How to boost sales without being pushy?
The word “SALES” has got a lot of negative connotations because of either amateur or unethical salespeople who use pressure and manipulation techniques to sell you poor quality products and services that you either don’t need or won’t satisfy your needs. Hence, when you hear the word “SALES”, most people immediately think of door-to-door or insurance salesmen or those telemarketers.
And this rather unfriendly image of a salesperson causes many new entrepreneurs and business owners to avoid selling at any cost which in turn stops the business from growing. Because the only way to grow the business is by improving sales. So here in this article, I present a rather unconventional understanding of sales which will help you boost sales without being pushy. Please note that this article isn’t about the whole conversion funnel or about having the first one thousand true fans, it isn’t about generating leads but about the human and psychological aspect of actually following the leads and closing the sales.
Use the “SALES” Framework to Boost Sales Without Being Pushy!
To help you boost your sales I have created this framework by turning the word SALES into a mnemonic device.
S = See
On the surface level, it just means seeing the client. Follow up on the leads because despite the popular belief having a good product or service is not enough to close sales. Things don’t sell on their own, that’s why companies spend billions of dollars on getting people’s attention.
They spend on everything from billboard and shelf space to Google and Facebook ads everything just to get the eyeballs. Let’s face it if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. So why would you not try to retain and convert the attention you have already got?
However, there’s a deeper connotation to “seeing” viz. perception. Perceive the client’s situation what difficulties are they facing? or What amenities are they looking for? And what product or service does your company offer that could satisfy their needs or solve their problems? You should also try to understand what are they shopping for, are they shopping for the price? or are they shopping for the best quality? No point trying to sell a Mercedes to someone looking to buy a Prius.
A = Ask
Don’t assume, Ask! Validate your perception. Probe deeper to understand the problem better. You can use the “5Why?” Technique to arrive at the root cause of the problem, if you don’t know what that is you can read more about it in the article TURN PROBLEM INTO BUSINESS WITH THIS 5 STEP PROCESS. You can even ask them what is their most important decision making factor, is it the price? are they looking for someone with a great track record? etc.
L = Listen
Listen Carefully, Note down, repeat occasionally, so they know you’re really listening. Never interrupt the client while they are speaking, this breaks their flow and they might forget some crucial point. Let them speak. The more they open up the better your understanding of the problem.
E = Empathise
Now as you have the whole picture, empathise, and try putting yourself in their shoes. Do you really think you have the right product for them? If not can you recommend your friend who works in sales for another company that might have a product that’s better for the client? This would not just improve your friendship but would also help build a lifelong relationship with the client. Now they see you as a person of honour and values. Might even feel a little bit indebted for suggesting the right product even at the loss of your commissions, might even get you some unexpected leads. And when a lead comes with a recommendation is heaps easier to close the deal
S = Serve
Propose a solution, this also means closing the deal. After you summarise the whole thing and if the client agrees that you have understood the problem correctly. Then you can say something like “From what I understand this issue is causing you £10,000 in lost revenue? If that’s correct then if I send you a proposal worth £1500 then would you be willing to close the deal before this weekend?”. A question like that summarises everything and brings everything into the right context, also putting the client in the decision making state. And once he says yes to this and you send a sensible proposal you are 99% done. All that’s left is to do is deliver the product/service as promised.
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