Although many would have you believe it is.
It is, instead, one of the most important skills you can have in life.
Because many of the things you have to do in your life involves selling something in one way or another.
As sales is just the business word for persuasion.
And the reality is, you have to persuade people to do things for you every day.
You need to persuade employers to give you a job. You have to persuade your coworkers that they need to finish the work you need on time. You have persuade your boss you need a raise. You have to persuade your friends the idea to go check out a certain activity you enjoy will be fun for them. Every day you’re persuading others.
Now just for a little fun, let’s say that last paragraph again but replace persuading with selling.
You need to sell yourself to employers to give you a job. You have to sell to your coworkers that they need to finish the work you need on time. You have sell your boss you need a raise. You have to sell your friends the idea to go check out a certain activity you enjoy will be fun for them. Every day you’re selling to others.
Therefore you have to build this fundamental skill if you truly want to be successful. Because no one will give you anything without being sold on it. Because of this, here are the 12 steps to make a sale and in essence becoming a salesman.
Step One: Pre-Sale Prep – What gets you in zone?
· Talk yourself up
· Get Pumped up
· Flush Toxins
In this step, you have to get yourself ready for the sale.
You have to get your mind right.
If you do not get your mind right and ready to sell to someone, it will be easily noticeable by your prospects. They will not feel comfortable being with you and will ultimately shoot you down. Therefore, talk yourself up in a mirror with compliments, get pumped up with a ritual of coffee, yoga, or jumping jacks, and flush toxins by trying to get rid of all the bad energy and thoughts you have that can affect your abilities.
Step Two: Meet and Greet – Set the Stage for a Good 1st Impression
· Strong Handshake
· Good Eye Contact
· Establish rapport with compliments on their person and possessions
In the second stage, you have to have a good first impression as many times you can lose the sale in the first 10 seconds. Especially if they don’t like what they see and feel uncomfortable. Therefore, break the ice with a strong handshake and good eye contact. Don’t forget to wave a flag of peace by giving out a compliment and make them comfortable.
Step Three: Warm Up – Get them talking and warmed up
· Mini-Bio – Give them a Quick Background that makes you relatable to your prospects
· 5Alive – The 5 things you need to know to sell to people
- Activities – What you like to do?
- Lifestyle – How do you like to live your life? What represents you?
- Interests – What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
- Employment – What do you do for a living?
- Product Based – Ask a question that relates to the problem your product solves.
Stage 3 is when you get them talking and warmed up.
But first you have to give them a mini-bio of who you are so they have material to ask you questions about so there isn’t a lull in conversation. Once you’re done, you have to start work with the 5Alive Questions (The 5 Questions to Stay Alive in the Sale). Knowing this information is how you will quickly find commonalities between yourself and your prospect to build a relationship. Because the key in any sales transaction is to get your prospect to like you. Because no one wants to work with someone they hate. Especially in sales.
So ask questions based on their Activities, Lifestyle, Interests, and Employment. The Fifth-type of questions revolve around specifically on what you’re selling and will change based on what products you sell. For example, real estate agents will talk about where they live, if they rent or buy, and how they like that situation. A massage therapist will talk about their stresses in life and how it affects their everyday. And a software salesman will talk about how they feel about tech and the frustrations it may cause in their daily life.
Step Four: Set the Stage– Establish why you’re both here today
· Set the Bar– Tell them why your there and the problem your trying to solve
· Have them acknowledge that they need to give a yes or no at the end.
- Establish Responsibility - Tell them you came out specifically just for them.
- Establish Scarcity - say that this offer is for today only.
- Establish Commitment – ask them if they see the benefit of your service or product.
After talking about their 5Alive, your prospect should be nice and comfortable and ready to talk business. You should also have all the information you need to sell them. Which is why stage 4 is to set the stage for the rest of the sales transaction. Essentially, you are going to establish why you’re both here today, to do business and solve a problem they have or not. No in-betweens.
While you set the stage, a use these techniques to help close the sale. One is to establish that they are responsible for the fact you are there now just for them. They asked to hear more about your service and they need to respect your time and business. Two is to offer only in-person offers that you only offer once to create scarcity and give them a deal that only they can take advantage of. Three is to establish commitment from your prospect about the value of your product and what you do.
Step 5: Buying motives – Discover their buying motives
Write all the answers down and repeat major points…
· Ask questions to get the prospect to tell you more about the problems your product solves
· Ask questions to get information on negatives of the experiences and problems they have had in the past
· Ask questions that expose what objections they would have
- Tell me about this… tell me about that…
· Rope Them In
- Let’s see how much you think this will cost?
- What do you think it would cost from start to finish?
- So with or without my product you will spend this much money?
In stage 5, it’s time to ask specific product questions rather than the general one’s you asked in the 5Alive. Specifically about the problems your product solves, the negative experiences you may have had with those problems, and questions that expose any objections they may have later in the transaction.
A god technique to use here is a comparison technique of what they do now and how much more expensive it is to continue doing it that way or how inefficient it is compared to using your product.
Step Six: The Pitch – Show the product’s features and benefits and relate them to their buying motives
· Give them the pitch of how your product and service will solve their problems
· Appeal to the buying motives you have already discovered
· Have them actively participate in what your selling
· Use Stories of Others who have successfully used the product.
· Get vocal commitment at the end that what you’re selling will in fact benefit them.
In the sixth stage, you give them the pitch using everything you have learned so far. The key here is to only talk about the issues and points that are important to the prospect. For example, if your prospect only cares about the cost savings of your product, why would you talk about how the product will look in their office or something else that you already know the prospect doesn’t care about.
The prospect should be actively participating throughout the entire transaction, but it’s most important during this stage. Because nothing is worse than talking “at” a prospect who is no longer interested because you’re doing all the talking.
The last thing to remember is to use stories of others who have successfully used the prospect. A good can be from your company your company, your personal experiences with clients, and even your family and friends.
Just don’t forget to finish the pitch with a vocal commitment that they see that your product will benefit them.
Step 7: Give them a Sample/Example -
· Let them use the product / Let them see the product / Let them see themselves using it
· Paint a picture of the future where their problem is solved by the product
· Use Stories of Others again
In stage 7, its time to bring the product out and let them experience the product themselves. While they use it, paint a vision for your prospect using the product and solving that problem that has nagged them for years. Even use more stories form others who have used the product successfully to let them know they are not alone and it’s a proven product.
Step 8: Recap the Offer – Establish that this is once again a “One-Time Offer” they will never get again.
· Summarize the major points of the Offer
· Emphasizing what the prospect finds most valuable
After the pitch, it’s time to up the tempo of the encounter. Summarizing the offer to their specific points of interest. Emphasizing that you will only make this offer once. It’s the best deal they are going to get.
Step 9: The Talk – Discuss the different options and what the prospect would like to buy
· Talk with the prospect to show the different packages and what fits their specific needs
· Emphasize the benefits to their buying motives
· Have an active conversation and let them lead it
- Is there anything keeping you from being our customer today?
Once your prospect has interest, it’s time to go over the different packages, products, and services you offer, and find the one that fits their needs exactly. In this conversation, it ii imperative to let them lead the conversation and ask questions of you to find out which deal will be the best for them. Once they feel comfortable with one, tell them your recommendation from what you have learned and why. This will most likely be the one they have chosen for themselves or an option that you know from expertise will work better.
This is also the time where you answer any objections they would have. None of what they say should surprise you because with everything you have discussed, it should be fairly obvious what they don’t like about the product. Just don’t make it be ‘You”.
Step 10: Show Prices / Negotiate – See if they like what they see or need extra incentives
· Push the package they like the most and fits their needs
· If they aren’t liking what they hear and see, it’s time to throw some extras in
· Last Ditch Effort – if all else fails, give them the best deal you have to get them through the door
You can reveal the prices to the packages long before this stage as long as when you do, they are comfortable enough to hear them. As many times, people reveal the prices too quickly and end up scaring off their prospect long before they get to this point.
If your prospect isn’t receptive to the prices, you have to emphasize again the value you will be creating for them. You are letting them see that the product will more than cover its cost through savings or cash flow creation. Otherwise start negotiating the price down until you hit a price they are happy with. If all else fails, give them your “Last Ditch Effort” and give them the best offer you can afford.
Step 11: Close the Deal – Get them to sign the documents for a fruitful relationship
· Have them sign all the documents and keep them motivated and on a purchasing high
Once they say yes. It’s time to get the closing documents and finalize the deal. This is a great time to pump them up and get them excited for all the wonderful things they will experience with your product and service. Tell them you’re excited to be in their service.
Step 12: Follow-up – Don’t lose them when they get buyer’s remorse
· Give them a congratulations note and gift basket
· Have lunch with them within 24 hours to do a mini-sales / pep rally to keep their high going
· Phone Call in 48 hours.
· Ensure they are on your email list and maintain contact over the years
- Ping once a year to see how everything is going
The worst part of any deal is when everything is going great. Documents are signed. Everyone is happy.
Then it happens…
The buyer call in the next few days that he would like to rescind the contract. He doesn’t know what he was thinking and doesn’t want to do business with you anymore. This is called buyer’s remorse. And it happens to everyone who doesn’t follow up with their new clients.
Don’t let it happen.
It’s your job to ensure that your new client feels comfortable before, during and especially after the sale. Therefore, congratulate them on their decision, give them thank you notes and gift baskets, have lunch with them within 24 hours to make them feel good about the decision. A phone call within 48. And a email every month for a lifetime.
Now you understand the Power of Becoming a Salesman.
The fundamentalism of it as a basic skill to live.
And exactly how to become one through the sales process.
It’s time to become one and go out there and practice.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Because it is a skill you will only master through hours of rejection and failure.
But once you get past that, you will able to persuade people to give you what you want.