7 tips on how to sell

Sales… A dreaded word for many, and an activity most entrepreneurs would like to avoid.

In a perfect world, you could.

However, one of the key factors to get your business moving is that people would need to know you exist. In most cases that would mean informing people about your existence – at least in the beginning, until the word gets out there.

There’s no need to become the über-pushy sales person we all love to hate though. Here are some 7 pointers to get you started.


1. Think relationships

One of the fundamentals of business is that it’s all about relationships between people.

What that means is that you should focus more on selling yourself than a specific product. By getting a relationship going with the clients, you will create a steady base of income, rather than the hit-and-run type of business where the clients buy once, never to return.

By always being polite, honest and respecting the client, you will lay down the foundations for a lasting relationship. You will build trust.


2. Think long term

A sale today is good. If that leads to two more sales tomorrow, it’s even better.

How can you achieve that?

Focus on the relationship and provide what the clients are after. Match their expectations and they will be satisfied. Exceed them, and they will keep coming back. To do that, add value to your offers.

Remember that today’s client could be tomorrow’s client as well. As might their friends be.


3. Think mutual benefit

Have you ever bought something only to regret afterwards? Have you ever thought that the product you bought served for nothing more than put money in the pocket of the seller?

Don’t let you clients think that way about you.

There are two main steps to making your clients happy.

One is to design and provide a product and service matching your client’s expectations – something you do internally.

The other is to control the client’s expectations, which can be tricky.

While underselling, or pushing the expectations down, would in most cases positively surprise your clients when experiencing a product superior to their expectations, it would at the same time make it more difficult to gain acceptance and actually sell it.

On the other hand, overselling might increase acceptance for your solutions, but at the cost of client satisfaction, often leading to low repurchase rates.

The best course of action? Be honest. Set realistic expectations, and of course, meet them. Then add that little extra that no one else does.


4. Think solutions

When talking to clients, try thinking about solutions instead of specific products. Why?
Because the product you thought to be the best for that client, might not inspire any interest. Even so, the client might be interested in something else you have to offer. And besides, as a small business owner, you are in charge of the products. You can design your products to fit the individual client (depending on the size of the deal).

If you focus on what the client needs, you can find something to sell them a lot easier.

How to find what the need is?


5. Ask questions

Ask questions – as many as possible without turning the conversation into an interrogation.

Ask open-ended questions, and get the client talking. That will do two things for you.

Firstly, it will show the client that you are different – you are interested in them, and their business, not only about selling some product.

Secondly, it will provide you with a lot of information – information that you can use to pitch just the thing they need, which will in turn increase acceptance rates.


6. Respect the person’s time

Imagine this: You’re just about to enter an important meeting when your phone rings. On the other end is a sales guy who immediately starts badgering you about some product. You politely try to let the person know he would have to call you back, but to no avail. He keeps on going.

What would you do? Would you buy his products?

On the other hand, imagine the same situation, only this time, instead of starting straight away with the product presentation, the sales person asks you for a couple of minutes of your time, then agrees to call you back at a more convenient time.

Which of the two would you listen to?

In most cases, a polite person respecting the time of the other person will win in the long run – especially so when we’re talking about building relationships.


7. Don’t be desperate

This is very important – don’t act desperate. Even if you really need the order, and the acceptance could mean a care free year for you, don’t act desperate. It’s a huge turn-off and can quickly cost you the deal. The human mind is funny like that.

Remember that you are just as important as the person you are talking to. You’re offering something that will not only benefit you, but also them. Keeping that in mind, helps you stay on top of the game.

To sum up: Be honest, be respectful, be polite. Don’t be desperate. And think about how you can benefit the other person.

You’re in it for the long run, you want the clients to come back, and you want them to refer you to their friends and acquaintances. Follow these tips, and you’re that much closer.

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