serves as a baseline against which we evaluate all subsequent information.
- The decoy effect is when a third choice is presented to help people pick between two options.
- Rhyming statements appear to be more true than non-rhyming statements due to the rhyme-as-reason effect.
- We react more strongly to the chance of losing something we already have than to the possibility of acquiring something we don’t. This is known as loss aversion.
- The peak-end rule states that people recall the end of a presentation and a high point within it more vividly than any other segment.
- The curse of knowledge is when someone who knows a lot about a subject can’t relate to someone who doesn’t.
- Confirmation bias occurs when we accept information that supports our ideas rather than contradictory facts, no matter how convincing.
8. Approach them on their level.
When a salesman contributes their distinct personality to the selling process, it’s fantastic. Keep in mind, though, that you should also consider your prospect’s personality and modify your approach accordingly. Our personal characteristics influence how we prefer to be sold to and what information we value.
Here’s a rundown of the four major personality types, along with their preferences:
- Assertive: Interested in the bottom line and the results.
- Friendly: Interested in big-picture concepts and creative ideas.
- Expressive: Passionate about individuals and how their views effect others.
- Analytics: Facts, figures, and data fascinate you.
Play to your prospect’s tastes and modify your messaging and presentation to nail what’s most important to them after you know which group they fall into.
9. Hit an emotional high point.
There is no such thing as a decision that is only based on logic. Our emotions influence how we receive information and make decisions, whether we like it or not. With this in mind, salesmen who rely only on the rationality of their customers are doing them a disservice.
Every sales message, presentation, and meeting should appeal to both the emotions and the rational thinking of the prospect. The following six emotions, according to sales expert Geoffrey James, influence decision-making:
Some of these are negative emotions you don’t want customers to associate with you or your business. When making emotional appeals, always sure to use a light touch. Furthermore, don’t try to elicit all of these emotions; instead, pick one or two that will resonate and blend them in gently.
10. Remember, you’re selling to a person.
It’s easy to forget that leads are people when you’re sending dozens of outreach emails every day. They are, however, and they expect to be treated as such.
As a litmus test, ask yourself if you’d prefer to get this email. Would you mind if I left you a voicemail? If not, it’s likely that neither will your customer.
It’s critical to be professional in sales, but it’s also critical to be approachable. Buyers have life outside of work, as well as interests that are unrelated to their profession.
Allowing the conversation to meander to the personal every now and then will help you build genuine relationship with your prospects. It doesn’t have to be all business all of the time – and it shouldn’t be.
How to Sell Anything Online
1. Provide lots of detail.
It’s critical to provide detailed information about the product you’re selling when selling online, whether it’s in the copywriting on a sales page or in your email outreach. What are the product’s dimensions? Is it available in a variety of colors and sizes? Include particular information so that potential customers know exactly what they’re getting from you.
2. Communicate the product’s value.
Because online shoppers have access to limitless information, they may readily compare your products to those of your competitors. That means you’ll have to be as communicative as possible when establishing your product or service as the best option.
What is the value of your product to the consumer? What sets it apart from the competition? Make sure the product you’re selling and the price you’re charging are appropriate for the market you’re targeting. When prospects grasp the worth of your goods, they’ll know they’re getting a good deal.
3. Build an email list.
How will you inform potential and present consumers about future deals and new product releases? This is where having an email list can help.
Create a mechanism for visitors to instantly join up for your mailing list by including an email subscription button or using a free form builder. Your email list will increase as individuals take advantage of your offers and share your emails with their friends, family, and coworkers. And the quantity of sales will almost certainly increase as a result.
4. Personalize as many digital touch points as you can.
Remember that you’re selling to a person, even if you’re selling online. Make sure your website, landing pages, forms, emails, and call-to-action buttons are appropriate for the target demographic. Prospects are more likely to engage with you and your product if your communications have a human element.
If a website visitor “opts in” to one of your landing pages, you may utilize the information you collect about them for even further personalisation, such as inserting their name in the subject line of an email (even if you’re sending it via automated).
5. Create a sense of urgency.
How do you persuade a prospect to buy once you’ve presented the value of your product? It can be difficult to express why they should buy now without a sales call or conversation with the prospect. It may be tough to persuade them to convert later if they do not convert the first time. Consider the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.”
To counteract this, consider providing a limited-time offer or a discount. Consider the following scenario:
“While supplies last, limited edition [product name] is available.”
“This weekend only, get a 30% discount.”
“Today is the last day! Get a free gift when you buy [product name].”
6. Consider where each lead is at in their buyer’s journey.
Not every website visitor is looking to buy something (yet). Some will visit to your site to look around (like a “window shopper”), while others will be looking for specific information.
Forcing a sales conversation on someone who isn’t ready is the last thing you want to do. It’s much better to “nurture” items and services along their route to purchase while staying top of mind, especially for products and services with a protracted sales cycle.
As a result, approach each lead in a way that is tailored to their specific purchase journey. You can also gain some useful information from their website behavior.
If they download an educational ebook, for example, they may still be in the “information gathering” stage and not yet ready to speak with providers. A salesperson should contact someone who visits a pricing page and then fills out a contact form as quickly as possible.
7. Use lead scoring to focus on high-value online leads.
If you have a lot of leads pouring in from your website, the following tip may seem like a lot of work. The good news is that predictive lead scoring can help you do this on a large scale.
The technique of assigning lead values that indicate the chance of the lead becoming a legitimate sales opportunity and closing is known as lead scoring. You’ve done lead scoring on a basic level if you’ve ever described leads as cold, warm, or hot. The difference between that and predictive lead scoring is that predictive lead scoring uses automation to score thousands of data points across your whole database of contacts.
Finally, without any guessing or time-consuming administrative tasks, you can serve the best leads to your sales staff.
Knowing your buyer and the important sales tactics to reach them is the key to being able to sell anything. That ability to sell anything online may also be distilled down to that… albeit through various channels and technology. By creating a sales plan that informs the methods your team invests in, you may be extremely effective at each.