Do you need better results selling your product or business opportunity? Are you out of ideas on how to get your product in the hands of your target market? In this article we are going to find ways for you to get a return on your time investment, craft your persuasive selling techniques, and get your customer to beg to hear your sales pitch.
I recently reviewed some of my sales techniques to identify what’s been successful in the past. I’d like to share those rewarding techniques with you. What would it be like if you could have people running to you with order forms and credit cards instead of avoiding your calls?
In network marketing or direct selling you are helping your customers and recruits in two ways. First, you’re selling them a product which you yourself believe in. Second, you’re helping individuals obtain the benefits of being a part of your team and owning a home based business. Don’t be shy about the benefits your business affords you. Show it off! Your life is going to be the template and the outcome that other people will want. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should honestly reflect the benefits that you talk about in your sales presentations. For example, it is almost tax time and you might let it slip to your contacts and customers how much you save in taxes each year by being able to write off your cell phone and internet as an expense.
It may take more than a tax write-off to convince your customer to purchase your products. Let’s find a way to increase your persuasive power. If you have been intimidated by sales training or sales in general, there are some great tips that can help you become a persuasive salesperson. Have you ever promoted a community event, helped raise funds for a charity, or helped out at a booth or roadside stand? If so, you have persuasive salesmanship skills.
Let’s talk about some of the ways you can improve your sales skills without tarnishing your potential client relationships. Here are 12 tips for refining your sales skills.
- Start with a smile.
Many network marketers find it essential to start their day with a smile. Before you call your business contacts boost your positivity. Listen to a favorite song—one that motivates you. For years I sold computer keyboards, mice, and made daily sales calls when I was in college. One of my laptop vendors left a mirror with double stick tape on my desk to remind me to promote their products. My boss and longtime friend Sean Wolcott told me it was to help me remember to smile while on the phone. He often referred to our morning time as “smile and dial time.” It was definitely an eye opener to notice how much my weekly sales calls improved when I just smiled. Not only did my sales go up, my customer feedback improved greatly as well. In person, smiling encouraged customers to open up and share their technology requirements and budgets with me so that I could sell appropriate products and offers to them. Since that time I always smile on the phone whether or not I have a mirror in front of me.
- Build relationships.
Everybody knows that building relationships with your target customers is crucial to network marketing. Make follow-up commitments. Send tasteful gifts. Take notes about your customer’s interests, reach out to them and mention their hobbies or upcoming events that reminded you of them. I know this last one works.
As a marketer I am constantly overwhelmed by offers and promises from software vendors. One vendor impressed me however when he asked me the #1 problem I needed to solve for my business in the next year and then followed up with an email and a link to a conference about the exact solution I was looking for. He took the time to understand my business and my needs and I appreciated that.
Finding common ground with your customers may take some one-on-one attention. You might also try finding some common ground by talking about your hobbies on social media and on your blog or website. This will allow customers with the same interests to feel an increased connection with you when you interact with them. If you don’t have any hobbies you can share, try a new hobby each year and share your experiences with your clients. It’s not uncommon to see sales emails start with a personal connector such as a ski trip or paintball event that the writer then ties back in, using it as an analogy for their product, service, or the state of the industry they are in.
- Identify your target customer.
If you have been in your business for many years you may already know who your target customer is. However, if you are new to network marketing or party plan selling you may need some help to figure this out. Where does your target audience hang out? What books and magazines do they read? What is their age/gender/geography? Here are some resources you can use to find out who to sell to:
- How to Identify Your Target Market (For Dummies)
- Focus and Identify Your Target Audience (About.com)
- How to Define Your Target Market (Inc.com)
- Make a targeted sales kit.
Once you’ve defined your target market, make a special sales kit of products and benefits directed at that market. If you sell Mary Kay or Avon for example, you might be looking for brides to be. Create kits containing some bride-related items, like marketing flyers that would be useful for a bride. You should also include some thank you cards you have collected from past brides talking about their experience working with you and using the product. Take this box with you when you go to ask a bride-to-be to host a party, or if you start selling at bridal shows. This highly targeted sales kit can create trust with your target audience and help customers decide that you are their go to person for your specific product.
- Write down several ways to ask for the sale.
This one seems difficult but it gets easier with practice. First, take a piece of paper out and write down several ways to ask for the sale. The most common one I’ve experienced is the customer asking me to sell them a product or service. It is by far the easiest way to sell but requires time and targeted questions to help the customer say “Yes! I want that” in their own head. You might also present an order form and say “cash or credit”? Or give them an option by asking them if they are interested in financing or easy payments. If you hear an objection from your customers you should acknowledge it.
- Learn the art of being quiet.
This might be a surprising persuasive selling tactic. After sharing benefits of a product or asking for a sale, this can be your most effective tool. It allows the customer to evaluate any objections and to determine if they are going to move forward with the sale. It may seem uncomfortable at first but realize that if you have built that relationship of trust—even in the first few minutes of meeting someone—you can use this technique successfully. If new objections arise you can address them and ask for the sale again. You might start by agreeing that you understand why they have that objection but offer proof of the values and benefits of the product that address their concerns.
Check out part 2 for six more ideas and techniques!