Are you having a hard time talking to people about your product? Do you feel like your sales pitch could use a little work? If so, check out this information on why people buy and how you can boost your odds of making those sales.
Illogical Decision Making
As a salesperson, your job is to get people to make decisions. In order to do that job well, you first need to understand how your customers go about doing so.
It was once thought that decision-making was a process guided by logic. Under this belief, any salesperson who had a great product and the facts and stats to back it would inevitably make plenty of sales.
Thanks to neuroscience, though, we now know that emotions play a huge role when it comes to making choices, so no matter how great your product is, if you don’t win your customers’ trust you probably won’t make many sales. How do you earn your customers’ trust?
Open the Lines of Communication
Your first step is to identify your customer. There’s a bit of every person’s life that is out in the open for all to see, and this bit is your gateway to becoming more intimate and building trust.
Start with the details that are easy to see and work your way up from there.
For example, let’s say you’re meeting with Mr. Jones for the first time. You might notice that he’s got a golf trophy on his desk and a framed diploma from the University of Vermont on his wall. Great, there’s your starting point. You can discuss how soothing a good game of golf is, inquire about the teachings of UVM, or simply express your fondness for New England.
But, doesn’t small-talk seem insincere? Not exactly. You have to start somewhere, so the goal is to get Mr. Jones talking so that you may harvest more clues as to who he is and how your products can benefit him.
Whatever topic-starter you choose to use with your customer, listen carefully to what they have to say. Let their responses lead to more questions until you have a good understanding of what’s important to them, what their goals are, and where their troubles lie.
Be sincere and your conversation will evolve. I hate to use a cliché (they’re frowned upon both in writing and in sales), but it’s important to put yourself in your customer’s shoes in order to establish trust, and it’s crucial to establish trust in order to make the sale.
Now that you understand your customer’s needs, it’s time to discuss what product options you have available that could help make their life better in some small (or big) way. Depending on how many products you have to offer, this may be a difficult task.
You could list off a full catalog of products that would all benefit your customer in one way or another, but there’s this little thing called analysis paralysis that renders this tactic unlikely to succeed.
When presented with too many options, people feel overwhelmed and indecisive. Instead, you’ve got to narrow your product catalog down to a select few products that most effectively meet your customer’s needs. You don’t want your customer to believe that your products are created for the benefit of everybody—you want them to know that there are a select few products specifically tailored to suit their personal situation.
It’s a good thing that you were paying attention during your earlier conversation, because now you’re positive that products A, B, and C will help your customer meet their goals. Of course, the customer still has to choose one of these products, but that choice is now less overwhelming and easier to understand.
What if, after taking a good long look at your products, your customer isn’t so sure they want to buy any of them? Maybe they feel your products are too expensive, or perhaps they’re just used to doing things the old-fashioned way.
That’s okay. Listen to these concerns, and then repeat them back to your client in your own words. Let them know that you understand their cause for hesitation, and that you have no intention of pressuring them into making a decision they’re uncomfortable with.
Your job is to help your customer find a solution, and your response to buyer-hesitation can ultimately make or break your sale. At this point, try to present facts that help clear up said concerns. By being patient with your customer instead of pressuring them or quickly bowing out when it looks like there’s no agreement to be made, you climb another ring up on the ladder of trust.
From here, one of two things will happen.
1. Your Customer Still Isn’t Buying
It’s easy to take it personal when you’ve invested a lot of time into a customer who chooses not to buy. However, think of the rejection as temporary. Make note of the reason your customer didn’t buy, kindly thank them for their time, and contact them again if your company produces a new product that better suits their needs.
A graceful exit can go a long way in trust-building; don’t be surprised if your customer reconsiders and calls you back in a couple of days.
2. All Went Well—Time to Close the Deal
If your customer makes the purchase, you job isn’t done. You’ll want to schedule a follow-up conversation to make sure they’re content with their decision.
Contact your client not just once, but periodically. Thank them for their purchase, and ask if the product you sold them has lived up to their expectations. If they’re dissatisfied for some reason, help them find a solution. Staying in contact with your clients solidifies their trust in you. It can lead to future sales both from this client and from those he or she tells about how responsive you’ve been.
As a salesperson, you’re asking your clients to decide to buy your product, and the decision-making process is one of emotion. Selling a great product helps, but forming great customer connections works even better. The next time you’re pitching your product, be attentive and empathetic to your customer’s needs, present options that solve those needs, and perform follow-up conversations to ensure your customer is satisfied with their decision to buy.