One of the most common misconceptions people have when they hear about sales is that the person at the other end wants to sell something. Well, that is not necessarily the entire case. Interacting with your clients and the quality solutions you can offer to help resolve their problems is known as sales.
A fine example of sales would be offering your client an internet deal, but then the customer faces issues like network downtime, patchy connections, not having high-speed internet, etc. Sending a representative to help tackle the client’s problems by offering quality solutions that will make the customer happy to stay as your client for longer is known as sales.
Suppose you don’t send any representative and the client gets hold of another service provider that offers high-speed internet. In that case, with low downtime issues and 24/7 assistance, the other company will be getting a new sale done as per the promises offered and the trust level generated between the two parties.
In our personal lives, selling oneself has always played an important role. Whether you were in school or attending your first job interview, or awaiting an appraisal, the better you sell yourself and gain the trust of the party at your opposite end, you can be guaranteed success. Now, be honest, how many of you used to study hard for a few extra hours when you wanted something to get done from your parents? Or how did you prepare to sell yourself to guarantee you get hold of your dream boyfriend/ girlfriend?
The concept of sales is known to all; it plays a crucial role in how one implements it. This article will lead you to an in-depth analysis of sales, the sales process, 20-second rule, sales closing scenarios, and the critical steps you should follow to gain maximum benefits.
Before moving to the sales point of view, let’s understand what prospects mean? The people or business we want to start a tie-up with or wish to offer our service is a prospect. For example, as we are a digital marketing agency, we will want to help our clients provide quality services like SEO, SMM, PPC, Website development, and more.
Once you can land a client and have helped them reach their business goals, your work should not stop there. Their success is equivalent to your company’s success. Instead of always focusing on bringing new clients, keeping hold of your old clients will help your business strive longer. This leads to our sales topic of converting the prospect to a partner.
What do you mean by sales?
Sales, as mentioned earlier, is not just exchanging a product or service for money, but there’s more to it. This method will only help you with a one-time sale but not keep long-term relationships with your clients. From the above meme, you can get the context.
So, what exactly are sales? In simple terms, it means selling value for value. The best example of this would be when you go shopping for any product. If you are buying a mobile phone in the range of premium value, you would require to get premium value, in this case, the best features available in the market. The below image shows us how quality can be the differential when buying a product. However, the product purchased below should be brought at its own risk!
The Sales Process-
The world is moving quickly, and we have to get acquitted with the digital processes to be more valuable to your clients. Understanding your client’s requirements will help you become the valuable prospect that the client will be interested in partnering with. Understanding the company’s pain areas will be the critical first step towards making your sales pitch. Offering solutions based on the pain areas will help you gain their trust and make the deal possible.
1. Identifying the Prospects-
1. Studying the company profile- As a digital marketing agency, we try to reach out to people based on the geographic and demographic details and target customers as per needs. But then, if you are not in the service business; you would have to shortlist your prospects. This comes by studying the company’s profile. What are the services they are providing, which prospects they can improve? One can even look into the balance sheets for B2B companies and then find out whether the client can pay for the product and service you are offering. Because at the end of the day, you should be able to make a profit based on your quality solutions.
2. Contact person profile- One can gain information from the company background verification and the person you will be contacting. Understanding the thought and the mentality of the clients can help you seal the deal. As a sales representative, you should ensure that you use different techniques and sales pitches as your customer changes. For the first meeting, you connect with the customer personally, like talking about the hobbies, personal interests, and so on, rather than just going straight to business needs. Make the client comfortable to open up and then pitch in your idea.
3. Competition Study- While offering solutions to your prospect, you should also study the competition while discussing the pain areas.
We wish our sales process would have been as simple as feeding the pigeons from the DDLJ scene.
2- Building Rapport-
Going into a meeting with the prospect and giving them thoughts about their service will lead you nowhere. Building a rapport with the client is essential. Keeping contact with the client even after sealing the deal, talking about the services, and any problems will help the client feel important. If not, they will think that you are only interested in the payments or something new that you want to sell. But this does not mean that you overdo things. Keep the communication constant enough to ensure the client feels safe and secure with your services and maintain a long-term partnership. Some pointers that you can refer your clients to keep the conversation personal and professional includes-
1. Office/Premise- Talk about new, exciting ideas or recent achievements in the office.
2. Business- Talk about how their business is doing and new content available in the market.
3. Person- After three to four client meetings, you can feel the relation take the next friendship level, and you can then ask about their daily activities and what’s going on with their lives.
3- Identifying the prospect’s challenges–
Whenever you build a sale, you have to check the client’s requirements thoroughly. If not, then the client may think of you in similar terms.
1. Current Methods- After the talking and building a rapport, you should ask what they are using at present? It can be any product or service. This will help you understand the main competition and what you have to dethrone to take the company to greater heights.
2. Pain Areas- No company is perfect, and they will have certain drawbacks where they might be lacking—understanding these pain areas and what the company would be expecting from you or someone else to take their business to the newer heights is essential.
3. Expectations- Don’t give false hopes to your prospects in the first meeting or after sealing the deal. Never underestimate the client and feel they have no idea handling their business. Understanding the client’s needs and improving them or meeting them is paramount.
4- Client Interaction-
1. Being Honest- You just cannot pretend to offer something unrealistic to your client. Keeping your communication open and honest will help you seal the deal and have a lasting bond. Let’s face it; we need at least three to five clients every month to stay afloat in our business. Your client should not return to you and say that you were dishonest and the required solutions we not met. Being completely honest is also not the solution. For example, if you want to sell a product, you just can’t tell your client that the product is not worthy of being brought or will not be of much use in the long term. You just cannot be like the person below-
We have to be honest about your service and company and offer quality solutions for your prospect’s requirements.
2. Smile- Adding a calming tone to your voice is essential to keep the conversation going. Proper voice modulation is necessary to keep the client invested in your topic. Have a smile when talking to your prospect while taking on the phone, video call, or in person. Remember not to get too creepy or excited. Be enthusiastic and honest about your job and smile as the delivery guy.
3. Be Excited- Don’t go overboard while making the pitch. Be professional and show your enthusiasm for turning things around for the client.
4. Be confident- Confidence is the key to success. If you are not sure about yourself or the service you offer them, there is very little chance that your pitch will go through. Portray confidence in every word you say. Fake it till you make it. Your pitch should not sound too polite nor sound overconfident. Our meme expert has the perfect example to showcase this situation.
An example observed in digital marketing is when the clients ask about the results, you just can’t say that the results will arrive within 2-3 days, which shows you are overconfident. Similarly, you cannot say that it will take 2-3 years to get your job done, which shows no confidence in your service. If you are uncertain about some questions raised, assure the client that you don’t have the exact information but will revert to you shortly within 2-3 days after discussing with your members.
5. Talking Slowly- This does not mean you have to speak softly or your tone is so harsh that your client wants you to shut you down. Talk at a speed that every word you say comes out in confidence and can be appropriately heard by the members sitting at the opposite end.
6. Handling Objections- An excellent saying states that we either win or learn something new. This stands true in sales. You won’t necessarily win over every client, but each sale offers something new to discuss and ponder upon. While handling objections, ensure you are not disrespectful to your client.
Handle all the queries with an open mind and offer simple solutions. Also, following the above steps of being honest, confident and answering with a smile comes into the picture.
g.Knowing when to say “NO”- You should know when to say no during sales. This implies not just in sales but in real life as well. Some honest customers will have a lower budget to offer your service, but some even have the budget will ask for a lower price tag and require additional benefits. Differentiate your clients based on purchase values and business values. You just can’t blatantly speak to your client that you cannot offer such services at this budget or direct shut the door by saying I don’t care. Always try to come with a customized plan that is the best you can offer. If the client still doesn’t meet your demands, you can move to the next client by declining further conversations in a peaceful way, as shown below.
This does work because the client will think about your offer and might say yes in the future or will get back to you once they have the budget to pay for your demand.
h.Maintaining the relationship- As stated earlier, you should continue maintaining a relationship with your client even after the deal is completed. Continuing to ask about the customer’s needs and how the services are being helpful. Try to improve the trust of your clients, and they will respect you further.
i.Creating an opportunity to upsell- After making a good rapport, the deal is finalized, and has maintained the relationship, you should always try to upsell. The best example is mobile brands exchanging their old phones for the latest models; car manufacturers also offer you exchange policies for their used cars.
The 20-second rule!
As they say, the first impression is the last. And in sales, you have 20- seconds to make that pitch that will interest the client in taking or listening to your offer for further inquiries. Be prepared, calm, and relaxed when making the pitch. Make sure you are appropriately dressed and be crisp and precise with your discussion. Representing your company, product and service should be your top priority in getting the deal done within the 20-seconds. Try not to be cocky and oversell.
There might be a possibility that the client may have something urgent to attend to and might not have been able to get back to you, don’t give your hopes up by this time. Being desperate also does not help.
Think positively and be confident and keep your calm. When a client asks for some time to get back to you, you cannot conclude that the sales pitch was terrible, as we don’t know about the company policies. Sometimes the client may call you back after a month or so; sometimes, the entire plan might have got scrapped, hence back to our point that we either win or we learn.
Sales Closing Scenario:
1. Assumptive close- If you feel that you have reached a comfort stage after talking about the monetary needs, you can take the next step and ask whether they can start offering the service in two to three days. This will let us know what the client is thinking, you can also get them on the wrong foot, and they might ask for some more time to go ahead with the service. This will give you a better idea of how soon the client is comfortable closing the deal.
2. The options close- You can ask the time that the client is willing to take to close the deal. Suppose the client says that we are just looking for discounts from multiple vendors, don’t take the comment wrong. See the silver lining and state that while you are discussing with further vendors, we will be happy to layout the groundwork.
3. Suggestion Close- You can yourself suggest to your client based on the current market scenario. All the pointers state that you are not desperate but willing to listen to your client’s needs. Suggestion close is very handy with the sales being finalized going up to 90% as they know that you have done thorough research.
4. Urgency Close- You might have seen several Google ads that show limited-time offer, best deals today, offer ends shortly, and so on. Emphasis on the urgency of the matter is of importance. Creating a FOMO would help you get the deal closed faster.
How to manage clients?
Make use of CRM. Excel is no longer the only solution. Automation will help you make your management process hassle-free. CRM will undoubtedly come in handy to help your business more clients. Use CRM tools like Jira, ZOHO, Salesforce, Pipedrive, KEAP, etc. to help you better manage your clients. If not, then you would be confused like the person below.
Understanding the sales process is an art that will help you reach multiple clients and have a solid relationship to retain them for an extended period—comment below your favorite tactics that you use to interact and sell the idea to your client.