Sell results not the product
People want results. That is why they have asked you to do a quote. That is why they have called you.
They want something in their lives made better.
Whilst being careful not to over promise what you can achieve with your services (which will ultimately lead to massive customer disappointment) it is essential that you make the customer envisage the results they can reasonably expect after they have chosen you and / or used your products or services.
Remember with Relationship Selling you are there as a “customer adviser,” to demonstrate your company can deliver the results the customer wants to whatever problem they have told you they have. No matter what you sell, people only buy things because they want to get some sort of result which will put them in a better position than they were before you did your work or bought your product.
Tell a story about how you helped a customer like them
People love stories. Ever since you were a child stories have been used to make things seem much more interesting, and the same can be said for your services too. Stories are naturally believable, especially when backed up by photos, testimonials or other evidence of your professional work, and are a great way of getting new business!
When I talk about the power of words to a new sales and marketing client, I quite often tell the story about a builder friend of mine who had a monthly list of around 3000 red hot list of prospects, but because his sales letter to his prospects was so bad he got very little response.
Once we looked at the letter and tweaked it, his response rate went up from <1% to 18.6%
How did we do that?
We simply put the customer first in the letter. We made sure the prospect was our #1 priority. We filled the letter with tons of benefits of choosing him and his company, and advised of the potential pitfalls of choosing anyone else! We made it clear all quotes were free and without obligation.
Now, whenever I tell similar businesses that story, what do you think their response would be? Do you think they would choose me?
That story has made me a lot of money, and it continues to do so.
So, how can you tell a (true) story to ensure your prospects buy more of your products or services?
Get pitch right in first 30 seconds
They say it takes 7 seconds for someone to decide whether they like you or not, but in sales the first 30 seconds are critical. That is approximately how long you have got to set the customer at ease and make it clear to her that you are not there to “hard sell” your services, but instead you only want to offer her great advice and a solution to her problems.
The customer is not always right
There is an old saying “the customer is always right” to which I reply
“What utter codswallop.”
I don’t claim to be right 100% of the time in my business … I have no doubt that occasionally I may get it wrong. In fact, I am 100% positive that I will get it wrong sometimes. Hey, none of us are perfect right?
So if I get my own job wrong from time to time even after so many years of doing it, I have no doubt at all that someone from outside of my job ie the prospect, is almost certainly going to be wrong quite a lot of the time!
The customer has probably got some dodgy information from the Internet and now thinks they are an expert in your business. But never forget you are the expert, so what really matters is how you tell your prospects that they are wrong!
Telling people they are wrong is never easy, but it is essential you do tell them they are “mistaken” in what ever thought or beliefs they have about your products or services. If you don’t try and correct them, when your product goes wrong based on you supplying what they wanted, then it comes down to you.
But do try and avoid saying flat out “you’re wrong.” No one wants to be told that they are wrong, and this will automatically get your prospects back up.
I sold carpets for years where I honed my sales techniques, and the very best way I found to do it was instead of saying flat out … “you’re wrong,” I suggested an alternative product similar to the customers’ choice, and say why it is the better product for them than the one they chose, thereby totally avoiding saying anything negative at all.
Sell to people like you would sell to your friends
A great rule of thumb to sell to the max is to sell to your prospects like you would sell to your friends. You would never knowingly mislead your friends would you? Nor would you deliberately sell to a friend a product that you knew wasn’t suitable for their needs? It is a great feeling in business when you can look your customers in the eye knowing that you have done the right thing by them.