Selling Skills To Master
There are a multitude of selling skills to master to navigate your way into today’s selling environment. The critical skills in selling you need to develop include, Listening, Asking Questions, Using OPEN Question Selling, Prospecting/Networking, Establishing Rapport, FAB (simulation), Handling Objections, and Closing.
Listening Selling Skills
There is no point in asking the right questions unless you listen to the answers.
Listening to the client will allow you to: Find out exactly what they want. What the most important issues are for the client. How they expect to be dealt with.
Listening actively to your client brings with it several advantages: Better understanding, Increased ability to respond, Makes the client feel important, Build a rapport, Reduces the chance of conflict, Builds relationships and Learning.
Why We Listen Badly!
There are several reasons, including: Lack of interest, Prejudice and pre-conceptions, Selective listening, and Distractions
Active listening is listening with the other person. This is distinct from Listening to them where you just hear them. Listening for something – usually something that will confirm your own views or prejudice. Listening against them — getting ready to argue your point as soon as they stop talking
The characteristics of active listening are – Non-judgmental, Non-interruptive, Open minded and Takes time to listen. When you tune into your customers words, you truly begin to understand their pain or gain plus it allows you to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
Because active listening triggers your acknowledgement of the words spoken, this can make a huge difference by encouraging your customers to open up more. This fosters trust and commitment.
Customer Focus Skills
Customer focus selling skills is your ability to focus in on the requirements of the client, personalize their experience and to show a high level of commitment to obtaining the best outcome for them. This allows you to: Develop a good understanding of the main issues. Develop high degree of trust with the client. Tailor the deliverables to meet the client’s needs – perhaps even those which the client has not yet uncovered. Ensure that the client sees the ‘value add’ of the activities undertaken you.
Customers often see salespeople as lacking in concern because of: The salesperson listens for what they can solve or sell, as opposed to what the client wants. The salesperson is so anxious to get to the solution that they don’t listen to the problem. You always need to see the business issues from the client’s point of view.
Clients often see salespeople as lacking in competence because salespeople can often sell themselves into positions that are clearly beyond their current competencies, thus destroying their credibility. Buyers expect to have conversations with experts, research shows they have little tolerance for salespeople with low sales skills or experience levels to ‘discuss’ their business. Also, the adoption of a ‘jack of all trades’ approach to selling as opposed to the expert approach reduces a customer’s willingness to enter the sales process.
Customers can often see sales professionals as lacking in candor because of their focus on their own financial gain. The sales experience does not match the promise. Blame apportioned to the organization, but glory held by the salesperson.
A customer-focused solution should be the end result of your sales process. An effective sales process is where your sales activity facilitates the decision making for the customer. This is dependent upon you understanding the business issues of the customer. Helping customers to understand these issues. Building an effective solution. Linking the solution components to the issues
Influencing Selling Skills
Influencing sales skills are important because as a salesperson, you must be able to command attention and be understood. The ability to bring your customers to your way of thinking and convince them that your product is the best option. This all requires influencing skills.
You can influence the decision making process with the appropriate behaviour including: Establishing a real connection with the customer via rapport. Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect. Using correct body language in meetings and presentations. Communicating effectively on what you understand to be their position and yours.
The six principles of influence that will help you persuade others are reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.
Information Gathering Skills
Information gather sales skills not only covers your ability to uncover insights from the customer, but as important, it is for you to ascertain whether your continued time investment is warranted.
To get information from your client, then you need to have questioning skills. Information gathering starts with designing and asking appropriate questions to close an information gap.
A useful method to think about questioning is TED. Tell. Explain. Describe. These type of questions can get a buyer to open up even more.
“Tell Me about ….”
“Explain to me more about ….”
“Describe to me how ….”
Questioning can be used to draw ideas, suggestions, and opinions from others. The effectiveness of your questioning depends upon the technique used. The type of question (open, closed, hypothetical, reflective or probing) needs to be correct. The ability to formulate and ask questions designed to close an information gap is an essential communication skill.
Wants and Needs Skills
If a customer cannot see the difference in two products, they will buy on price. If you only sell to someone’s needs, they will always buy the lowest cost solution that meets those needs. However, selling to the customers “wants” will lead them to rationalize an emotional decision, and that is exactly what buyers do when they make decisions.
Customer wants and needs can be defined as when they’re set to interact with your business, your competitors, or when they’re searching for a product or service you may be able to offer them. As a salesperson selling professional services it is crucial that you understand: What your client wants from your service along with what your client needs from your service.
Customer Needs include functionality, price, compatibility, efficiency, performance, reliability etc. While Customer Wants include, peace of mind, expertize, ease of buying, security, fear of missing out, status etc.
So, you need to have the selling skills and sales training, to address both the buyers needs and wants.
As a salesperson you need to continually improve your mindset sales skills. These include Being in the Right State of Mind, Visualizing Your Sale, Knowing the More “No’s” You Get and Staying positive and focused. By reviewing your mindset, you should have a good picture of your sales philosophy, business beliefs and thinking about business in general.
In selling skills to master, having a healthy mindset is key to achieving your goals. Without it, you most likely will just react to situations that occur around you, most of which are outside your control. Having your mindset focused will determine your future actions, the processing of plans, the actions you will take based on them and the results you will get from your sales activity.
Selling Skills Success
- Do not be afraid of failure – learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable
- Make yourself a resolution to succeed – only you can determine what success means
- Have a plan – a goal without a plan is a dream
- Be a person of action – nothing happens until you do it
- Change your thoughts – your positive mindset is your ally
- Ask for what you want – fear is just an emotion
- Avoid procrastination – embrace effort and new habits
- Look after your mental health – exercise your body and brain
- If you can’t find a way, make a way – never lose focus
- Take responsibility – your words, your actions, your mistakes, your ideas, your behavior