I am going to be that guy and say that I haven’t heard “no” to a sale in quite a few years. Back when I was bad at sales, it was because I was following the beliefs of older generations rather than using their wisdom to create my own sales personality. At one point or another, I realized I needed to be my true self to get sales. That was also after spending many years becoming a better person. People generally buy from leaders, so I spent years working on my leadership capabilities.
I first became interested in the sales game in my late teens/early 20s, when I joined a company that sold life and long-term care insurance and investment options. This was way before social media and digital marketing, so I had to physically walk up to people to get leads. I needed to recruit more sales agents from which to make override commission, and I needed to make sales. But while I would focus on essentially trying to recruit everyone, my greatest sales agents were the people who needed the product. This was the target demographic — and this method of sales helped me to identify my target.
For recruiting, I would approach a shop worker and get them talking about something in the store, thank them for being helpful, mail the store a handwritten letter about my experience and then call the employee a week later to offer them an opportunity. I’d often have to buy something to keep the conversation going, so this approach was costly if it didn’t pay off.
For sales prospects, I would approach older couples in stores or public places and start conversations, then get to the point and ask them what their retirement plans were. I would eventually set up a “KTA” (kitchen table appointment) and go to their house to pitch them with a booklet and flip chart of information.
Fast forward to today and think about how many strangers you would have to start conversations with within a day to build a sales funnel. Of course, nowadays people think they should just be able to create a website, advertise it on their social media page and then make money hand over fist, but it doesn’t work that way. Sales can work in your favor to reach your business and financial goals — so long as you are pursuing leads correctly.
The following are a few beliefs that just don’t apply to sales anymore.
Most sales don’t happen because people are not given enough information.
In truth, most sales do not happen because you are giving your prospect way too much information. If you feel the need to meet with a prospect multiple times to make a solitary sale, you may be going overboard. When you have something of value, explain it in its entirety in a handful of two- to three-minute commercials or one sales presentation, mixed in with genuine conversation. If the prospect has to do tons of research or find more information after you leave, your chances of making that sale will dwindle.
No usually means not right now.
People see value or they do not. When someone says only 10% of their leads convert or close, they are more than likely trying to sell their product to the wrong people. Put yourself in front of people you know can use your product or service. Don’t guess, or you may end your day with empty pockets.
You have to follow up five to 12 times over the course of months to make a sale.
You know who said that? Me. You know who still practices it? Not me. As I mentioned in my last point, people see value or they don’t. You should be providing enough information that your prospect buys now or within the first follow-up or two. After that, you are more than likely going to become an annoyance. If a sale hasn’t been made, put this person on a personal mailing list so you can send them a genuine email periodically. Find out their hobbies or spouse’s name so you can include personal details; that helps it feel like you aren’t spamming them.
Prospects want to talk to their spouses first.
If you hear this, it means you aren’t providing clear information upfront. You should be providing enough information in a short and sweet, easy-to-understand presentation every time. When the prospect already has all the information, they don’t feel the need to speak to their spouse for extra assurance before buying.
Prospects don’t have the money to spend on your product or service.
Find out what prospects are already spending money on and how it relates to your product or service, and then make the connection for them to show why it would be cheaper to invest in you. When selling software, I ask someone how much money they are spending on social media advertising and if it works. Immediately, I show them why my product would work better and how it would be cheaper than what they are spending now. Once your potential customer has enough information to know your product makes sense, the sale is made.
People buy from you because they like you, and they believe in your own confidence in the product or service you are selling. So, if you project leadership, believe in your product and are only approaching the right prospects who need what you are selling, you may never be told “no” again.Ready to hire? Enquire now to talk to one of our experienced sales recruiters.
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