After all, you've been selling all your life. Take your mind back to when you were a kid and always had to convince your parents you should be allowed that new toy, as the years progressed you became better at doing this). Selling is a natural part of your life, you just need to relax and have a correct approach.
Through my experience, I have learned a few invaluable things about selling that I will like to pass on to those of you venturing out to your first few meetings.
1 - DON'T speak too much:
When it comes to sales most people speak way too much. The client, really does not care who you are, or what your products' 20 best features are.. They only care about this problem that they have; that they need you to fix.
Most people do 90%+ of the talking during an initial meeting, telling a client what it is that they need. What you ought to be doing is listening. Only Ask questions that draw out what the clients' problem is, and then you help to educate them on how you are the solution.
Imagine me as a parched traveler and you are a salesman of a food and beverage firm.
My problem: I am parched and dehydrated.
Would i wish to know that your soda is the best out there? Would the competitive pricing of your chips make any difference to my situation? No; but if you listen to me and identify what my needs are, let me know how your product is the best solution to my problem and then resolve my issue, not only have you closed a sale but now I may also have interest in your other products.
2 - What do your clients really want?
Now that you understand that you need to listen out for a clients' problem, let's talk a bit about selling them your solution(s). Clients are only interested in two things "The Impact" and "Your Promise".
Let's put it in terms more relatable to most of us. You contact a few SEO companies that you want to get quotes from. One of them tells you:
"We are good at SEO and are going to make sure we implement the best plan for you that will raise your ranking"
Great! But the other company tells you:
"Our SEO packages are geared towards greatly improving your ROI, not just your ranking. We will bring bag fulls of money to your front door, by making sure you are found by every person in your city that needs your service"
Which are you more likely to go with? What was the end result you desired?Higher rankings? or is it really a higher ROI that entices you?
Sell the impact!
3 - Closing a deal is the finest thing you'll ever do - Failing comes in at second
Dale Carnegie's (author of "How to Win Friends and Influence People) famously said "People constantly lose their nerve, and fail to sell simply because they are afraid of failing in the first place"
But when it comes to selling, you should learn to love failing, because it gives you the perfect opportunity to grow and improve. I've certainly had my fair share or failure, but in discovering the moment where those clients "switched off" I was able to avoid ever making the same mistake in the future pitches that I did close.
When you accept the fact that you might actually fail at on point or another, it loosens the chains. It lets you become more relaxed and bold in your future pitches. Remember, even Donald Trump lost a fortune and then made his fortune back several times.
4 - Stop Selling on Price
If you value your brand, the biggest mistakes you can make when you start out in sales is trying to compete on and selling on price. My competitor sells at $100, so I better sell at $80! A mistake we've all made, myself included.
Just remember that there are shares at all ends of the price spectrum on a market. Either for its perceived value or its practical value.
Remember the previous sections. If you can illustrate that you can solve their problem, promise that you can deliver, and can deliver it better than anyone else, then you will have a whole host of clients even when you are above the average cost of the product you are selling. Guaranteed
Think about companies like Ferrari, Porsche and Rolex. Time and time again they deliver on quality, so time and time again people flock to them and spend whatever price is asked.
5 - What's age got to do with it?
Again and again I see the statement "I don't think I will do well at offline sales - I'm far too young". This couldn't be farther from the truth. Your age won't hurt you - in fact this is a great USP to not only help you stand out from your competition, but also impress the client by how knowledgeable you are at such a young age.
Beyond that, when it comes down too it, nothing about you as a person will matter (in the sense that it won't likely be held against you). All the client has in his mind is "can you solve his problem?"
Before your meeting, make a list of all your services, and another list on how they can generate amazing amounts of money for your prospect. Think of ways you can show your client how effective your service is (statistics, reports etc...) and then take a deep breath and don't be afraid to fail!
I am going to start writing a series of short posts that deal a little more with how I find my clients, sales and marketing psychology, how to present and pitch, and hope this helps those of you that are yet to have any experience in selling, break into this world a little more easily.