Do you know what’s the most important thing you must do to sell anything?
If you search the term “sales training” in Google, you’re likely to get millions of responses. Each response will offer a theory or a course guaranteed to make you a super sales wizard.
But I don’t know how many of them will just gloss over the number one thing you have to do to make a sale (or not even mention it at all).
It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t require an advanced college degree. It’s the most simple common sense thing you can imagine.
Are you ready for the answer?
The most important thing you have to do in order to make a sale is:
Qualify your prospect! That’s it.
You gotta do this—otherwise how will you know if your prospect has any interest at all in what you’re selling.
For example: Can you imagine (without qualifying first), Trying to sell snow tires to teenage girls?
Good luck with that. Your chances of success would clearly be at zero.
The same chances of success exist if you don’t first quality your prospect.
Once you’ve determined that your prospect has an interest in your product, start asking some probing questions to get more information.
For example, Ask what qualities they are looking for in the product? How long have they been looking to make the purchase? How often do they use the product? And, What has kept them from buying until now?
The purpose of these questions is to make the prospect realize they actually want the product and your particular product is the one they want.
Never try to force them to buy by extolling the features of the product. Prospects aren’t interested in features; they’re interested in benefits. Specifically, they want to know what the product can do for them.
Will it make them more efficient, will it make their job easier or will it make them more money?
By extolling the products features or attempting to force the sale, you’ll turn off your prospect.
The reason for all the questions is to get small verbal commitments from our prospect by telling you what they want. When they supply this information, they’re already becoming verbally committed.
If your product can then deliver exactly what they want, they will not back out of the purchase.
This is known as the consistency principle.
It means that when someone makes a commitment toward something, they feel psychologically pressured to follow through.
That’s why it’s so important to qualify the prospect and then get those small commitments. This activity alone will dramatically improve your results.
The selling process has three distinct phases:
Finding your prospects
Facilitation through the questioning process.
Finding your prospects is the qualification process previously explained.
Facilitation is done by, instead of telling prospects what they should buy, facilitating the sale by questioning them. This will actually allow them to find out by themselves what they really want to buy. You just provide the groundwork so they will want to buy.
Buying decisions are always made emotionally. The logical thoughts we have are really only to justify the emotional decision we’ve already made. Tap into their emotions and make the sale feel good for them.
Have them imagine what it would feel like to own the product and let them know the consequences of not owning it. The fear of loss is also a strong emotion.
When doing a close, don’t oversell the prospect.
By this point the selling should have already be completed through the first two phases.
Help them make the decision to buy.
Many times they will reach that decision by themselves.
If everything was done properly, they should be ready to buy at the beginning of the close.
The principle of consistency is thoroughly discussed in one of the best books ever written on the subject of persuasion. “Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini.
I highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in selling.