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Talking yourself out of a sale

Posted by Christine on March 6, 2011 in Social Marketing News, Weekly Biz Buzz Blog |

Hello All Readers-

This has been a crazy few weeks.  Time seems to fly when your immersed in work.  I don’t need to go into specifics, but let me tell you my head is swimming.  The past few weeks have been a whirl-wind of sales calls.  Most of them amounted into “much ado about nothing.”  Frustrated I began to introspect – what the heck am I doing wrong?

Which leads me to my blog post today.  Talking can be deadly when it comes to sales.  We all know a salesperson who can “sell ice to Eskimo’s.”  I assumed my father was one of those people.  He commanded authority with his facts and figures.  He was a wealth of knowledge about every subject.  Everyone seemed to love him, but he had an average sales career!  After I took off my rose colored glasses I began to examine why.  My father was a schmoozer, but not a closer.  Then I identified this happens to a lot of salespeople.

I identified an average salesperson has two distinct character flaws.  First, they throw around facts, figures, technical terms and acronyms.  Depending on the industry listening to a sales pitch seems like gibberish.  The more complicated the subject, the more gibberish is floated around.

Your average customer doesn’t need to know every technical specifications, or your industry babble. Floating too many facts will make them weary.  The customer assumes you’re trying to hide behind the facts.  The techno-babble will make them throw more questions at you.

Back to my problem – talking about social marketing, blogs, posts, SEO, traffic, conversions, and webpages frighten prospects away.  They only care about more leads, and more business.  Asking a prospect about their website put them on the defensive.  They don’t want to appear out of touch – so they will shut down the conversation, rather than appear naive.

Prospects just care about solving THEIR problem.  A long list of a facts will rarely impress them into buying.  Your job as a salesperson is to identify their most pressing problem first.

P.S. – the last thing most sales hinge on is price.  If your customer is sold, they will always find the money…

Second, average salespeople talk TOO MUCH.  The customer is thinking, they’re talking.  The customer is looking, they’re talking.  The customer is talking, they’re talking over them. The customer is walking out the door, they’re chasing them down talking all the way.

The best advice I ever heard from a manager was ask a question, and then BE QUIET.  The person who speaks first loses. Good sales technique identifies what people really want to know, and how it differs from what you’re telling them.

Bottom line – keep everything simple.  Stop trying to make the sales process complicated.    You can’t talk someone into a sale, but you can sure talk them out of one.  Need a perspective – give your pitch to a person in a “non-sales” environment.   Gauge reactions, listen for their critical questions, wait for the “WOW” look in their eyes.

Have a good week and market well,

Christine

 

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