Hints and tips
Expert Corner: Top tips for a successful sale – part 1
Brand new to The Business Lounge is Expert Corner. This is where we’ll sit with one of our in-house experts to pick their brain on their area of expertise.
In this first episode, we speak to James Rodgers, one of our Sales Managers. He’s been working in the sales department of Experian for nearly twelve years. Initially starting out cold calling and booking in appointments for more experienced sales agents, he shortly became a team manager after just four years. James enjoys the challenges that sales presents and thrives on always exceeding expectations.
There wasn’t any one better that we could ask for top tips on making a successful sale. James shared with us his top six tips; in this first part, we present to you the first three.
To some, this acronym may ring many bells but it’s not what you’re thinking. You only really have the first 15 seconds of a conversation to capture your audiences’ attention; therefore you need to make every second count.
First highlight the reason they should listen to you. Then, tell them the benefit your product or service can give to them; this has to be relevant and only works if you’ve understood their needs. Structure all this so it’s easy for the prospect to understand and digest.
For example, you’ve just made an outbound call to a prospect, you need to first tell them the reason you’re calling them. This could be to tell them that you understand the type of business they are in, and you have a solution to the problems they could be facing. Tell them how your solution can benefit them, such as, it can save them a lot of time or can help them increase sales. Structure this in a way that is easy for them to digest.
Put customers at the heart of everything you do. It sounds like a cliché that every business says, but how many can put their hands up and say they really do this? This will help place you in the mind set of always placing customers first and thinking from their point of view.
I’ve come across many sales agents that are more focused on achieving their sales target than really serving the customer. This is a big mistake. If you put the customer at the heart of everything you do, then sales and targets should follow suit.
It’s about getting the customer to agree with you the benefit your product or service can give them. To be able to do this, you need to step in their shoes and understand what their needs are as opposed to pushing for a sale blindly.
3. Question types
The aim of asking questions in a sales process is to gauge what the prospects problem is, so you can offer a solution. Of course sometimes, light chit-chat can help to warm them up and add a personal aspect to the conversation. However most of the questions you ask should lead to you being able to get useful information.
Ask open ended questions, which the customer can elaborate on, for you to find out more about what their need is that you can fulfil. Don’t make assumptions because you may have spoken to someone similar. Every person and business’ need is different.
For example, ask questions that will draw information from the customer then ask again for clarification. What are the challenges their business or industry is currently facing? What are the challenges they’re facing in their role?
Next time, James shares with us the importance of listening, self-belief and being competitive. Share with us your thoughts or any questions that you may have for James below.