Home » Business » Marketing and Advertising

Simple Skills for Successful Selling

Jul 25, 2008
If you thought that selling was difficult, think again. The truth is that successful selling involves a simple set of skills. One is the skill of getting information. The other is giving it. When you master the balance between the giving and the getting, you will find much more success in your sales situations.

Getting Information

Many new sales people make the mistake of trying to tell the customer too much too soon. If you overload your customer with information, you very well may lose your chances of making a sale. The customer may view you as overly aggressive or pushy. Try
instead to learn more about the customer and the customer's situation.

To get more information from your customer try using an open ended question. Ask, "What is the main concern or challenge facing your business?" You may also want to provide a statement of fact, "I've read in the news that your company is going through a merger."

Not only does this approach make the customer feel more at ease and in control of the situation, but it also opens up a wonderful opportunity for you to gather information about that customer. Feel free to grasp on to hints that the customer may be looking for some change in his organization or may be dissatisfied with some other product or service. When you recap the information that they gave you and prove to your customer that you really were listening to his needs, you will find him much more receptive to your message.

Sharing Information

The mindset of the successful salesperson is focused on what needs to be accomplished during the time available with the customer. To be successful, you must also keep in mind the impression that you want to leave with the customer. You don't want to be
seen as just a nice person and a possible new friend.

Still, it is extremely important that a relationship of trust is established with your customer. Listening is the first step to establishing that relationship. It demonstrates that you have the customer's interests in mind as you attend to your own interests. Other effective ways to build and maintain trust with your customer include the following:

Prepare the Customer

Tell him in advance that you will be asking questions and then ask permission to do so.

Give your customer control of the clock
Find out how much time they have to speak with you, and wrap it up within the allotted time.

Help the Customer to Feel Special

If you go on with a memorized script, the customer won't feel any different from any other person you could have been speaking to. Try asking what information he would like to receive from you.

Giving Information

Now that you have gathered plenty of information from your customer and you have opened the door to a sharing environment, it is your turn to be the giver. There will be times when your customer is ready to buy your product or service immediately. Don't smother such a possibility by spilling out unnecessary data and information.

Ask an Open-Ended Question:

"What else can we show you or provide you with to make you comfortable doing business with us?"

Not only will this question save the time of giving the customer information that he doesn't care to know, but it will also make him, once again, feel in control of the conversation.

If he doesn't have a response to the open-ended question, don't fret! Just go for the sale: "When would you like to start our service? Would August 1st be right for you?"

Many times, you will not be closing the sale in the traditional sense; rather, you will be advancing it a step closer to completion. This is fine. In fact, the most important way for you to make more sales is in a step-by-step advance.

When you approach the customer for the next sale, you will already have the influential advantage of the trust gained by your first approach. Be sure to use the same tools of getting, sharing and giving as you
establish a firm commitment from the customer and when you follow-up on that commitment.

You will find these simple skills to be the key to successful selling.
About the Author
Alan Vengel is a consultant in management training and organizational development and
author of The Influence Edge - How to Persuade Others to Help You Achieve Your Goals. He offers
cutting edge training and skill building workshops on influence and negotiation.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 322
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories