Sales is all about communicating effectively. You need to understand what your customer wants and needs and be able to translate that into a product or service that meets these needs. You also need the ability to overcome any objections your customer has. These are all aspects of effectively communicating with people.
Asking Questions and Getting to Know Your Customer
Hopefully, you already realize the importance of understanding who your customer is before actually meeting them. Combined with ample product knowledge, you can walk into any sale (with any customer) and begin the actual sales process confidently.
How do you do this?
It starts by asking questions. You want to understand everything you can about your customer so you can make proper recommendations that meet the needs, wants and desires of these customers. If you can find a product that meets all of these customer attributes, closing the sale is easy. Sure… the customer may still have concerns such as price, but these are typically easy to overcome if you present the product as the perfect solution for that specific customer. You can do that by understanding exactly what is motivating that customer to contemplate a purchase and this understanding comes from asking the right questions.
Believe it or not, asking the right questions isn’t difficult. As a sales professional, your most powerful asset is not your mouth. It is your ears.
The car buying process is an excellent example. A good salesperson asks all the questions that may be relevant to the buying process. Interestingly enough, many customers do not know what type of vehicle they would like to buy and this is your opportunity to put your product knowledge to use.
When selling a car, you need to know how many people are in the customer’s family. You also need to know what they typically use the car for. For instance, is this vehicle going to be used to take trips to the beach or is it a vehicle that will be used simply to commute to and from work?
The trick is to ask questions that get to the underlying issue of features and benefits. Features and benefits are one of the most powerful tools you have as a sales professional. Continuing with the car buying example, your job is to point out features and benefits based on the information you have learned from talking with the customer, understanding their needs, and listening.
For example, one customer may be concerned about fuel mileage while another customer might be more concerned with the vehicle’s crash test ratings. Both are valid concerns, but each concern will weigh differently into each customer’s purchasing decision. Since you have spent time understanding the customer’s needs, you can present the features and associated benefits that pertain directly to that customer.
This idea transcends every sales process for any product. In other words, it doesn’t matter what you are selling as long as you present it in a way that makes sense to the customer and appeals to the unique motivators that have made them a potential customer in the first place.
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