Sales people are sadly categorized as pushy, dishonest and in some cases sleazy. It's unfair isn't it?
Selling should always be about helping your customer. As a good sales person you must listen to your client's needs, then demonstrate how you can help service their requirements.
Here's 8 steps I use that will keep you from falling off the Sales Tightrope like many others do:
Preparation is key - Always do your research prior to visiting your prospective client for the 1st time. Check out their Linked In profile, company social media activity and their website. It shows you care about finding out more about their business and should give you some good conversational points.
Always be on time - Turning up late for your 1st appointment is a sure way of hacking off your client and getting you off to a bad start. Regardless of how early it means getting there to avoid traffic etc, even if it means sitting in the car for 30 mins doing more research on the client, DO IT!
Ensure the customer likes you - Steps 1 and 2 will go along way to supporting you here. Showing that you care about their business and attempting to find common ground to discuss will give you the edge.
Discover what their needs are - This is where so many Sales People go wrong, automatically going in for the hard sell. You've heard the old saying having 2 ears and 1 mouth and using them proportionally? This applies here. Listen to what the client needs from you first and foremost, don't worry you'll get your time to speak.
Show them the benefits of working with you - Now you get the chance to tell them all the wonderful reasons why they should be placing their business with you. Give them the solution you now know they are looking for and show them you care about fulfilling their needs. If you can, give them examples of similar cases you have experienced and the positive impact it had on that particular client.
Establish any objections - Be prepared for this and this is why doing your homework before can come in handy. There may be a legitimate reason why the client has reservations about placing their work with you. Try to pre-empt this as much as possible and be ready to overcome anything that comes your way.
Aim to close the sale - This is the whole reason you are here in the 1st place. Don't be afraid to go for the close, ask for the opportunity to show them what you can do. Far too many Sales People miss out on this vital key in the chain and just hope the client will be in touch in the near future. It won't work! Now is the time to seek that commitment. You have to strike whilst the iron is hot.
Always follow up when you say you will - You would be amazed by the amount of Sales People who come away from a meeting with a list of things to action for the client and never actually deliver. They get back to the office, get too busy prospecting again and before they know it, it's embarrassingly too late to contact that client they put all the effort into. BE ORGANISED! Make it a priority to follow up on everything you promised. Communication is key and will round off building confidence in the relationship to are trying to build. Sales are built on relationships and you need to prove to your client you are someone they can rely on.