There are plenty of advanced sales techniques floating around, but what about the basics? You’d be surprised how many salespeople forget the fundamentals and blow the easy ones. Give your sales team a quick refresher on the following essential steps to help perfect their sales approach:
Giving a warm and sincere greeting to a customer is one of the most important skills your sales team needs. Whether you’re in retail or provide a service, it’s vital for your team to use a friendly greeting during that initial contact. People typically form first impressions within a split second and those impressions can last for months.
It sounds simple, but not all greetings make a customer feel welcomed. A few months ago, one of our clients in Texas asked us to compile a highlight reel from their video shops of salespeople not bothering to stand up from behind their desks to greet clients.
It’s astonishing how often this goes on! Red flags like lack of enthusiasm or poor body language during the greeting can torpedo a sale. The top salespeople score big wins by dedicating themselves to building client relationships that start with the greeting.
When your sales team greets a potential client, it’s vital for them to remember they’re selling themselves first, the business second, and the merchandise or service last. Making a client feel comfortable and welcome as soon as they walk in the room is as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Eye Contact
Sales veterans know that a customer’s wants and needs can stretch across vast spectrums. Because of this, the discovery phase is a key component of making the sale. Incorporating this trusted interview method of asking critical questions and follow-up questions is much more likely to lead to success.
A powerful interview session engages clients and identifies the driving force behind their decision to purchase. What’s important to the client? How might his or her lifestyle affect product or service choices? Are there any barriers that could prevent the sale?
Asking questions not only helps your sales team qualify prospects and determine solutions to their pain points, it also strengthens the client relationship. Most of the time, clients are more than happy to tell you what and how to sell to them.
You’ve trained your team to warmly greet customers and ask the client about his or her needs. These interactions present the opportunity to uncover any objections to closing the sale. Trial closing is a way of testing the waters to discover if a client is ready to purchase.
Trial closing answers two questions: where you are in the sales process and when to attempt to close. For example, let’s say you sell computers. A customer enters your store, and you warmly greet him. You find out he is about to begin film school and needs a new laptop. You begin to demo some of the video editing features on one of your products. When you’re done showing the client how the editing feature works, you ask, “What do you think about the editing feature?” That’s an example of a trial close question.
If the answer is positive, then that’s an indicator the customer is ready to close. If he responds tentatively, he will probably react negatively if the you attempt to close at this point.
Other examples of trial questions include:
It looks like you’re interested in this house. Is that true?
How would this TV look in your living room?
Do you like the larger or smaller screen?
What would your spouse think of the color?
Making a sale doesn’t have to be complicated. Often the difference between success and failure comes down to your team’s ability to warmly acknowledge clients and ask them the right questions. Make sure they’re doing both.