7 Tips For Selling With Less Effort
By: Tessa Stowe
A lot of people think selling requires a lot of effort. The
reality is that it is easy to waste time when selling and it is easy
to make it a lot harder than it needs to be. There are, in fact,
simple tips you can apply which will not only save you a huge amount
of effort but will also speed up your sales cycle. Here are just
seven of these tips.
Tip #1: Don't act like a salesperson
The moment you start talking or acting like a salesperson your
prospect will put up barriers. They will think you are trying to sell
them something and their automatic and natural reaction will be to
defend themselves against being sold. Once a prospect's barriers are
up, selling to them requires a lot more effort on your part and it is
also much harder than it needs to be.
Tip #2: Sell only to those who will buy
Sell only to those who will buy from you sounds so obvious, I know,
but if you look at your list of prospects, how many can you say are
going to buy? Have you put them, and the opportunity, through your
filter or qualification process? Do you have a formal, written,
filter or qualification process which you could email me straight
away? If you have answered "no" to any of these questions, chances
are that you are wasting a lot of effort selling to people who aren't
going to buy.
Tip #3: Diagnose and then prescribe
Suppose you went to see your doctor and the moment you walked in the
door they handed you a prescription - before you even had a chance to
explain what was wrong with you. Even if the prescription was exactly
what you needed, would you trust the doctor and their prescription?
Often in selling the prescription (the solution) is talked about
before understanding the problem to be solved. This results in the
prospect automatically resisting the prescription - no matter how
'perfect' it is for them. Again the solution is simple: diagnose and
then prescribe. Do this and watch your sales process become a whole
Tip # 4: Have prospects sell themselves
Forget about focusing on selling your products and services to your
prospects. Instead have conversations and ask questions to understand
their problems, the specific implications of these problems and the
specific value they will receive from solving these problems. As a
result of having these sorts of conversations, and asking the right
questions, your prospects will naturally sell themselves. This
approach requires a lot less effort on your part and greatly
increases your chances of success.
Tip #5: Craft the solution jointly
In the sales process, when you get to the step of formulating the
solution, the tendency is to do this in isolation and then go back
and present it to your prospect. If you want to sell with less effort
and increase your sales success, work with your prospect to jointly
craft the solution. If your prospect is involved in formulating the
solution, they will naturally take ownership of it and there will be
minimal resistance to the final solution that they helped create.
Tip #6: Be trustworthy
If your prospect does not trust you, they will continually ask you
for a lot of information to back up what you say and they will
continually be raising objections. They will feel they need to check
everything for themselves as they can't trust what you say. Also they
will make no assumptions about you, your company or your products and
services. Conversely, if they trust you, the opposite will be the
case. So if you want to speed up the sale and have it be a lot less
effort, be trustworthy. Be your word, be open, be honest and have
your prospects best interests at heart.
Tip #7 Increase the value of the sale
If a prospect has decided to buy from you, explore ways that you can
increase the value of the initial sale using an "If/then" scenario.
For example, "If you commit to a two year maintenance contract at the
same time as you buy this software, then I will also include an
additional module." This is a very powerful technique and I have
personally used it to turn a US$5,000,000 sale into a US$10,000,000
sale with very little extra effort. This is also very effective for
gaining large commitments from your current happy customers.
I suggest you focus on implementing one of the above tips this week
and then next week focus on another and so on. I have a hunch you
will see quite a change in the relationships you have with your
clients and prospects and the whole sales process will require a lot
less effort on your side. Try it and see.
© 2007, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Yes, you can, provided you make all links live and include this copyright and by-line below.
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople
10 simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being
sales-y or pushy. Sign-up for her FREE monthly newsletter that is
full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself at http://www.salesconversation.com