Needless to say, effective communication is the lifeblood of a strong sales pitch. Your ultimate goal as a salesperson is to help customers realize that they actually wanted or needed your product all along.
To achieve such a feat, you need to be a master of communication. You should communicate the features and benefits that your product can offer to customers in a clear and convincing manner, and help them understand how it can improve their lives.
You also want your buyer to have a personal stake in the sale: using compelling narratives and weaving stories into your presentations is a fantastic way to achieve this purpose.
Study existing case studies thoroughly and leverage those stories to help your prospect imagine how they can use your product or service. Ensure you incorporate elements like character, conflict, context, and resolution to enrich your presentations.
You can’t capture the attention of a buyer if you have no idea who they are, what they do, and what their business needs might be. The average human attention span today is 8 seconds – less than that of a goldfish.
Add to that the fact that people are being increasingly bombarded with a flurry of promotional messages on a daily basis via digital media, which makes it even harder to connect with prospective customers.
To really understand your prospect, you need to conduct extensive buyer research. Pore through your prospect’s company website and learn everything you can about what their business does.
Try to find insight into how their organization is performing. Familiarize yourself with its industry, so you can better understand its place in its competitive landscape. See if you can find out which solutions it is currently leveraging.
Do some research on the specific contact you’ll be speaking with. What’s their background like? What do they do at their company? Can you identify any interests they might have to help you build rapport?
Put together a holistic picture of your prospect and their business, and customize your conversations to tap into their feelings and needs. Make them feel that you really get them to spark their interest in your product or service and earn their trust.
The reality of sales is not all sunshine and rainbows: most conversations aren’t going to go as planned and you will likely face rejection more often than you think. Your leads are bound to object and you need to know how to handle that to become a competent salesperson.
One way to deal with objections is to prepare for them in advance by coming up with responses to the most common ones. These include objections like:
- It is too expensive.
- How is it any different from your competitor’s offering?
- We don’t really need what you’re offering. Our current product works just fine.
While planning responses in advance can empower you to better manage objections, it isn’t a magic pill. Sometimes, you’ll have to think on your toes and concoct a response right on the spot. Although presence of mind comes with experience, it is important that you build this skill as early as possible.
Your buyers know when you’re really listening to them and when you’re simply waiting for your turn to speak. Too many salespeople focus on talking rather than listening, even though the latter is more crucial to making a sale.
Active listening is the ability to focus on what someone is saying and make them feel understood and valued. It is vital to build rapport with your customer.
When you’re actively listening, you’re giving your customer your undivided attention and trying to understand their point of view. This helps you understand their pain points better, and it is also a sign of respect.
You can’t sell a product unless you know what it is. If a customer catches you off guard with a question you don’t understand, they may question your knowledge or abilities—even worse, they may question the integrity of the product.
You should know your company’s products inside and out before having your first conversation with any prospect or customer. Take the time to thoroughly study your product or service. Know what makes it an exceptional option and where it might lag behind competitors. Know who stands to gain the most from it. Know what it costs and why it costs that much.
Once you know all this, you’re in a position to craft more meaningful value propositions that will strike a chord with the customer. Your sales efforts will naturally prove much more effective.
Give sufficient attention to account management and maintain existing client relationships well. Many sales representatives are overtly focused on generating new leads and winning new clients at the cost of their existing ones.
By implementing regular and ongoing business reviews you can strengthen the overall customer relationship with your existing clients. New sales opportunities will inevitably crop up and prevent unexpected customer churn.
In a nutshell
These are just some of the skills you need to become a successful salesperson. The 6 foundational skills listed in this blog can help kickstart your journey towards sales mastery.
However, keep in mind that sales mastery is a long and arduous journey. It takes years, if not decades of self-improvement and hard work to become a veritable sales master. Be patient, put in the necessary effort, and seize opportunities to improve when you come across them.
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