If you don’t already realise this, then it’s time to get yourself updated. Sales is dead! Period! No ‘ifs’…no ‘buts’…no ’maybes’. Dead…dead…DEAD!
Long gone are the days when sales actually got someone’s attention for a product, service or cause, you needed great ‘sales’ technique. The technique you really need is that of connecting to people.
It’s only once you’ve established a connection with someone, that the other person may consider doing business with you.
Think of it a bit like dating…it’s not easy to get someone to go home with you on the first date unless that’s exactly what they’ve shown up to the date for with the intention of doing!
You need to build a relationship with people. You need to build trust and get to know one another in order to feel comfortable in doing further, more intimate things together.
In business these days, it’s no different. People don’t want people coming on to them to quick or pushing their own agendas upon them. This is what traditional selling is, and people nowadays simply do not like it – in fact, it even drives some people in the other direction. So not only do you risk not getting business from them, you also risk getting a bad reputation for yourself when they go an tell other people about the negative experience they’ve had with you. You will soon be known as being ‘pushy’, ‘salesy’ and other similar things (and you may not necessarily even know yourself that you have this reputation!)
And just to be clear, what we are talking about here is person-to-person direct selling,
Google the word ‘sales’. You’ll see what comes up is all about discounts on normal priced products! You don’t see anything on the first page about making sales or ‘selling’ anything.
The cold hard fact in today’s society is simply that people hate being sold to!
And so why would Success Women’s Network produce this article, you might ask?
Well…we have quite a large number of members who are in business for themselves and then many others who are not. Yeah…and, you say?
SWN entrepreneur members have access to all the other members in the network, both business owners and non-business owners, whom may potentially be future customers or clients for their business. And I do emphasise that word POTENTIALLY.
It’s important as SWN members, to always remember our Code of Conduct. The Code exists in order to help preserve our unique culture which is about support, encouragement, connection and achieving success.
Now…that is absolutely not to say that we don’t want you doing business with fellow members. Of COURSE we do! Especially when your success goals might consist of increased business. It’s great if you’ve been able to get business from a fellow member or you’ve been able to receive great products or services from a fellow member. What we’re saying is that SWN members should in no shape or form be made to feel obligated to give their personal or business time and / or money to other SWN members.
What we’re saying is that the process for achieving a new ‘sale’ of a product or service, especially within SWN, should be based on things like comfort, trust and willingness of the buyer. Remember as we said earlier, people HATE being sold to!
So what does ‘being sold to’ actually look like? Are you inadvertently doing this?
Being sold to is when following the transaction, the buyer regrets their purchase or engagement with the seller due to such feelings as not really wanting the products / service in the first place, not understanding the product / service or how it can help them specifically, or feeling dissatisfied in any way with the process of acquiring the product/service.
Even if the person doesn’t proceed with the transaction with you and you don’t get the ‘sale’, people can still feel that they are ‘being sold to’ by you from the way you approached them, communicated with them and behaved with them in your process of trying to get them to buy from you. You she never try to get people to buy from you. Rather, the focus needs to be gaining information and learning from them, providing solutions to them, and educating them about those solutions. Note the common theme there? It’s all about THEM! If your solution meets their needs as per what you’ve learned from them, and you’ve educating them properly about that solution so that they understand the benefit to them, only then will the person potentially engage in business with you.
Key things to AVOID in order preventing you inadvertently ‘selling’ to someone:
- Focusing purely on your business products and services when in conversation with someone. Not asking other people in the room (or the other person if having a one-on-one chat), about them, can make you appear to them as being there purely for you own self-interests.
- Handing out your business cards or flyers like you’re hosting a cash giveaway bonanza! They’re NOT cash notes – so people DON’T want them! (If they do, they’ll ask you for one!)
- Coming to a meeting late and using the little time you’ve given yourself to promote yourself, your products or your services.
- Not explaining HOW your product or service can solve the other person(s) problem or challenge. People always need to know why they should do business for you. What’s in it for them ?
Doing things highlighted above only make people feeling uncomfortable, pressured, and to be honest, unimportant.
One of the key things in delivering great customer service current or potential customers or clients is making people feel important to you.
You will find when your fellow members (and any contacts that you meet for that matter) are made to feel like you’re going out of your way to help them in some way and feel important to you, then they are far more likely to do business with you.
DO ensure you always practice the following when meeting and talking with others:
- Ask about the other person and show a genuine interest in THEM – who are they? What do they do? What are their interests? What are their challenges?
- Talk about what SOLUTION(S) you can offer that would resolve or assist with their problems or challenges that they’ve expressed to you
- Think about what you can do for THEM – not just what they can do for you. Offer assistance, support or advice to someone, without the expectation of receiving anything return. You will find one day it will come back in kind to you in some way.
- Always ask for the other person’s permission first to call or email them with information about your product or service, and ONLY after they have expressed interest in that product or service from your conversation.
- Be positive with both your verbal and non-verbal (body language) communication. This helps with other people warming to you.
National Mentor, Speaker and Presenter
Success Women’s Network