It’s Black Friday!

Are you looking for bargains or is your company having offering some amazing discounts?

For many retailers, it has become perfect opportunity to make some extra sales before the Christmas-shopping-period-proper, kicks in.

But as the discounting frenzy reaches fever pitch today, regardless of whether you are participating as a buyer or seller, it’s fascinating to see what lengths companies will take to drive sales and create the real thrill of buying for customers.

But as you will read in The Independent today, once customers are through the door, how much extra `will be they be offered? An extended warranty? An HDMI cable? A £100 wall bracket?

Probably before you know, you will double what you planned to spend! Now THAT’s a great sales technique!

And look at Amazon: it is offering deals every 10 minutes lasting only a few hours. This means online shoppers will head to its website several times a day, clicking on items of interest and giving the website a new set of data so that when the sales end it can push full price items to customers, knowing exactly what they bought and what they are looking for. Now that’s smart.

But when Black Friday is over and things get back to normal, great selling tactics will continue to hold their own. With this in mind, here are our six Top Tops for Successful Selling. It's normally 5 top tips but have an extra tip on Black Friday! :-

1. Link Features to Benefits

In reality, customers are interested in purchasing the benefits of your products or service, NOT the features.

For example, a motor car has many features such as power steering, automatic door locking, overdrive, a sunroom and so on. But let’s link these features to benefits:- – The vehicle has power steering which means that it’s light to handle, particularly in small areas so after a long journey you will feel less tired.

It has automatic door lock, so when you shut and lock the driver’s door, all the doors are safely locked, which is useful on cold or wet days. It has overdrive, which means that you will have greater fuel economy.

A very useful link phrase to use is “Which means that…” What does this feature actually mean to that customer? What will it actually DO for them? Why should they care?

Your company may be the biggest and longest established, but so what? – What really counts is what this actually means to your buyers?

Being the biggest may mean, “We have the most experience, expertise and resources to satisfy all of your requirements.” THAT’s the benefit.

2. Ask the right questions

The single most important skill in successful selling is the ability to ask the right questions.

In asking questions, always remember you can only sell to people and no two people are identical. The interest of a managing director may be very different to those of a sales director, a housewife or a professional buyer. Ask questions that lead towards your USPs and to a positive response. Use your questions to identify your prospect’s prime desire.

To sell the solution you have to first identify the requirement. Find out as much as you can about budgets, how much they are expecting to pay and how much money they have. Never be afraid of talking about money before the end of your presentation.

Use open questions (who, what, where, when, how). Preface these with lead-ins such as: – “Do you mind me asking?” – “May I ask…” – “Can I find out…”

3. Sell the results

Don’t simply try to sell products or services. Sell the RESULTS and what they will DO.

The customer who walks into a DIY store and asks for a quarter-inch drill doesn’t really want one. What they want of course is a quarter inch hole! A professional salesperson is a problem solver.

Nearly every sale solves a problem. Also, be aware that whenever you’re presenting or demonstrating any product, your hand movements affect its perceived value. Be it a brochure, a piece of equipment or the product itself, everything you handle should be handled as if you are holding a piece of valuable antique porcelain. With respect, feeling, and upmost care.

4. Know your USPs

Every business, product or se4rvice has something that is unique. To be a great sales person, you need to know exactly what your unique selling points are.

Identify your USPs in the 3 key areas:-

– My product or service

– My company

– Myself

By asking the right questions, you can find out whether your USPs are of interest to the prospective customer.

Ask questions that lead your prospect towards your unique sales points. For example:-

– “Would it be important for you to deal with somebody who offers you a no-quibble, money- back guarantee?”

– “Would it be important for you to make your purchase and then deal with one person who will always be available to handle any problems that may arise in the future?”

– “Would it be important to you to deal with a company with over 10 years’ experience and track record of working in your industry sector?”

5. Don’t catch ‘Priceitis’

Priceitis is the disease caught by many salespeople.

They feel, think, and then come to believe that in order to make a sale they must be the cheapest. They are convinced that customers buy by price and they’ll only buy the cheapest.

If it were true that people buy only by the price, the cheapest motor car, TV or pair of jeans would be the biggest sellers and we know that’s not the case!

Studies have shown that around 18-20% of people will only buy the cheapest product or service, regardless of whether it works, or whether they really want or need it – if it’s the cheapest, then they’ll buy it. 0.5% of people will only ever buy the most expensive product. The vast majority of business (80%) is conducted with buyers who are not interested in the cheapest or most expensive, but rather the best value for money; people buy value, or more accurately, their perception of value.

So the best salespeople sell value and not price. Never apologise for your price. Demonstrate through your product knowledge and the service you offer that your prices are fair; be proud of your price.

The more confidence you show, the more confidence you customers will have that they are buying value for money.

6. Don’t knock the competition

Don’t knock the competition to your prospect.

But it’s equally important that you don’t FEAR them. If you show concern about the competition your client will be concerned as well, and will lose confidence in you; they’ll want to research what you have to offer in more depth.

When asked about them, you may say, “Very good operation; quite good products” or “Been in business for years; a little old fashioned nowadays, but nice people.”

In some sales situations, your presentation will be just one of many that the client has organised, they are looking to see what’s on offer and you’ll be proposing against a competitor. Don’t fear it! Ask in the politest way possible about the other companies your client may be seeing. Then using your industry knowledge, steal the thunder from your competition: explain your competitors’ USPs, because they will if you won’t. Then when your competitor labours his USPs, it will all appear a little stale and dated.

If you know your prospective customer will be having a series of meetings with your competitors to make a comparison prior to making a decision, always try to get yourself into the position of going in again at the end of the meeting schedule:- “My Buyer, may I ask that prior to making any decisions, you allow me to visit you when you have seen the proposals and had a chance to consider them? As you know, I want to secure your business. May I fix a time, when it would be most convenient to pop in and see you again at that stage?”

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