Sales Rules: What are they?
People have been selling stuff longer than we’ve had any form of money (and way before Snapchat or Instagram). It’s tempting to focus on new shiny things like digital marketing funnels and social selling. But often we overlook the very basic rules of sales. I’m talking about the things that worked hundred of years ago and still work today. In this post I’m going to cover 5 very simple sales rules that everyone needs to get right.
There are two types of sales rules
The first are big concepts that are based on human nature. Things like – people buy people. We usually buy from people who are like us, or who we want to be like. The other type are little, everyday things, that great sales people do as habit. They might sound insignificant on their own, but together they add up. The exciting thing is they’re really easy to get right. Anyone can do them, it’s just a matter of practice and (most importantly) actually remembering to do them!
1. Be prepared
Top sports people have a routine they follow before a big match or race. The preparation is part of what gives them confidence to go and perform at the highest level. Sales is no different. Develop a routine before making a sales call, or client visit. Think about your appearance. What you wear still matters. First impressions count for a lot. Simple things like making sure you charge your phone and laptop, or tablet the night before, make a big difference. Packing your bag so everything is in there, or double checking the directions before you go. All these small things reduce your anxiety about a meeting, which translates to more confidence.
2. Don’t be late
It shows you have no respect for the other person’s time, and that your time is more important than theirs. We live in a busy society and for most people time is a short commodity.
3. Set a clear purpose
I get so many offers to “do coffee” with no real purpose. It’s hard to keep up, so usually I decline. Most people are too busy for vague meetings. Make sure your potential customer knows the purpose of the meeting or phone call. Make it crystal clear what’s in it for them. If you don’t, you’ll be fobbed off, or asked to email so they can avoid the meeting or call.
4. Don’t talk so much
To the untrained eye (or ear), sales is all about talking. You have to have the gift of the gab. It’s not. It’s about listening to your customer. You should be using the 80/20. Let them talk 80% of the time so you can learn all about them and figure out how to help them. Think back to your last sales meeting, networking event or call. Who did most of the talking?
5. Don’t be afraid to ask
Follow the sales process, listen to the customer and find out what they need. If your product or service matches, and the customer understands the benefits of what you do, its ok to ask for the order. The best way to do this is to make sure you are on the same page by summarising what you’ve discussed.
This is where the sales person starts to do most of the talking. Up until this point the customer should be talking 80% of the time. You should be listening to understand the needs, so you can explain and sell the benefits.
Once you’ve summarised their needs and explained how your service or product matches them you can ask for the sale. Not literally! Try using assumptive and alternative closes. eg.
Which would you prefer to come on: Easy Peasy live, in London or Bristol, or Easy Peasy online? The online course covers everything that’s in the live course. I even do an offer if you buy both, for £158 +VAT”
Avoid closed questions at this stage because if they say no, it’s easy to come across as defensive. The temptation here, when the fear of closing kicks in is to bottle out and say “I’ll send you some information” or an email. If you don’t ask for the sale you’ll never get the order.
Try it you’ll be surprised what happens when you ask!
So start keeping an eye out for all these sales rules. Once you start following them, it will have an impact on your success.
Have you got your own sales rules you’d like to share? Or is there another scenario you find difficult? Either way, please share them in the comments below and I’ll reply.