Great selling is about helping people buy. It follows then that the more work you do to understand who your buyer is and how they want to buy; the easier it is for you to help them.
Sales Tip: Start before you meet with them
Great sales people have great curiosity so they keep digging to find the problem for their client and how the problem presents for them. Start your research before you talk to the client. You can find a lot of information through their website, Google and social media sites such as LinkedIn. Go in prepared so that at the minimum you know something about them. It is ideal if you know someone in common, call and find out about them, what they like and don’t like. Ask about the best way to approach them or how they might like to have information presented. Once you have done all of these things, put the information in the back of your mind, and go in with your eyes wide open to be proved wrong.
Sales trap: Don’t Assume!
Don’t assume that you are right. Have an hypothesis, but make sure that you check with the person you are meeting with that you have it right. I use words such as: “From what I have heard today it sounds like your main problem is __________. Is that right?” “I have heard that you are interested in ___________________. Is this right? Can you tell me more about your business ?”
Sales Tip: Listening
Listening is your number one sales tool. Sales people have the gift of the gab; whilst that is true, they can only do that effectively when they listen effectively. Listening means that you are concentrating on what the other person is saying. When people think about listening they start with words – but these only make up 7% of communication, the greater majority (55%) is from body language and eye contact, with 38% from vocal inferences such as tone, pitch and speed. It’s clear that you need to use your ears to listen, but also use your eyes to ‘hear’ their body language. All inputs are then interpreted by the brain so that you gain an understanding of their meaning. Once you have that understanding, the next step is to see if your interpretation is correct by checking with the other person that you have it right.
Sales Tip: How to find out more during the meeting
When you meet with them, look for signs as to what type of person they are, for how they think and behave. This is important so that you can present information in a way that they are best able to understand and absorb. If I am speaking with a softly spoken and detail orientated person, then I slow and quieten my normal speech and look for ways that I can give them detailed information such as spread sheets and case studies. This person will normally want all the facts and figures before committing to a decision. Use your curiosity to better understand the problem they have and how your client likes to buy. So go on – get out there and meet your buyers with some homework done and an open mind, eyes and ears.