The first thing to understand about selling is why people buy a particular product or service and what it is that they really buy. You may be surprised to learn that people buy only two things:
Solutions to problems
That means: People do not buy your golf lessons. They buy a vision of how good they will feel when they have successfully completed those lessons!
In other words, people always buy to satisfy their own needs and desires. This important basic premise is overlooked all too often. An instructor will often try to sign up a new student based on their own playing ability and style of teaching etc.; all things they think are important to the customer. Don’t make this mistake. You must see your service as it is perceived through the eyes of your customer.
Your prospect will gladly sign on the dotted line when they sense that your offering will bring him enjoyment and/or provide a solution to any perceived problem they are currently experiencing. When you make helping the customer your first consideration, you will find the stress of having to sell becomes a thing of the past, and in its place you will enjoy the satisfaction of having helped another person. Therefore, if you are to make a successful sales presentation, you must first find out the problems your prospect needs you to solve, and what feelings that will bring.
Some of the more common buying motives are:
- The need to feel secure.
- The need to feel appreciated, (a really important need).
- The need to eliminate or lessen fear, (real or perceived).
- The need to have good feelings, (happiness, fun, pleasure).
- The need to enhance self-image.
- The need to improve, grow and enjoy new experiences.
How buying motives are expressed:
Your prospect is not about to come right out and tell you what his motives are. You have to elicit this information through a series of carefully worded questions. In talking to a prospective client you will often hear these needs and desires expressed as:
- I want to be more confident in my ability, (eliminate fear of failure)
- I want to have fun, (enjoyment)
- I want to improve my self-image, (security, improvement)
- I want to solve a particular problem, (growth, improvement)
- I need to feel important, (security)
- I want to be respected, (security)
- I want to be successful, (improvement)
- I want to experience something new, (enjoyment)
- I want to be liked by others, (appreciation)
- I want to make new friends, (appreciation)
- I want encouragement, (appreciation)
By listening intently to discover your prospect’s true motives, you can then structure your sales presentation to reinforce these motives and provide answers that meet his objectives. When a prospect can clearly see that they have something to gain by buying your product or service…then they will do just that…and buy.
Many people think of selling as a distasteful, stressful and manipulative activity. True, most of us resent having a product or service forced upon us and would not want to do the same to others. Nearly everyone, however, enjoys the satisfaction experienced from helping others. Selling doesn’t have to be manipulative.
Instead, focus on what the customer really wants and try to match those needs to what you have to offer. If necessary, see if you can modify your current program to accommodate this customer.
Finally, if you genuinely can’t fulfil their needs, refer them to someone who can, and let them know you would like to be of service to them in the future. It may seem as if we’re telling you to deliberately lose a sale by sending a potential customer to your competitors. However, the referrals you will get back and the reputation you will earn as an honest, sincere business person will more than compensate. Often the customer will come back to you anyway, just because he likes your attitude and frankness.
Everyone likes to buy, but no one likes to be ‘sold’.
Think about it. When you make a sound purchase and get complemented on your decision, you are more than happy to take responsibility for the purchase. But buy something that you later regret, perhaps because you were sold something not in your best interest, and you will feel, “I got a bad deal at that place.”
My point? Keep your customer’s best interests in mind when making your sales presentation. Reinforce the benefits you offer that are appropriate to their needs. Make your customer feel good about themselves and their decision to use your product or service.
“I think you’ll be really happy with the results we can achieve for you, John. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday morning.”
Adopt this attitude toward selling and you will find selling to be a very rewarding and stress free activity. You will enjoy what you are doing more and your customers will definitely appreciate you for it.
Six qualities of a sales conscious person:
- A sales-oriented person must be a ‘people person’, accepting everyone at face value without prejudices or limitations.
- Be open and friendly in the words you choose, your tone of voice and your body language.
- Be patient and listen attentively and actively to your customer’s wants and needs.
- Show genuine interest and respect. Make your customer feel important.
- Show appreciation for your customer and continue to be appreciative even after they have enrolled.
- Remember your prospects name and use it to create a bond.