One of the most important things in business…no, one of the most important things in life, is the ability to sell. If you understand sales psychology and are able to put it into practice, you win.
If you’re like most people, a sales pitch is somewhat of a mystery. You have something you want to sell, you pitch it, and hope they buy it. It’s almost like throwing cooked spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
That’s not how sales should be. In one sentence, sales either providing 1. value or 2. a solution to someone’s problem. If you only take that away from this entire article, then you’re already way ahead of the pack. The core of selling is giving people what they want.
We’re going to break down the sales process in 6 steps. Note that this isn’t the Bible of sales techniques. It’s just the basics and can be altered to your specific selling situation.
1. Grab their attention
Look, if the person you are trying to sell to isn’t paying attention to what you’re saying, how do you think you’re going to close the sale? The answer is that you’re not going to be able to. So make sure that you have their attention. This can be simply looking them straight into the eyes, or telling an interesting (and relevant) story. Just make sure they’re not in la la land.
2. Make the problem clear
This is the most important part of the process. Again, sales is giving people what they want. No one likes being sold to, but people love buying things. How do you know that you are pitching something that they want? Simple. You either know through experience, or ask them what they want. Yes, you can literally ask them what they want in a (fill in the black) and then taylor the rest of what you say to what they said. Let’s say you are selling a software product and ask the future buyer what they want to see in a software product. He or she responds, “I HATE it when software is slow and freezes up”. So there you go. For the rest of the pitch, highlight the fact that your software is extremely fast and won’t freeze up. Just tweak your pitch to whomever you’re speaking with.
3. Show them a solution
Now it’s time to bring out the guns. You have their attention and have made the customer aware that they have a problem. Most of the work has already been done at this point. Now, you show them what you’ve got and why it’s perfect for them.
4. Build trust in the solution
Now you have to back up what you are showing them with additional layers of trust. This can be achieved by showing them client testimonials, 30-60 day money back guarantee, or any credentials you or your team may have (“our software engineers have been in the industry for years and have created many products in this space”, etc.).
5. Tell them what to do
This is part one of two for the close. This step is so crucial to making a sale, yet salespeople don’t seem to quite get it. For this step, you literally tell them exactly how to purchase your product (“sign right here” or “fill out your credit card information via the paypal form”). Yes, not everyone will be ready to pull the trigger, but some people will be. So be ready for those people and close the sale!
6. Have a reason to act now
This is the second step in the close. This is where you turn the heat up. Give them an incentive to sign up today. That can be a discount, a bonus item, or that you might not be taking any more clients on in the near future (scarcity). If they don’t have a clear reason why they need to sign up today, then they most likely won’t. They’ll want to think it over. However, if you’ve proven to them that they can trust your product (a money back guarantee really helps in this situation) and told them exactly how to purchase it, this will give them one last push to make the sale today.
If you want further sales training, read Secrets of a Master Closer: A Simpler, Easier, And Faster Way To Sell Anything To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere.
And there you have it. You now know how sales works…the mystery gone. Again, knowing how to sell is vastly different from actually selling something. However, knowledge is the first step. So go out there and try to ‘sell’ things. They don’t have to be products, either. You can try to sell an idea to your coworker or boss, convince your roommate to watch a movie, or that cute girl to go on a date with you. The sky’s the limit!