Sales is a sector that is as much about skill as it is your ability to sell the product or service that you’re seeking to promote. It might sound strange when you think that a lot of sales are conducted over the phone or through the Internet these days, but salespeople need to have a range of different techniques and approaches in their armoury in order to adapt their approach to suit the product, service or even the customer they’re speaking to at that moment.
Many will take a look at the profession and think it’s just about having the ability to sell something to someone, but that ability isn’t something you’re born with – it’s something you develop over many months, even years of training. However, to be a successful salesperson you also need to be able to take a step back and evaluate your strategy – often in the middle of a pitch or demonstration to a prospect or potential customer.
You don’t want to come across as pushy or over-promotional, but you don’t want to undersell your product or service either. So what do you do? Ultimately, it’s all about unlocking that perfect recipe that results in a sales pitch that comes across as knowledgeable and promotional while also maintaining that human touch that serves up the kind of discussion that leads to a sale: your sales strategy sweet spot.
What is the sales strategy sweet spot?
The sweet spot in your sales strategy is that moment where you find the perfect blend of being promotional or “salesy” while also ensuring that you remain human and empathetic.
You need to understand that the prospect might be interested in the product or service that you’re speaking to them about but they might be at the very early awareness phase or even the middle consideration phase of the purchase funnel, rather than being in the purchase phase.
We’ve spoken already about the need and ability to adapt your approach, and in order to find the sweet spot you need to be ready and willing to do just that.
You can have a lovely manner on the telephone, but if you can’t convince your prospect to buy, you’re not going to sell. Equally, you could know the product or service inside out but if you come across as someone only interested in making a sale then you risk losing that prospect.
How do you find the sweet spot in your strategy?
So what do you do in order to find it? Adapting your approach is all well and good, but how do you actually find a method of selling something without going overboard on the promotion?
It’s all about communication at the end of the day. The way you speak to someone has a huge impact on the way that any conversation goes whether it’s a colleague, a relative or a prospect. You need to ensure that you wait for your turn to speak and actively listen to the person you’re in conversation with.
Don’t just stick to a script and allow them the time to reply without taking a word in, you need to take everything on-board and be sure to speak to them in a professional, personal manner to understand their needs and concerns. In much the same way that sales intelligence is used to collect data and deliver opportunities to prospects, sales people need to use their own intelligence to think about the way that they deliver the all-important messaging to their prospects.
Think back to when you were younger: if you demanded something from your parents, the chances are that you got told in no uncertain terms that you weren’t going to get it unless you spoke to them politely. The same is true in sales and finding that strategy sweet spot: if you speak to your prospect as a friend as well as a prospect, finding some common ground that you can bond over, you immediately increase your chances of converting them as opposed to the direct sales approach which results in no sale (and no tea!)
How do you put this strategy into practice?
While there is no exact method to implementing your new, sweeter sales strategy it’s down to you as a salesperson to develop your own skills and understanding of when to make that all-important adaptation to your delivery technique in order to meet the needs of your prospect.
Depending on where they are in their own purchase journey you need to approach the delivery of your sales strategy differently. If they’re at the first stage, awareness, then the key is to make them aware of the product or service and how it can either benefit them in their everyday life or how it can help solve a problem or challenge.
If they’re at the consideration stage then it’s key to ensure that you deliver key information about how the product differs to everything else on the market. If there is a competitor, the chances are that your prospect may have spoken to them already, or may speak to them after getting information from you, so it’s important that you deliver your message and showcase the key differences and key points from your side without beating down the competitor’s product in such a way that your prospect feels you’ve gone away from that human element.
Finally, if they’re at the purchase phase in the journey, the key final step, then it’s vital that you understand what might be the last hurdle preventing them from parting with their hard-earned money. Take the time to listen to their concerns or questions, and be sure to answer in the most personable, professional manner that you can to ensure that any concerns are addressed, any questions are answered and that all problems are solved – or at least can be solved by investing in your product or service.