How to be the Best Salesperson
Creativity is a must when it comes to the selling process. You can’t expect to improve your sales ability unless you understand that selling is made up of many parts; that is, an effective overall picture – strong sales – will not be realized if salespeople don’t use strategy, planning, common sense, or an attitude that says “this product is terrific.”
Good salespersons rely on sound judgment, diplomacy, and flexibility when involved with potential and existing customers. To increase your selling ability, use the tips below as guidelines:
Never put the cart before the horse. As a customer, how would you feel if you entered a department store to buy an appliance, needed assistance, and then had to wait as 1) the salesperson had to hunt for another clerk because he or she knew nothing about the appliance except how to turn it on, or 2) the salesperson, who was new on the job, had trouble ringing the sale on the register and had to call for assistance, thereby making you wish you had never come into the store at all. Frustrations such as these and countless others can be avoided through proper training before an employee goes on the floor, no matter what profession he or she is in.
Customers do not have time for excuses, delays or misinformation. They want service, and before a business can provide proper service, training is a must. Make it a point to know all about your company, its policies, products, and how to handle all business machines and related services.
Understand the customer market your business attracts and be ready to focus on their needs. Also, don’t neglect product knowledge. If you’re selling waterbeds, but don’t know anything about them, do you really expect a customer to buy from you if you can’t answer basic questions? It’s not necessary to be a walking dictionary but you should be knowledgeable. Remember, every customer is different and you must be able to address his needs. That’s where flexibility comes in.
Be Aggressive. That doesn’t mean barrage a customer with questions or stick fast to his heels as he wanders through the aisles. But be aware of the customer, of his body language, and be in the area when the customer does decide he needs help. Whether your job involves direct or indirect prospecting, prospecting is the key word. For your steady, reliable customers, take the time to let them know of special sales, upcoming promotions or events that are attractive to them. Give them personalized treatment.
You can also gain new customers through creative prospecting. If you sell vertical blinds, for example, find out who are building new houses and send them material about your company and how you can be of service. Own a baby furniture/clothing store? Watch the newspaper for birth announcements and contact the new parents. Opportunities are endless.
Don’t end a potential sale before it begins. Greet customers immediately, even if you can’t assist them at the moment. Tell them that you will help them as soon as possible. Then thank them for waiting. Courtesy and professionalism are two attributes that can not be over stressed.
Show off the merchandise. Learn how to present your product to its best advantage. Be able to discern what the customer is most interested in, whether its technical functions or emotional appeal. Then focus on those points because every customer is different. Stress the benefits the customer finds most important.
Get the customer involved by letting him try the shirt on or by putting him on the riding lawn mower. Let the product sell itself by direct contact with the customer. Whether it’s displaying shoes or making a stereo system’s complicated functions look simple, think about what you would want to know or see if you were the customer.
Objections can be positives. Don’t be afraid of objections because they are really opportunities. Adapt your response so that you can feedback the customer’s objection in a positive way. Sales can be made if all objections are overcome by a salesperson who is patient, understanding and enthusiastic about the product’s virtues and capabilities.
Close the sale but always follow through. Help close the sale by offering services such as free delivery or gift-wrapping; give discounts when possible to encourage buying; offer a wide range of color and accessory choices. Suggest additional merchandise to purchase that is needed for the product, like batteries for a cassette recorder. And, just as important, contact the customer after the sale to make sure he was and still is satisfied. You can maintain and improve customer relations through your sincere effort after the sale, which, over the long run, is just as important as the initial sale.