Peady’s Selling Engagement sponsored by IRD Prospect
Fact: Selling is a learned skill – so if you are new to media sales, an experienced sales person or somewhere in between, there are dozens of selling skills that need to be learnt (or perhaps relearnt).
For mine there are a four crucial or even essential skills that can make or break your sales career.
1. Asking great questions
I have found that the majority of sales people fail to effectively ask great questions. In fact most ask low value questions such as “tell me about your business” or “what’s your budget?” or “can you explain your needs?” – irrelevant and ineffective.
Great sales people ask questions designed to uncover real issues, opportunities or challenges. They use the answers to effectively position a solution for their product or service.
2. Active listening
You can ask all the great questions in the world but if you don’t listen carefully to what the other person says they are wasted. Active listening means really hearing and understanding what people tell you (and what they don’t tell you!)
One effective way to show that you have listened and understood is to quickly recap the key points.
3. Demonstrating value (not talking price)
Sooner or later the time comes to talk about the investment required and getting the customer to agree to your pricing. So how do you sell at the right price?
In any list of buying motivations low price is never the primary motivation; it’s important and can be the deciding factor but never the primary one.
The biggest issue in the mind of most prospective customers isn’t price and isn’t value….it’s the risk. The risk of making the wrong decision. So you need to demonstrate value and lessen the risk by using recommendations, case studies and testimonials
The experts such as Zig Ziglar, Jeffrey Gitomer and Tom Hopkins define closing as “asking a question, the answer to which confirms the sale”. After you ask your closing question follow the golden rule of selling. Be quiet, wait for the answer.
The close of a sale is only one step in the sales cycle. You don’t just close a sale, you lead up to it by building rapport, asking great questions, active listening and demonstrating value while lessening risk.
You then “earn” the sale by guiding your client to an agreement.
About the author
Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.
He can be contacted at [email protected]