Welcome to part two of a challenge to your basic sales skills. Sales rules are fundamental skills, that when mastered, make sales easier. How good are you at the basics? Read the rules -- and see how you rate at them.
These rules are designed to make you aware of knowledge gaps in your sales skills, and reinforce what you know you should be doing -- but might not be. You can gain maximum benefit if you follow the ABC's...
A. Evaluate yourself on each rule - Be honest -- this is a self-evaluation, not a place to brag -- it's an opportunity to get real with the most important person on earth -- you! Put a number in the box that represents your present skill level in each rule. 1=poor, 2=average, 3=good, 4=very good, 5=the greatest.
B. If you're between good and poor (sometimes or rarely) in any rule, make an action plan to get excellent.
C. Do it.
28. Get the prospect to lean forward with interest...Gain buyer interest or you'll never get a sale, you may not even get an appointment. Your creative preparation will determine your outcome.
29. Become a resource to your customers...Ideas, industry information, competitive information makes you a resource. Go to a sales call with an idea you think your prospect can use.
30. Be sincere...If you are sincere about helping, it will show -- and vice-versa.
31. Be on time for everything...Lateness says, "I don't respect your time." There is no excuse for lateness.
32. Look professional...If you look sharp it's a positive reflection on you, your company, and your product.
33. Establish rapport and confidence before selling...Get to know the prospect and his company; establish confidence early. Don't start your pitch until you do.
34. Use humor...It's the best tool for relationship sales I have found. Have fun at what you do. Laughing is tacit approval. Make the prospect laugh and you can make him buy.
35. Be a master of your product...Know how your product is used to benefit your customers. Total product knowledge gives you the mental freedom to concentrate on selling. You may not always use the knowledge in the sales presentation, but it gives you confidence to make the sale. Become an expert in your industry.
36. The power of the question cannot be equaled...You can qualify the buyer, establish rapport, create disparity, eliminate competition, build credibility, know the customer, identify needs, find hot buttons, get personal information, and close a sale -- all by asking questions. WOW. Have 25 of the most powerful ones you can create -- at your fingertips.
37. Ask the right questions...The key to selling. Create a BUYING atmosphere -- not a selling one.
38. Sell solutions (benefits), not situations (features)...The customer doesn't want to know how it works. He wants to know how it will help him. Sell in terms of the customer -- not in terms of you.
39. Tell the truth...Never be at a loss to remember what you said.
40. Deliver on all promises...The best way to turn a sale into a relationship is to deliver as promised. Failure to do what you say you're going to do, either for your company or your customer, is a disaster from which you may never recover.
41. Don't down the competition...If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing (your mother's words of wisdom). Set yourself apart from them with preparation and creativity -- don't compare yourself to them, or put them down.
42. Use testimonials...The strongest salesman on your team is a reference from a satisfied customer. Testimonials are the best proof.
43. Use testimonials to overcome objections...Get letters from satisfied customers that overcome standard objections.
44. Learn to recognize buying signals...The prospect will often tell you when he is ready to buy - if you're paying attention. Are you listening?
45. The biggest buying signal in the world is "How much is it?"...Don't tell the price until the prospect asks.
46. Objections often indicate buyer interest...when the buyer objects, it often means he wants to buy -- with contingencies.
47. Anticipate objections...There are less than 10 objections to your sale. Have all of them written out. Rehearse answers to standard objections.
48. Get down to the real objection...Customers are not always truthful, they often won't tell you the true objection(s) at first.
49. Know the difference between a stall and an objection...Excuses like "I want to think it over," are not objections.
50. Incorporate answers to objections into your presentation...Don't wait for them to be raised.
51. Overcome objections...This is a complex issue - it's not just an answer, it's an understanding of the situation. Listen to the prospect and think in terms of a solution. You must create an atmosphere of confidence and trust strong enough to effect a sale.
52. Create a comparison chart...of all your competitors for the buyer who wants to "shop around." Lead into it with, "Mr. Johnson, after you shop, if you find we're the best, will you select us?" Then show the chart and write up the order. This is the end of part two. How are you doing so far? The rule/test is designed to help you -- if you're willing to get real with yourself. More pain tomorrow.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to www.yoursuccessstore.com. (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.