Ask SmallBiz: Advice on Effective Selling
What’s the magic behind professional selling?
Professional selling should be simple, ethical and highly effective, and it may appear almost magical. Learn and practice these basic tools and watch your clients appreciate you and your new skills.
Tool 1: Rules
>> Empower prospects to determine what’s most important to them. Then have them describe what it will be like when they achieve their goals.
>> Get people to take action. Ask your prospect to do little things to help you, then gradually more important and larger requests. Start by asking for the very simple, a cup of coffee, then ask them to articulate their vision and what it will be like when their vision is achieved. Then it may be appropriate to ask for a copy of their cash flow information. Each request builds on the next. When done skillfully, this process helps to create a positive relationship. People like helping. The more they give the more they care.
>> Decrease prospects’ fear, while creating an environment of trust and rapport. This will help them begin to want to do business with you.
>> Place people on a “pedestal” to help them feel more wanted, special, interesting, important, intelligent and empowered.
>> ABC (Always Be Closing): Closing is getting permission and agreement from your prospect. Get agreement on the time frame of your meeting, permission to get a glass of water, where to sit, etc.
Tool 2: ALLAS
A. Ask closed and open questions. Closed questions typically illicit brief answers, such as yes or no, a specific time or amount. Open-ended questions require a more involved, revealing response that is often an explanation or story.
L. Listen by paying close attention so you understand what they are truly saying.
L. Listen sincerely. That means, in addition to listening to what they are saying, let the prospect feel and know by your behavior that you are truly interested in them and their objectives.
S. Sound. Remember the importance and skills of listening. “Listen so loudly they can feel it.” Become the excellent listener by behaving and sounding like one: Do not interrupt, over-speak, correct minutia or tell them your bigger, better story.
• Build relationships because selling is relationship driven.
• Selling is not about answering objections, it is managing resistance.
• Sell outcomes, not products or services because people do not buy products.
• People are much more likely to buy what they want rather than what we want them to want.
• Amateurs tell. Professionals ask to discover what is most important to their prospects and why.