Do you cringe when you hear the word “sales”? You don’t have a business without them, yet to so many, it’s an unsettling premise.
When I started designing websites full time in 2008, “sales and selling” was the furthest thing from my mind. It was just about designing websites. But shortly after my career switch, I had few clients. I realized if I was going to be in business the following year, I needed learn how to sell websites. I already had the sales skills needed to be successful, but struggled with applying them to the website design and services arena. In a previous career, as a project engineer, if I didn’t sell, my internal customers would not meet their production goals.
Here are three things you must know to INCREASE your sales:
People buy based on emotions.
They buy on emotion and use rationale to justify. A few months ago, my tires needed replaced. I knew I was going out of town in a few days and didn’t want to be on the highway with a blowout. When I went to get tires, I already had the rationale (of staying safe), but it was the emotions of a possible accident, because of tire blowout, that motivated me to buy. They could have been selling the most expensive tires ever, and I would have still made that purchase, just because I wanted to feel safe. However, don’t use unethical practices just to get a sale.
Understand their pain points.
This requires listening more than talking, and asking the right questions. Many times as salespeople, we get anxious about gaining business and forget what the customer need or want.
Listen for voice inflections and negative emotions such as, “I hate,” “I feel sad,” “I get disappointed,” “It’s frustrating when,” etc. You know your product or service better than anyone else. Share how your brand will alleviate, lessen, or remove their negative emotions. When you successfully demonstrate that your product and service is the best solution to the problem, they will sign on the bottom line. It’s also ok to know that your product or service might not address their primary and secondary pain points.
Learn from the “Noes” and celebrate the “Yesses”.
You have made it this far in business – you have had more “yesses” than “nos”. After each no, briefly evaluate what went wrong. And with each yes, remember the positives. Too many times salespeople focus on the no and get discouraged. This makes it harder to get a yes the next time around. Track your sales goals weekly and monthly, then review and adjust as needed. Minor changes can dramatically improve results.