Mastering The Sales Game


If you can sell, you will never go hungry. Learn the fundamentals of the game right here. Should you need additional or on-going support, contact me for a few coaching sessions.

Critical Success Factors in Sales:
Absolute belief in your product.
Absolute belief in your industry.
Exquisite personal knowledge base.
Uncompromisingly professional personal appearance and presentation.
The ability to deal with rejection.
Remember: Nothing replaces activity!

The Sales Cycle
Understanding the elements of the sales cycle enables you to prepare yourself and to take control of the sales process, thereby leading to a mutually beneficial outcome for both you and your client.

Prepare

Do not underestimate the level of preparedness that is required of truly professional sales people. If you are well prepared you will make a good first impression and be able to build trust through demonstrating your credibility. Here are a few critical areas for preparation:

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 Prospecting

Armed with an appropriate knowledge base, you now need to find prospective clients. Remember that all prospects, once you find them, need to be qualified in terms of:
    -   their need for the product,
    -   their ability to afford the product,
    -   their willingness to see you and to buy.

It is thus critical to gather as much information about them as possible. Also remember: if the person whom you are speaking to is definitely not interested, ask them for the names of their acquaintances who may be. Here are suggestions for where to look for prospects:

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Meeting

Having secured an appointment to present your case, you now meet the client face to face. Understanding the elements of the sales meeting will enable you to take control of the meeting and steer it to a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Personal Presentation:  Make sure that:
    -   your personal hygiene is beyond reproach,
    -   you are professionally and appropriately dressed,
    -   you are on time!

Introduction: Prepare an opening statement which professionally summarises who you are, whom you represent and why you are here.

Making acquaintance: Use the first 5 - 10 minutes to break the ice with small talk. If you are meeting the client on their own turf there are likely to be an abundance of clues to their interests all around you, e.g. photographs of family, trophies, paintings, etc. If you can't spot any clues, fall back on general knowledge. Ask questions and show a genuine interest in getting to know more about your client. Gently steer your questions towards your reason for being their (the client's need).

Establish your credibility: Explain briefly what qualifies you to be of help to the client, e.g. your qualifications and experience. Briefly talk about your company's track record, the training they provide, their quality control standards, etc.

Discovery: During this part of the meeting, ask the client questions which will help both of you to identify needs which can be met through your product / service. Use open-ended questions to gather information and closed questions to affirm needs once you identify them.

Advocate a solution: Demonstrate clearly to the client how the identified needs (which you both agree on) can be met through your product / service.

Objections: Often clients will start voicing concerns regarding your product / service in the early part of the meeting already. Pick up on any such concerns and be prepared to discuss them and to demonstrate how your product / service overcomes these concerns.

Close: Look for buying signals from the client (body language or verbal signals) and follow these with closing questions such as: "How would you like to pay for this?". If the client objects, answer the objection and try again. A good rule is to attempt closing three times.

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Follow up and After Sales Service:

In any business we aim to form long lasting relationships with clients. This ensures referrals of other prospective clients and repeat business from the same client. It is thus very important to follow up with the client shortly after the sale to find out if they are still happy with their purchase and to clear up any problems which may have arisen. Be aware that many clients suffer from "buyer's remorse" - regretting their decision shortly after making it. Be sensitive to this and re-assure the client by revising all the reasons that make this a good decision. Keep the client informed at all times regarding delivery or any other after sales service process.

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