Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
Sales and selling often conjure up negative thoughts, both in the minds of the consumer and small business owner. Too many people think of their worst pushy sales experience or the stereotypical used car salesman. However selling doesn’t have to be this way!
To make a sale, ideally people need to want to buy. People will buy when their problem is solved and they feel good. By good we can mean comfortable, happy, excited and have a lack of remorse. We buy on emotion and justify with logic.
Feel good factor
If you think about the last really great experience you had buying something, invariably it will be the service you remember, not the item you bought. Therefore before selling, get to know your customer, show genuine interest in them and make them feel good!
Solving their problem
To solve a problem you need to understand the problem. Avoid making assumptions. Ask questions to work out what the real need is, and whether you have something that could solve that problem. Think about chemist treatments. Often we go to the chemist and get treatment to sooth a symptom, however often the problem goes undiagnosed and therefore unaddressed. Solving the root problem will always be better than addressing symptoms.
Rather than selling think about helping people. Educating and informing people, offering ideas will show you to be an expert – a trusted advisor. This applies extremely well with services, but also products. Letting someone know that a food item is made preservative free and why that’s important will help sell that food. Look at the benefits, especially the emotional benefits you offer. What feeling will your product or service invoke?
Change your mindset
Instead of selling being a bad thing, embrace it as a chance to help people. You’re solving someone’s problem, and making them feel good. You’ll be providing a benefit they need – so you’re actually doing them a favour. Thinking of sales this way makes it far less scary and far more enjoyable!