Enough With the Sweet Talk Already!

by Editor

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What you say can make or break your sale.

Communication is still the key to succeeding in the sales world. No, you don’t have to use flashy verbiage. You just have to converse like you would with a friend or relative but in a professional tone and manner. This keeps them from being on the defense or the feeling that you’re just out to get their money.

Having the right approach for your prospect allows you to succeed in not only knowing what motivates them but also in making long-term repeated sales.

How could they possibly trust you to reveal what they want if you are very aggressive in pushing your product or talk too fast? Or maybe you are so manipulative in the course of the conversation that everything they say you have a rebuttal for. Worse, how can you make them believe you have a sincere interest and concern for them when you don’t even listen to them?

When it comes to finding out what your customer’s motives are, you have to remember that they don’t buy products but buy what the product will accomplish for them. Thus, you have to ask the right questions at the right time. Probe gently on what they consider to be the most important factors when deciding to buy or do something, why they decide to buy, and what they want to accomplish by purchasing the product or doing the activity.

Learning how to ask questions based on the situation you currently have with the customer (e.g. you’re in a shop and the customer went in “looking for something”) is important so you don’t offend them.  You should also pay considerable attention to your tone of voice so that it’s appropriate to the emotional state of the client (e.g. came into the shop frustrated, happy, etc.).

Being able to “read” between the customer’s words is important because it will show you the deepest feelings, aspirations and potential problems they are currently facing that you might be able to address.

There are also situations that you could ask outright what problems the customer is beset with that you might have possible solutions for, but it’s wise to ask this only if you have extensive product knowledge on what you offer.

Using this approach with a customer gives the impression that you are humble, accommodating (acknowledging that they make the decisions), that you have a true desire to know about their situation, and that you know your product or service will be profitable or beneficial to them before they even buy it.

For that reason, it’s also important to plan what you’ll say beforehand somewhat, especially if you have set a meeting with the customer.  Do your homework by getting to know their business and the person you’ll be speaking to.

This is a way for you to be on equal footing and will allow you to speak to them on a more personal level and try to unearth their motivations

Of course, you won’t learn these skills overnight.  But if you constantly practice and study what approaches work for a particular situation or person over time, you’ll get there.  Remember, practice makes perfect!

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