We all sell the same thing – we sell a solution to a problem and the more of a problem you find the bigger the sale!
To achieve a sale, that doesn’t come back and bite you, the customer needs to be taken through all the 8 stages of a sale, which will bring the customer back for more.
The 8 steps of a sale are:
- Pre and plan your call,
- Fact find,
- Demonstrate your product or service,
- Make a recommendation,
- Close the sale,
- Handling objections,
- After sales service.
Lets look at “handling objections”. When I ask sales person on training courses what are the objections you get from customers the first answer is always – price. Then list starts off with: the product isn’t a right fit, the company is not known enough, can’t see the benefit, I’ll think about it and the list goes on. Lets stop and think about these objections – are they a true objection or false. They could be both however to find out which they are just side step it. Ingone the objection and if it’s a true objection the customer will come back to it. Then you need to handle it face on!
Some lines I use for the comment “it’s too expensive”. ” You said the price is too expensive. Can I ask you, what are you comparing it to?” Then test it out……. “If I can do something for you on the price, would you be happy to go ahead with the order?” If the answer is no, then it’s not the price. It’s back to the fact find and meeting the needs of the customer
The Change from Customer Service to Customer Experience
For years we’ve heard about customer service and while we still need to service our customers, there is a shift now to the customer experience and that’s where the money is! If we want to attract and retain long-term customers, we need to provide them with a little more than service. We need to enhance their experience, engage and retain them. A customer who buys twice a week compared to once a week will make a huge impact in your business at the end of the year
Customer Service is giving the customer what they want – what they have asked for. Remember what Steve Jobs said “a lot of time people don’t know what they want until you show them”. Steve Jobs understood his customers at this point – customers don’t always know what they want because you haven’t created for them yet.
Think of the customer experience in this way: you go out to Kenya and buy some coffee beans probably costing only a few cents to fill a jar. Ground and roast the coffee beans and fill the jar. You can probably sell it for €3.50 for 20 cups of medium-sized coffee. Now add hot water and each cup of coffee will cost you 25 cent. Pull into a service station and a medium coffee will cost you somewhere between €2.50 and €2.80. In a coffee shop somewhere between €3 and €4.50. You’re now paying for the experience of having the coffee in their business. Customers are paying for the experience all the time no matter if you’re selling a product or service. By creating is super experience you create a loyal customer who won’t pass your business again.
Be a business where the door is easy to open, the physical warmth is felt, you are welcome, your products and services clearly communicated for everyone to easily access them, great staff engagement with the customers and thank you the customer for the business. Listen to the customer. Don’t just be waiting to talk!
The Sales Gap
How big is your sales gap? The sales gap is the difference between your sales budget and your actual sales. We are now in Q2 and you will have a feeling for how your sales targets are going. Act now before it’s too late as you can’t bridge the sales gap at the end of 2019.
Let’s say you are down 20%. Examine the figures and see are you down on a range of products or is it services you provide? Ask the staff what they think as they are dealing daily with the customers. Ask them for some ideas, as this creates ownership within the team – great leaders do this well. Lead the team with clear communication and celebrate the milestones.
Where a staff member is under performing – a meeting is needed usually in a B2B sector. Take time out to see what part of sales process is weak and work on this. Maybe a buddy system might be a good idea or outside sales training. Whatever action you decide to take, take it today instead of needing to react later, which doesn’t lead to great business. Remember work on the business not just in it!
It’s all about Sales
Without a sale you don’t have a business that’s how important your sales and your teams are. You don’t need accounts, HR, purchasing or frontline staff without sales – actually you won’t be able to afford them. Most businesses that sell B2B (that’s business to business) will have a sales team. Now that doesn’t mean everybody in the business can’t sell and shouldn’t have responsibility to sell. After all the more sales means more security within the business.
Take time out to see your sales process. Most people fall down on the fact find and forget to ask for the business and then panic over the objections. A fact find is where you get to see that what you are selling is what the customer wants to buy. It’s best to have a fact find process for calls (I use the WHATSC’s) and have questions from your prepwork ready to ask. So why spend all of this time carrying out the fact find, demonstrating your product or service, making a recommendation and then not ask for the sale?
When it comes to objections I think ‘Is this a real objection or is it false?’. Not all objections are true. Price is normally a false objection. When an objection is first stated side step it. If it’s a true objection it will come up again.
Now is the time to invest in your sales team before it’s too late
Creating a Loyal Customer
Why should a customer buy from you? What are you doing differently than your competitors to keep the customer? Or are they just buying from you for convenience but not for the experience? Better change this as someone else could start supplying what you have or do. On average every year businesses lose 20% of the customer base. The greatest reason for this is the lack of the customer experience and where the staff couldn’t be bothered serving the customers in a proper manner.
Creating loyal customers starts with the experience you create from the front door with easy access, a warm welcome –‘great to see you’, ‘we missed you last week’, ‘you’re welcome’. You have 30 seconds to greet a customer when they enter your business. If you are busy, just wave to the customer – acknowledge them. 66% of customers believe the first person they see have all answers to their questions. Remember this when you are choosing your front of house staff. They need to be a people person, someone with excellent people skills, can read people, flexible, adaptable and knowledge. Someone you can trust.
Most importantly make it easy for people to do business with you!