One of the things I like to do sometimes when running courses is push the key questions back to the audience. Get THEM to come up with the ideas. I enjoy the process of collective thinking and problem solving. It is lively and the delegates enjoy it more because it is engaging. Also, I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do have plenty to contribute.
I was running a course earlier in the year, and we did a module on sales tips.
I went along armed with my long list. Some thoughts of my own, plus plenty that other people have given me on previous courses. I started by asking the group for their ideas. “Imagine that you have to run a training session, say for some new sales starters at your company. What bits of advice would you give them?”
Here are 4 ideas from my list.
- Use a mix of questions. So this means both open and closed questions. Open questions are great to help build rapport with your customer. They also encourage them to open up to you. You’ll gather more information this way. And all in a light, conversational way. Your closed questions will help you test for commitment. The ‘Yes’s and ‘No’s will help guide you.
- Quote facts, be specific. Many sales people ‘shoot their mouth off’ making exaggerated claims and unsubstantiated claims. “Yeah, these products are really good. We’re selling loads of them.” Or “we’re one of Britain’s leading supplies of …….” All froth. All just words. The type of thing they may feel happy saying, but which probably doesn’t mean much to the customer.
- Always do what you say. One of the most common complaints about us sales people is that salesmen and women will simply say what they need to – to get the order. So, be measured in your language with the customer. Think through commitments you’re about to make to them. Ensure that you set realistic expectations. Chances are that if you don’t it’s one of your colleagues, possibly in customer services who will take the flack. Which is unreasonable.
- Make that first impression count. This covers a multitude of things. So, I’ll write a separate blog about this at another time. This is everything from your physical presence and appearance to your vocal tone, language and preparation. Being on time (not always easy), looking smart and relevant to the situation you’re in, and being well prepared is all highly important. Impressing them early on, will start the relationship off positively for you. And this bit – the first impression is entirely within your control.
Happy selling. For this and a host of other sales and selling techniques tips talk to us about an in-house sales course. To Market provides training across the UK, including Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Newmarket, Loughborough, and wider parts of the East and West Midlands. Simply drop us some details here.