A sale is simply where you get paid by results. And unfortunately, there is no such thing as a magic sales pill. You may think, that is you as the sales agent, have played all your cards right but then, the door is slammed in your face. The question is how do you go for the kill to score that sale? Does one have to be blessed with the gift of the gab in order to succeed? Fortunately, the answer is no. Everybody can sell and we do it throughout our lives. We can go to the very basics as to why we dress the way we do?
Shoe String journalist, Derya Goren, spoke to Managing Director, Anna Zammit from Xsell – coaching and sales training services – who is not your average business women. A sales trainer and master coach with over twenty years of sales experience under her belt across direct marketing, retail and corporate sales. Recognised Australia wide and internationally, in one project alone, Anna was able to save $230 million under management for a client.
Anna makes it clear that having the right training for sales people and the right strategy to sell your service or product is vital. “You can have any great product or service but if you can’t sell it you have nothing” she says. Anna firmly believes that “off the shelf” sales training does not fit all businesses.
“As a business strategist, I focus on how to increase revenue through sales and train the sales team on how to network, what to do with networking and what to do after networking” she says. “Whatever the client sells, we learn how to sell it and then teach them how to sell it”.
She insists that there is no such thing as the perfect sales person and, in most cases; fear is what holds sales people back from scoring that deal.
“Fear over rides us. It’s the fear of rejection, not succeeding and the fear of failure that gets in the way of closing the sale and they take it personally” she said.
And they shouldn’t. She says one of many important skills is the need to be persistent and to have a liking for people as resilience and the ability to dust yourself off, is important qualities in order to get on with the show.
She enlightened Shoe String Launch that most sales people don’t recognise what their strengths and weaknesses are. “They don’t continue to skill themselves up.” If you’re willing to learn the skills, “you can do it” she adds. “It’s continual analysis of what you are doing well and what you aren’t doing well”.
“Being a really good salesperson is like being a private investigator” Anna says. “Sales people should not be afraid to question as that’s the only way, you as a sales person, can find true answers”.
First impressions count and can make or break the sale. Rapport built or lack thereof, is an influential factor. It’s simple; people buy from people they like. It’s not always about the product or the price.
“If I like you, I’ll buy from you and if I don’t like or trust you, I won’t buy from you” is how Anna describes the average consumer mentality. “Most sales people think they’re good listeners, where in fact they don’t really listen” says Anna.
“What sales people usually do is over talk and make assumptions at the same time” she added. She insists that it is a mistake that should be prevented.
“People think talking is selling. Whereas, listening is selling” she says. “The ability to grasp and indentify the needs of the client is very important” she added. As a sales person, if you’re hit with “objections” Anna says welcome them with open arms.
“I worry more when I do not get an objection then when I do. The reason for that is because I don’t know what the client or consumer is thinking and I can’t fix that” she says.
Once the sales person has identified their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, built rapport, understood the client or consumers wants and needs, Anna makes clear the sale becomes the next natural step.
But what “close” is most effective without breaking the deal? Anna says “there is no generic close for any industry”. “You have the either/or close, deadline close, the assumption close” and in her experience “the either/or close is simple and powerful” she says.
“This close brings it closer to your agenda, giving them an ultimatum to choose within two options”. An example she provides is “if you ask someone whether they will pay either by cash or credit card. The brain will look for an answer within those two options” she says.
“Ask for the sale. A large percentage of sales people do everything right and don’t close” Anna says. “Go in with confidence, don’t be afraid to ask and just do it”.
Derya Goren is the Lead journalist for Shoe String Media Group @DeryaGoren