There has been a time that we have all experienced, although a rare situation, where you totally surrendered to the selling skills, selling fundamentals, sales technique and enthusiasm of a true ‘Sales Professional.” You were convinced that you were not going to purchase, you made that decision on the way to the presentation. You just wanted to hear about the product, not buy it. During the sales presentation you began to rethink your resolve and thought that ‘maybe there is something to this’.
By the end of presentation, you did not change your mind, but you made a new decision based on new information, that made you want to buy what the salesman was selling. It was masterful: the timing of the questions, the tone of voice, the amazing ability to listen to what you were really asking for. It was like poetry in motion. It seemed like that salesperson could read your mind – and wow – even understood your pain. We are helpless and totally at the mercy of the Sales Professional’s defined sales technique and sequence and the most fascinating of all, we loved every moment of it! The sales process was effortless, enjoyable and we even spent more money than what we had originally planned.
Why? Because the level of sales professionalism made us feel that our needs were safe we could trust this person. We felt comfortable enough to be confident that this process would solve our problem and add value to our lives. You see, we love working with true professionals. We love buying from them because they make our lives easier. Even better, we love referring them because they make us look good. We tell their stories at dinner and we go out of our way to ensure that our friends and family use this salesperson.
Effective professional selling fundamentals are what make this ‘Sales Professional’ that good. To be compassionate about being a sales person, with the drive to become this effective, you should become familiar with the ‘7 Pillars of a Sales Professional’. You will build a solid foundation for professional growth with these effective selling fundamentals.
The Selling Fundamentals
The fundamentals of selling consist of a basic foundational sales skill set. These include features and benefits, hot buttons, closing, silence after asking for the sale, the law of averages, the 80/20 rule, the six money making activities, open ended questions, etc. It is virtually impossible to build a career as a sales professional with out this foundation. Returning to the fundamentals is the secret to getting out of selling slump.
Art of The Sale
Anyone can draw a picture of an apple, but an artist draws an apple so beautifully that you might pay to put it on your wall. Learning the fundamentals is a great start and will make a dramatic impact on your sales career and pocket book. Now add learning how to deliver those skills in the same way an artist makes a painting and see your results soar. The art of selling consists of the proper use of voice inflection, body language, presentation skills, timing of questions, use of silence, pace of speech, etc. Research shows that tone of voice and body language make up 93% of the impact we make on other people. It’s NOT what you say, it’s HOW you say it that matters.
The Psychology of Selling
All sales people face the same psychological challenges of facing rejection, insecurity, fear, call reluctance and procrastination. These are not logical problems but rather problems of emotional self-regulation. Pure will power can sometimes be suffice but when we fail to overcome these challenges it may be due to taking a purely logical approach (better time management) to solve emotional problems (lack of impulse control). The psychology of selling consists of coping strategies and tools to deal with the realities of being a salesperson and creates the proper mindset and winning beliefs of a “Sales Professional.” This is a complex topic, which is why it is so difficult to master.
Generating Results Through Selling
This pillar is exciting because it offers the opportunity of taking a giant leap forward in generating results if applied correctly. By using key scientific methodologies understanding the role the human brain plays in making buying decisions, the Sales Professional can experience vast improvements in closing ratios and speed the trust building process with clients and referral partners. Plus, the results can be achieved on purpose every time by following the scientific process/methodology, versus crossing fingers and hoping that the gift of gab or instinct will get you by.
The Sales Objective
Sales professionals know exactly what their job is on a daily basis. They know what their objective is on every sales call and are comfortable driving the sales process because they are crystal clear on what step is next. Their clients find it easy to do business with them because they reduce the number of decisions the client needs to make, allowing them to focus on their business. The foundation of a defined sales process is made up of what I call the Six Money Making Activities: Prospecting, Setting Appointments, Presenting Value, Closing, After Care/Follow-up, and Referrals.
The Advanced Sales Strategies
Advanced Selling Strategies consist of creating leverage and compression, preemptive selling to eliminate all objections before they come up, and consultative selling. In essence, here you begin moving from $25/hr. activity to $2,500/hr. activity.
Create a lean sales accountability system. All of the first six pillars are, fundamentally, subject matter and skills that can be learned and honed by committed sales professionals. However, the key to bringing them all together and turning them into more income, is a lean system. This ensures all the right things happen, at the right time, every time, with minimal wasted effort and maximum benefit both to the customer and to the sales professional. Such a system should keep track of every one of your contacts as well as your current lead pipeline and then drive each lead through the Defined Sales Process (pillar 5) that you created to take advantage of best practices.
Contact management and CRM systems can be helpful here, but a lean work flow automation solution is the way to get it done right. Such a system brings accountability to how you are handling the leads in your pipeline and whether you are moving them through your Defined Sales Process at a pace and conversion ratio that ensures that you are consistently making money. With competition at an all time high and unskilled salespeople lowering their prices on a daily basis, Sales Professionals need to streamline their business, focus on highest payoff activities and still deliver more value than competitors. By defining your sales process and accountability system, you then can focus on creating the life and business you’ve always dreamed of.
Becoming familiar with, and using these professional selling fundamentals, generate confidence and creates personal pride in being a professional salesperson. Continue to educate yourself in your chosen profession. Go back to why you sell what you sell, and be willing to act on the care that you feel for your clients. Care enough to be unreasonable when they don’t understand the value of what you are offering and ask again for the sale. The world needs professional salespeople who understand and can effectively use these selling fundamentals to sell the right things to the right people at the right time.