Selling is one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers in our society. Sales entrepreneurs are emerging as the most sophisticated and important players in the business field. A sales career offers no end of promises and the excitement of endless possibilities. Selling acts as the springboard to the fulfilment of goals and aspirations.
Written by a professional sales trainer, this book has quite a box of potential tools and techniques to enable one navigate the selling process from A to Z. The skills required to become an effective sales professional have become increasingly sophisticated. Today'scustomers are looking for a whole range of products and services to meet their business and personal needs. Customers have become immune to traditional sales techniques. Technological changes, sales automation, deregulation and the global economy have blurred many product distinctions while stimulating a highly competitive selling environment. Today the product and price alone cannot sustain a competitive edge. The product on its own can no longer stimulate the sale. The customer can try the same product at the same price virtually elsewhere, so why buy from you?
Customers appreciate a salesperson with empathy ? the ability to develop a total solution versus simply presenting a product. They also acknowledge the ?efficiency of new technologies, high tech, but still want the warmth of the human aspect, high touch?, says the author.
This book teaches some proven techniques of professional selling. A sequential model of professional selling is introduced in which each step, when learned and applied, endows one with the capacity to advance to the next step. Each of the steps is related to each other. The first step listed is the attitude, because it is that what drives the practice of skills. A positive attitude converts an average sales professional into a top performer, empowering him to achieve new levels of success, both personally and professionally. Winners, therefore, choose to nurture and develop a positive winning attitude. This means adopting a ?just did it? philosophy, which in turn means taking your thoughts and ideas to the dimension of action. It is essential to set goals, build up self-esteem by ?selling yourself to yourself?, stretch your comfort zone and be patient yet persistent.
The second step is time management. When you determine the time of the day that you are most efficient and productive. This is the peak time when you are at high energy and when you can do you worst jobs.
The third step is prospecting and ?cultivating customers in your funnel?, says the author. Constant prospecting, be it local or global, is the lifeblood of any business. All other activities centre around your ability to keep the sales funnel full.
The fourth step is building rapport and trust. While rapport is instantaneous or developed in a short period, trust takes longer to develop over time and is based on honesty, consistency, integrity and professionalism. It entails following through on your commitments and promises.
The fifth step is discovery, which includes probing and listening to what the customer is saying and wanting, and accordingly try to meet his demands. The challenge here is to move the customer from a cold, indifferent frame of mind to aroused excitement about you and your product or service. Sales entrepreneurs know how to transform nervous pre-call energy into a winning edge, a confident approach. Small differences in attitude and ability can translate into enormous differences in results.
The sixth step is solution/presentation to objections. This means enhancing your solutions by exceeding the expectations of your customers. It also means going outside the traditional roles of a sales representative to provide a solution that truly elevates you above your closest competitor. ?Customers buy differences, not similarities,? points out the author.
The seventh step is to confirm the sale. This step is called ?closing the sale? by the author. It means making buying easy for your customer by confirming the sale using a manipulative straight-forward approach and presenting a practical value-added solution. Confirming is the pinnacle of selling achievement ? it is when the customer awards a gold medal to the salesperson who delivers win-win, value-added performance.
The eighth step is negotiating. Salespersons negotiate before the customer has agreed to do business and it makes for a more productive approach. Confirmation has two aspects ? initial confirmation where the customer is in agreement and willingly moves into the negotiation phase; then comes the final confirmation where the customer accepts all the terms and conditions of your solution including the price.
The ninth step is action for implementation. At times details of an effective action plan are often overlooked in the euphoria of clinching the deal. The salesperson should quarterback all the activities for a smooth implementation, rather than excitedly working out his compensation or bonus. A hassle-free delivery of the solution is very important.
The final step is follow-up which means a little bit extra for your customer. The little things often move a relationship forward. Thus keeping your customer happy and satisfied through conscious effort should be the motto of a successful salesperson.
This book may prove valuable for both sales novices and veterans as it provides some very simple tips for handling challenging sales situations while helping in acquiring confidence and sales mastery.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002.)