When it comes to selling to customers, there are a few mandatory rules that help to gain trust and ultimately make the sale. Having been a successful salesperson for many years, these are some of the techniques I use to get and keep my customers’ attention. Many were taught to me by those with MBA’s but some are my own, learned by working with customers.
1. When it comes to scripts, I never follow them 100%. I can sell being 100% verbatim, but that isn’t my style. When selling, my conversion tends to be at around 60% frequently, when the average conversion at my company is somewhere around 30%. Why? Because I follow the script most of the time, but embellish it with a few positive thoughts and words to make it more interesting, without sounding syrupy sweet and annoying. Follow the script enough to make sure all legal and informational bases are covered. This way, you educate your customer, cover your company against potential problems, and give them a little personality to satisfy them psychologically. Relating to the customer is key in getting them to want to listen to you, so weave in your personality, with restraint.
2. Don’t be too friendly or you’ll kill the sale. Chat too much, and you can lose their respect and come off as a motormouth. Think like the customer, what would you think of listening to yourself doing the pitch? Would it make you gag to listen to the presentation of your pitch, or would you want to buy? I have listened to recordings of myself for years, and at first, they made me cringe. Yikes, I sounded overly chit-chatty and enthusiastic! Blech. It’s good to be friendly, but overdoing it will make your customer bored and want to hang up on you. How many times have you listened to someone trying to sell something to you, and got turned off by them overselling the product? Find a more professional way of relating by not overdoing it.
3. Stay in control of the call, in a polite, adult manner, no matter what happens. Don’t get emotional or nasty back at bullies. Turn them around with firm kindness, and let them know that you hear them, then go back to your pitch. Rebuttal them tactfully, until they buy or hang up. Never raise your voice, or talk over a customer. Stop, listen, then when they finish, start talking again. Use psychology on them by staying calm, let the rudeness roll off your back since the bully wants a reaction. If you give it to him, he "wins" in his mind and will be even more disrespectful. So, make sure they fully understand the promotion calmly. If they hang up on you, then you still did your job. Some will, some won’t who cares? Who’s next?! That is my motto in selling, since it is impossible to please everyone. After giving it your all on each call, you’ve done everything you can to get the sale. As for hecklers and punks out to harrass you (those who you know will not buy whatsoever and are being mean about it), don’t get mad, just kindly bombard them with every rebuttal with a smile on your face, then you’ll have the last laugh as they cut and run.
4. It’s all about trust. Building trust and being trustworthy is how companies get repeat customers.
When it comes with parting with money, especially giving out credit card numbers, people tend to be nervous and fearful. Put them at ease by finding out what their fears are, and then addressing each of them. Are they afraid of credit card misuse? Tell them your company’s strengths, such as "We’re a member of the local Chamber of Commerce," or "We’ve been in business at this address for ten years". Make sure that the customer knows that you aren’t some fly-by-night place that takes the money and runs. Give them the address or phone number of your company. Give them reasons not to doubt you. Don’t lie, be real as possible.
5. Be conversational and have an easy manner to build repoire. Talk to customers on the phone, as you’d talk to a friend visiting your office but with a hint more formality. Don’t sound like a game show announcer. That is beyond annoying, and makes you sound less believable. I use quiet enthusiasm, friendly but fairly formal and to the point at all times. As a supervisor in my company, I listen to salespeople doing the job I once did, and can tell the new ones quite easily. They sound like they’re reading a script, and there is usually nervousness in their voices. I did that at first, too, my fear was obvious in my voice until it was pointed out to me, then my sales skyrocketed as my confidence grew. The more practise you have in doing your pitch, the better you become. Everyone has their own style of talking, find what works best for you and build on it.
The object is to be as believable as possible, so the customer wants to listen to what you’re saying. I have very few phone hang-ups when I do telesales, because I listen to the customer’s subtle signs. Do they want the presentation fast or slow? Those who are in a hurry want to get the call done with as soon as possible. I go as fast as I can, but slow down at key points in the presentation, like confirmation of the sale, pricing, etc. If the customer is hard of hearing or needs more explanation, slowing down usually helps them out. Read the customer. Be sensitive to the kind of person he or she is, and react accordingly.
By being sensitive to customers’ needs, alert to their likes and dislikes, and relating to them in a positive manner, you will develop your sales techniques into a fine tuned presentation. The better you are, the more your bosses will take note, and the more confident you’ll become because others are pleased with your work. All the practise, tweaking of techniques and study of customers is worth it. Just wait until your paychecks come in larger on a consistent basis. Another confidence booster. Use it all to feed yourself the positivity that being in sales requires. The happier you are in your work, the more it shows in your voice, and the better sales you’ll have. Persistence and positivity will help you succeed. So, go for it and make that money, it’s up to you to find the formula that works best for you.