Many businesses do not have to go to door-to-door to sell their products, and services to someone.
- Consignment Stores
Each person has different needs or wants, and you should understand them. You already know you need to sell to customers, but what if you need money to start your business? You would need to talk with a banker, lender or investor and sell the idea of lending you the money. If you need raw materials or supplies, you would work with your vendors or suppliers and sell them on the idea of establishing an account with credit. If you were working with a consignment store, you would sell the owner on using valuable store space to display your products. You even will find yourself selling your business to family and friends to gain their support.
Most importantly, sell it to yourself! By developing a comprehensive business plan, you would build your own confidence about the achievability of your success and the value of what your business offers. When you are confident, people have confidence in you.
This list does not cover everyone, but you get the idea that the process of selling your business begins beforeyou even open your door.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SELLING YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Most people hate the thought of selling. Why? Perhaps because you remember the hard tactics someone may have used on you while you squirmed uncomfortably? You’re shy? You don’t like talking to people? You don’t want to make people do something they might not want to do? You tried selling and were not successful?
The most important thing to remember is selling is not about you. It is about your customer. Selling, when done right, is a strategy for communicating with, not to, another person. The objective of the strategy is to help your customer make an informed choice about buying your products or services. The ideal outcome is a sale. The second ideal outcome is that both you and your customer feel good about the exchange.
People don’t buy things; they buy from people.
Consider yourself a consultant, not a salesperson. Your objective is to help the customer make an informed choice. This keeps the focus on the customer, where it belongs. Though you may not personally care about the needs or wants of your customers, you must understand them. If you do not, you will have a tough time selling anything to anyone.
If you can focus on customer needs, you will show them that you care about them and not about making the sale. Once your customers trust and believe you have their best interests at heart, you will have a better chance for success.
For the customer to believe in you, you must be honest, and you must listen to what they want, need, or have to say.
If your product or service cannot meet your customer’s need, say so. If you can, recommend a solution or alternative, even if it’s a competitor.
People may not remember what you said.
People may not remember what you did.
People will always remember how you made them feel.
Think about your own experiences when you have dealt with people trying to sell you things. What did you like – what didn’t you like? Even though honesty may cost you this sale, it will have a payback. This customer may not buy from you, but they may tell others how honest you were and may tell them to give you a call. Remember: word of mouth advertising is not only the cheapest, but it’s the most influential.
Listening is an art. Don’t you feel good when you believe someone really understands what you want or need? And it doesn’t frustrate you when they don’t?
By taking the focus off selling and putting the focus on the customer, you no longer are selling. Instead, you are helping them – this will make the selling process a lot easier.