“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.”
As a salesperson, you are a very important face who represents a company to prospective customers. While you work towards generating leads, initiating conversations and building relationships, some communication mistakes make you a ‘pushy salesperson’ instead of a consultative one.
If your calls are unanswered, and emails and messages ignored, you may be coming across as a pushy salesperson without even realizing it.
1. Target the right buyer
A right buyer for your product is the person who benefits from your product and has a need that your product effectively solves.
When the product you sell targets a particular segment of the market, your success depends on how effectively you can identify your target market.
If you have correctly identified the need and the buying capacity of the prospective customer, you just have to work towards creating the will for them to choose your product over others.
A combination of a good product, a professional salesperson, and the right buyer is the right recipe to close the deal successfully.
2. Be an advisor, not a seller
The statement is confusing but important. You are a salesperson for a product. You want to make your prospect believe in that product. But, does your prospect believe you to begin with?
Psychologically, it is comforting for people if someone understands their challenges and guides them accordingly. Focus not on the features of your product but the benefits, especially the benefits applicable to your prospect or their business.
Understand their problems and suggest how your product will alleviate them. If you have good product knowledge and relate the problem with the solution effectively, you come across as an advisor rather than a salesperson pushing their product on prospects.
3. Let your prospect do the talking
Are you the type of salesperson who rambles on about the company’s achievements and ticks of the product’s features like a checklist?
Do you interrupt with “very important product details” while your prospect is talking?
It’s time to change this image of a stereotypical salesperson to a professional who listens, understands and then advises.
When you involve your prospective customers into a conversation and encourage them to ask questions, you make the sales call interesting for them too.
Tell them about the product benefits as a part of your conversation, and you will see a difference in the acceptance you receive.
Forcing anyone to listen to you is not a good idea, anyway. The less you speak, the more information you are likely to get.
4. Focus on their problems, not your product
Yes, you are excited about your product, but blowing your own trumpet is not very good.
Shift your focus on the prospect’s problems. Probe into the challenges they face. This will help your prospect trust you and get the conversation going.
You will learn a lot more about their concern areas and gather valuable details that will let you pitch your product in a way that is customized to their needs.
5. Talk about the benefits of your product, not the features
Salespeople at times make the grave mistake of sharing every product feature with their prospective customer. Most times this does not lead to a sale.
This is because you haven’t discussed how exactly it will help your prospect. Every prospect may have a different set of problems. Will your product solve those problems? Can your product help the prospect improve their business functionality, efficiency, and finances? Talk about these benefits and not just through a list of product features.
For example, an insulated down layer is a feature of a winter jacket, the benefit to a customer is the warmth this feature provides while hiking or outdoors. When you sell this jacket, focus more on how the insulating layer will help keep the user warm and comfortable even in harshly cold climates. This connect between the feature and the benefit is the mark of a great salesperson.
6. Let them decide the next steps
Once you have targeted a potential client and explained the product benefits give your prospect time to think.
Don’t be pushy in the end by using terms like ‘you should, you need to, and you have to’. Don’t force your offerings.
Your eagerness to close the sales call with quick “Yes” from the prospect can cost you a sale and a potential customer. Not to mention the bad word of mouth publicity.
End the sales call pleasantly, ask your prospect if you should follow up and after how long? If they say no leave it at that. Follow up with an email thanking them for their time.
Respect whatever decision and time-lines they set. Follow up only after that time has passed.
A prospect who doesn’t need your solutions now may need them in the future, and if you’ve made an impression they will think of you.
Realize that most of the prospects are already contacted by relentless salespersons.
Project your sales approach in the right direction to avoid being a typical pushy salesperson who does not take no for an answer.
A combination of courteous behavior and good product knowledge can not only win the deal but also your prospects’ trust and loyalty.