Some people are born to sell. It’s hardwired into their DNA. I know one such man. He is now 74 years old and still working full-time, knocking on doors, selling conservatories. He has lived through three-quarters of a century of espoused sales techniques and training. But he still follows the same tried and tested routine, namely; “Do you like me?” Do you like the product?” “Then sign here”. And people do.
If only it was always so simple. This man has made millions in profit for his employers, and he himself is a wealthy man. And he loves what he does. But people like him are hard to find, and companies fortunate enough to land such a rare specimen will pretty much offer them a blank cheque to ensure they stay (lest they wander over to a competitor). So that leaves Managing Directors and SME owners with only one choice – train the people they have to ensure they get the best out of their talent.
Sales used to be called an art. But now, thanks to extraordinary developments in psychology and the ability to track consumer behaviour thanks to the internet, sales is now a science. And to succeed in today’s market, you need to understand not only the latest research on how and why people spend their money but be able to apply it.
Here are some key sales tips backed by scientific research.
One – Do not delay contacting leads
You know what it is like when your busy and you suddenly realise you need something, an item or service, now. Most people act impulsively by carrying out a cursory bit of online research and call a couple of suppliers. Research shows that those companies who call back immediately are the ones who are more likely to qualify the lead. Therefore, make sure your sales team understands the importance of getting back to a lead within five minutes or less.
Two – Understand how the brain evaluates risk
When a person is presented with a single option, they automatically believe there is a higher risk and will be more conservative in their spending. A study showed that when a prospect is presented with one purchasing option, only 10% made a purchase. When two products were laid out, a whopping 66% of customers bought.
Providing only one option ensures the prospect will have nothing to compare it to, to attach a value. Give someone multiple options, and they are more likely to select what they perceive to be the best.
Three – be wary of creating reactance
If there is one thing universal in human behaviour, it is we don’t like being told what to do. Especially by a salesperson. This is known as ‘reactance’, and occurs when a person feels their right to choose for themselves is being taken away. Many salespeople try to create a sense of urgency to close the deal, triggering reactance and killing any chance of a sale being made. People will rebel if they feel cornered, so make sure your salespeople are trained to make prospects believe they are making their own decisions. One way to do this is to say something like “of course, it is your decision”, during key moments in the sales process.
Four – Study your metrics
Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database is your gateway to knowing at what stage of the sales process your customers are buying and what seals the deal. But a CRM is only as good as its users, so make it part of the sales and marketing team’s KPIs to complete it as fully and accurately as possible, for every client interaction. Data analytics is becoming a vital tool in targeting clients with accuracy, and therefore you should treat your customer database as you would any essential and valuable physical asset. Those that embrace this rapidly emerging resource for sales the most will reap the rewards.
Five – Play on FOMO
FOMO – the fear of missing out does not just apply to Millennials . Human beings are social creatures and have a pack mentality. Studies show 29% of hotel guests will reuse their towels if they know other people are doing the same. So get your case studies together and make sure your sales team study their prospects carefully, so they can match past customer experiences of people similar to the person sitting in front of them.
Sales is like any other profession in that it can be studied and learned. But some things cannot be taught; attributes such as trustworthiness, enthusiasm, curiosity, and agreeableness. Ultimately, people buy from people they like. Hire the attitude and teach the skills and you are guaranteed to create a formidable sales force.
Reach Revenue works with business owners, leaders and investors to develop high performing sales and marketing teams aligned to the strategic objectives of their business. To find out how we can help you, please call 0203 858 8030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.