In order for any business to survive, it must have sales. As entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, “Sales cures all. There has never been a business that succeeded without sales. Entrepreneurs often think they need a business plan or the infrastructure to support a growing company, but really, they don’t. They need sales. So get out there and sell.”
Making the sale and building relationships should be the ultimate goal of any salesperson. If you own an outdoor power equipment dealership and have a prospect walking throughout your showroom, it’s important to understand how this situation should be approached. Most salespeople believe that you should spend the majority of your time building rapport with your potential customer before making the sale. While this may hold some truth, there are other ways to look at your interaction with a prospect. From the minute you begin speaking to a customer, your main goal should be to close the sale. In a sense, you are spending the majority of your time closing the sale, but you are also building rapport as well. Here are a few pointers:
Begin by asking questions or qualifying the customer to see if your products on the floor will meet his or her needs. Ask all of the right questions to understand what the customer is trying to accomplish. By doing this, you’re able to gauge whether you have the right products to meet those needs or if you’re talking to someone that you cannot and should not close a sale on. Even if you don’t have what the customer is looking for, do what you can to assist that customer. Don’t hesitate to direct the customer to one of your competitors! The customer will walk away respecting your business even if you didn’t have what was needed. The customer will not forget your honesty and willingness to go above and beyond to make sure that his or her needs were met.
Once you’ve qualified the customer, you can begin your presentation. Explain why the product is the best choice to suit the customer’s needs. This brings up another vital factor, and that is to know your product. While presenting, the customer is most likely going to have questions. You should know your product from front to back, so that you’re readily able to answer any of the customer’s potential questions or objections.
Rapport is being built during your entire interaction. While asking questions from step one, you are letting the customer know that you care about what that person is looking for. During step two, you are letting the customer know you understand the products and you are knowledgeable on what you’re selling. Being well cultivated on your product lets the customer know that you are a trustable source who is an expert in the field.
At this point of the sales process, the customer believes that you’re an expert in the field, you’re trustworthy, and you’re able to accommodate his or her needs. During this process, you have built a relationship with this customer. Make sure your customer knows about any type of post-sale support that you may offer, such as parts, service and warranty. This adds value to your brand and gives you the competitive edge over others. Support during and after the sale is what breeds a loyal customer base. Loyal customers are the best form of advertisement for local business.
There is no perfect roadmap for making a sale. There will always be bumps along the way. Your method must be tailored to your industry and your customers in order to work most effectively. The aforementioned tips can be applied to any business, but small customizations made by the salesperson can help your closing rate increase drastically. No one will close 100 percent of the time, but making adjustments to increase your closing rate is definitely something to be proud of!