Meet my dog Teddy. Dogs are said to be man’s best friend and in addition to companionship, we can also learn a lot from our four-legged friends. I’m not sure of your pets, but mine cannot speak proper English to ask for water when he is thirsty; however “actions speak louder than words” and by proudly standing with his paws in his bowl, he asked and closed the sale and was rewarded with water.
Although this caricature of Teddy may be whimsical, it reminded me of salespeople who do not understand basic closing techniques. As the name “salesperson” denotes, you are not a salesperson unless you sell something. Pretty simple title and definition, but too many men and women involved in the sales process do not understand basic sales tactics, techniques and strategies.
Think about your personal experiences when shopping. A salesperson comes over to help you and you instinctively say “just looking.” Has this ever happened to you? Many customers are automatically inclined to be introverted and say “no,” when deep down they really do need some help.
My good friend Jack Daly, whom I consider the best sales coach (plus my co-author of “Sales Success Playbook,” which will be published in December 2017) believes there are five techniques that must be asked to get the close. Below, find the essential sales tips for entrepreneurs.
Tips for closing the sales deal
The function of the salesman is to show the benefits of his product or service and ultimately create the buying pattern to say “yes.” A salesman should never talk down to his customer. By the same token, he should never talk up to the customer. By keeping the conversation on an even adult to adult logic, the salesman has a chance to explain all the benefits and answer any objections without getting into an argument or seeming aloof. By showing respect for his customer’s intelligence, the salesman earns the respect from his customer.
The salesman should prepare by learning all he can about his potential customer. The customer’s interests and hobbies are an automatic conversation starter. The salesman should gain the confidence of his customer and try to become his customer’s friend. A potential customer will buy from a friend quicker than he would from a stranger. Good salesmen build followings and their followers refer other customers.
Salesmen become rich in friends before they become rich in monetary wealth. Whether route-salesmen, insurance salesmen, door to door salesmen, business to business salesmen, or company owners, all are dependent on friendly interactive commerce. Honesty sells. A salesman should have a product or service that he believes in.
Canned speeches are unsuccessful because they are inherently dishonest. Before the salesman goes out to sell a product, he must find the use that he is selling. If the salesman doesn’t believe in the product, then he will never convince a customer to buy it no matter how many times he asks for the sale.
Sure, ask for the sale, but first, convince the customer of his need for the product.
An example comes to mind. There was a new salesman who had just been hired by a moving company to sell household moving in a major metropolitan area with eight or 10 competitive moving companies in the area. The salesman was looking for a special thing that he could sell that all the other movers did not have. He made his boss mad because he was being so tenacious to find that special service or product that he could sell.
After hours of questioning, the company owner admitted to a technique that he used on the phone occasionally. He used two different moving certificates, one was a “class b” and the other was a “class c.” He secretly gave better local moving prices with his “class c” certificate and got the occasional move that way. The salesman immediately saw the advantage in this extra certificate and designed a complete tariff around it and had it published with the local governing authority. He then published fliers claiming 30 percent discounts. Everywhere he went, he extolled the new prices. He took over the moving business in that town and his became a near monopoly. He earned more than $5 million dollars in five years. He had found the service that he could sell that no one else could compete with him for.
Salesmen should find the benefits of their products and honestly display them before asking for the sale. Whether a human being or a pet, learn these five techniques and watch your sales result soar.
(This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com on Aug. 10, 2016)