Whatever business you’re in, you’re in the business of selling. To put it simply, if you don’t sell, your businesses will die. And there are NO exceptions. The trick is knowing how to sell. It’s what I’ve been preaching around the world for more than a decade and one of the greatest challenges I’ve identified, especially for SMEs and entrepreneurs, is meeting customers face to face. This really is the front line of win or lose. Learning these essential selling skills will be key to developing your business into a successful enterprise.
Related: Pick the right route to market
Research your customer
Of course, your product or service is the best. That’s why you’re in business. You want the world to know, but first, you’ve got to know your customer. Taking the easy wins means doing anything you can before your meeting to identify every detail about your customer that will add value to your objective – from the smallest of observations to the biggest of pictures.
Find out your customer’s strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, failures, competitors and challenges. Gathering as much intelligence as possible before your meeting will not only give you confidence but will bring your customer over to your side.
Know your SSS
SSS stands for Sales System for Success. It means having a clear process for your meeting. Rehearse set pieces before your meeting. Explore a number of set moves in your head that you can re-enact seamlessly depending on how the meeting goes. You’ll then be able to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Taking the time to do this – like rehearsing a play – will make your word (and sales) perfect on the day.
Get in the zone
You’re busy. You’ve got a company to run and a thousand things to be doing. Essentially, when you sell, you’re only doing one thing, selling. Appearing to do more than that in front of a customer is rude. So don’t! If the sales opportunity is good enough for you to travel and see someone or invite them to your office, then it’s good enough to give them your undivided time and space.
Mind your language!
Not the verbal kind, but your body language. Get it wrong, and it will be a deal breaker. Turn up five minutes early. Be immaculately dressed. Shake hands firmly, pay attention to how you sit or stand. First impressions count. Show your customer your care and respect. Converse like you mean it. Be enthusiastic about the things you tell them. Listen to what they say and ask as many questions as you can. Above all, make sure your signals are working for you and not against you. Research has proven people make rapid and lasting impressions. Make yours the best!
A final piece of advice is to remember that people like people first, they trust people second and they do business with people they trust, third. Good Luck!