sales 101, sales overview, basics, and best practices

sales 101, sales overview, basics, and best practices

Whether you've been a professional Salesperson for 30 years or you just Started your first sales job yesterday The number one thing that will Ultimately determine your success day in And day out is right between your ears It's your mindset we've all experienced It one time or another someone trying to Sell us something we didn't see the need For nor want at that moment it's the Pushy over aggressive self-focused Salesperson that perpetuates the Stereotype The reality is sales is a noble Profession in fact without it the Economy would grind to a screeching halt Most salespeople wake up every day with Fear Fear of rejection fear of failure fear Of not hitting quota Etc It's that very fear that drives us Inward in our focus and that mindset Causes the unintended consequence of Distrust and disconnect with our Customers The number one job of any sales Profession Is ultimately to solve the customer's Problem The issue however is that many of us Have been trained over the course of our Sales career on how to ask leading Questions look for opportunities to Present the facts features and benefits

Of our Solutions before we've earned the Right or the trust of the customer The most successful sales people are Individuals who have a mindset of what I Call the three S's The first s is adopting a servant's Mindset what can you do to better Understand the customer in their Perspective how can you look through Their lens to gain a better view of Their world It may be cliche but how can you attempt To metaphorically walk a mile in their Shoes The more you do this the more empathetic You will become and this servant Mentality will come across to the Customer loud and clear Now once you've done your best to view The world through your customers lens You arrive at the second s Which is to share your experience and Knowledge as well as the experience and Knowledge of other customers who've had Similar problems Now once you've served and shared Effectively you've earned the right to Help the customer with the third s and That's solve their problem The order matters significantly This process of serving sharing and then Solving builds authentic trust up front And leads the customer to a place where They genuinely want your help to solve

Their problem because they trust you Assuming you now have the appropriate Solution to help them you've made a new Customer and likely a new friend in the Process So here's a few key mindset evaluation Questions to ask yourself Do you genuinely care about other People's problems and find that you are Typically empathetic towards them Do you often share great ideas with Others around great experiences that you Had maybe it was a great movie a new Restaurant Etc When others share their problems with You do you instinctively think of and Potentially offer solutions to help them If you said yes then you already have The right mindset to be a serving Sharing solving salesperson it's Actually a lot more natural than you Thought huh In fact I believe that everyone in the World is a salesperson the question is Do you come across in a way that Perpetuates the stereotypical Salesperson or are you someone who Genuinely likes to connect by following The three s's approach When you approach Your Role from the Serve share and solve mindset you'll not Only see your sales Skyrocket you'll Find that your own job satisfaction Elevates right along with your numbers

We know that people buy from people they Trust they trust people they like and They like people they connect with When a salesperson launches into their Presentation mode too early it not only Bypasses the customer's mental trust Process it actually sends the brain into A place of skepticism and judgment At the simplest of levels here's the Filter in the stages the buying brain Works through Safety Connection Trust Understanding Opportunity And credibility To positively impact your customer you Must follow the path of connection to Credibility Here's how you can evaluate this process Can you quickly and genuinely create Trust by connecting with your customer Through mutual beliefs This helps drop their defense mechanisms And get you through the first three Stages safety connection and Trust Can you reinforce that trust through Your understanding and empathy of their Situation and or issues Because this accomplishes stage four Understanding Can you clearly show them a path forward That results in their success

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In other words stage five opportunity Options available to them Can you demonstrate proof that you and Your company have the ability to Actually solve their problem this is Stage six credibility To summarize it's about creating an Environment of safety and Trust through Connection Then demonstrating a clear understanding Of their issues Being able to clearly and simply Articulate the opportunities available And then demonstrating your credibility To help them solve the problem Following this order is imperative as it Allows your customers brain to work Through its normal Cascade of processing And set you up for optimal success Instead of thinking about how many Possible people could buy your product If all the stars aligned appropriately I Want you to start thinking about who in The marketplace is your product or Service most likely to help quickly and Effectively solve a problem and then Work backwards from there So what is an ideal customer anyway An ideal customer could be described as A customer who values your product or Service A customer whom you can make a profit From sorry folks but this is a business You got to make money or you won't be in

Business very long A customer who'd be willing to refer you To other potential customers Start with the smallest Market possible If you identify a very focused group of Potential customers that have the Highest likely degree of success with Your product or service You will gain credibility faster and be Able to expand your customer base I'd like you to think of your ideal Customer through the ready willing and Able framework let's take a look at them One at a time First are they ready Issue do they have a problem that they Need solved Awareness do they know they have a Problem Motivation Do they have a sense of urgency to solve Their problem Next up are they willing and this starts With timing are they ready to solve the Problem today Are they searching are they currently Looking for solutions to solve their Problem And finally are they able The first category here is money do they Have the budget to solve the problem Next is Authority Do they have permission or approval or The decision-making authority to

Actually solve the problem Now how do we find these customers that Are ready willing and able Start by creating ideal customer Personas or profiles Customer personas include the following Information What's the ideal industry your best Potential customer is in The ideal title or experience that they Have What's the ideal buying cycle for your Product meaning is the customer ready Willing and able to purchase your Product when you need them to And then the ideal location meaning your Product or solution is geographically Aligned to where your best customer is Also located One of the easiest ways to get started With customer personas is to build them Around your best current customers If you've got a handful of great Customers today who love and appreciate You and your product then you're going To want to clone them By building your personas around them You create the exact profile for your Next best new customer Using these customer personas and the Ready willing enable filter you should Be able to quickly narrow your pool of Prospective buyers and qualify them much More efficiently

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If you don't have this type of Information readily available talk to The person responsible for marketing at Your company they should be able to Provide you these types of profiles If you're a small business and you are Both the sales and marketing department You basically have two choices First you can do the research yourself With the help of Google LinkedIn and Others or you can hire a market research Company to help you build these Target Profiles based on your input and their Expertise Remember The key is to find the narrowest group Of customers with whom you can develop a Quick and effective partnership by Helping them solve their urgent problem And you can expand from there The key is to understand the customer's Issues through their lens not yours The only way to do this is to ask Experiential questions that allow the Customer to really dig deep into their Issues Now let me introduce you to the easiest Yet most powerful framework Under the Sun that will help you navigate this Crucial sales success area It's called The Four Eyes the first eye Is to uncover the issue If there's more than one issue it's very Important to help the customer

Prioritize them that way you can address The most urgent issues The second eye to identify is the impact The issue is having on the customer This is where you will quantify the Problem if you fail to quantify the Problem then the customer won't have a Relative comparison to Value when you Reveal the price of your solution the Third eye is invasiveness this is really A subset of impact but reaches across The customer's organization and looks For the broader impact the issue may Have For example if I can't improve my new Business acquisition then I can't hire More people or worse yet I may have to Lay people off Invasiveness can be any larger impact on The business that results in not solving This particular problem Final eye is Iceberg this is the giant Barrier that has prevented the customer From solving the problem prior to your Meeting Generally speaking icebergs tend to be Knowledge time and or budget or money By addressing this area you will reveal Any potential objections the customer May have as to what will prevent them From moving forward with your solution We've talked a great deal at this point About how customers make a purchase to Solve a problem

That problem can be intrinsic or Extrinsic but either way when we make a Purchase we feel like we are feeling a Need Regardless of what we are buying there Are particular triggers or motivators That push us over the edge from Window Shopper to new customer These motivators are key to understand As each of your potential new customers Will have one or more that will need to Be met in order to secure well your Order These are in no particular order as each Buyer will be different The first motivator we will discuss is Price How much something costs can be and in Many cases is a large motivator in a Buyer's decision As with all purchases I can use this to Justify why I don't purchase or why I do Purchase The next motivator that tends to go Along with price but is much deeper is Value People who are motivated by value are Weighing the benefit of your product or Service compared to the price that You're asking The higher the perceived value the more I'm willing to pay Next up we have quality this motivator Tends to go hand in glove with value

The difference between the two is where Value is a perception of benefit versus Price quality is strictly the perception Of caliber of the product or service the Fourth motivator is self-preservation This scenario is when I feel that I must Make a purchase in order to secure a Promotion prevent a demotion or simply In more practical terms protect my Family or myself This motivator is driven primarily by Fear and is a highly emotional motivator In a business to business sales setting It's very difficult to uncover this Motivator Finally the last motivator we will cover Is social pressure Many people buy products today based on Who they know personally has recently Bought the same product This motivator derives from the group Think mentality and the subconscious Feeling of the need to fit in or belong You know to not miss out Many products today have gained Mass-market appeal simply by leveraging The motivation of social pressure Why do you have the cell phone you have What about the car you drive How about the neighborhood you live in Many subconscious factors go into the Social pressure motivator but it can be A strong Ally in your sales approach if Your product or service has the type of

Mass Market reputation that creates a Buzz in the mind of your prospective Customer These are the primary motivators of why Customers Buy Once they know they have a problem and Have decided to attempt to solve it one Or more of these motivators will help Them pull the trigger Your goal is to determine through your Research and conversation which Motivator is having the largest impact On their decision Can you think of something that you've Recently changed Satellite provider cell phone carrier Insurance Change is hard for the vast majority of Human beings isn't it getting your Customer to change is equally as hard Let's talk about the change process and Then go a little deeper into the Barriers that prevent us from changing In order to change in particular from a Consumer standpoint we go through what I Call the purchase change equation Awareness Plus motivation Plus ability equals change Step One is does your customer have the Awareness that they need to change or Even that other options are available The next step step two is how motivated Are they to make the change is there

Enough pain Etc Change seldom occurs until the pain is Staying the same exceeds the pain of Change let that one sink in Step three how easily can they implement The change If you have a great product or service But your lead times are six months out You've made it much more difficult for Me to change to your product Even though the right level of awareness Combined with the right level of Motivation and the ease or ability to Implement leads to the greatest Likelihood of change There are still several unconscious Barriers that we all have to accepting Change The first is anxiety When faced with a change human beings Tend to get really anxious They do this due to the fact that they Have the subconscious feeling that They're going to take a risk and don't Know what the outcome will be so what's The solution ensure there's trust in the Relationship first and then be mindful To continually speak to what the Customer can expect from your Partnership Remove the unexpected and unknown and You'll remove the anxiety barrier The next barrier is the feeling of Isolation

When faced with a change humans tend to Draw Inward and feel isolated we don't Do this consciously it's at a Subconscious level it stems from our Internal fight or flight mechanism in That we need to hunker down and get Through this change So what's the solution Ensure the customer understands how many Other customers have been in their exact Shoes and the results they have Experienced by working with you in Addition provide them with direct access To a couple of really satisfied Customers who will walk them through Their positive experience Do this successfully and they will move From a feeling of isolation to an Excitement of being part of something That's already successful The next barrier is the feeling of Potential loss Because humans primarily view change as Bad especially change that we didn't Choose ourselves we tend to look at the Change cup as half empty rather than Half full As a result we start looking for things We will lose or have to give up to make The change it's part of our Self-preservation mechanism very deep Within our subconscious So what's the solution to this make sure You're using positive language that

Continually highlights what the customer Will gain by making the change The next barrier customers face is we Can only take so much change at one time I think this one is pretty Self-explanatory I once knew a person who moved twice Switched jobs got divorced and lost Their father all in the same year Overwhelming to say the least our brains Are wired to handle only so many changes At once If you try to sell more than one Solution at a time to your customer they May start to feel overwhelmed and not End up buying anything What's the solution to this Focus the customer at one incremental Change at a time Baby steps is the key The next barrier is when the pressure to Change is off We tend to revert back to our old way So referring back to the change equation If my awareness is high but my Motivation really isn't then the minute You walk out of my door no matter how Excited you made me feel about your Product I will likely go right back to Doing business the same way as before You came What's the solution Make sure you spend enough time really Diving into the customers issues and

Spend as much time as necessary Quantifying those issues that will drive Up the motivation and urgency and the Likelihood that they will make the Change then and there So in summary it's really about your Ability to help navigate your customer Through the awareness plus motivation Plus ability equation all while keeping In mind the five subconscious potential Barriers to change Do so effectively and you will ensure The sale and create trust and loyalty in The process Products and services are simply the Vehicles that delivers the solution Let's look at the formal definition of a Product versus a solution A product simply defined is an article Or substance that's manufactured or Refined for sale Make sense right a solution is defined As a means of solving a problem or Dealing with a difficult situation See the product may be the means but the Solution is most certainly the end People buy Solutions not products Now I'm not sure about you but where Most salespeople run off the rails is That they try to sell products instead Of solutions They communicate the facts and the Features and the figures and the Opinions around the physical

Characteristics of their products rather Than the process of arriving at a Positive solution for the customer So here's what I want you to do take a Moment and make a list of all the Solutions your product or service solves Next I want you to think about how you Can ask better questions to get your Customers focused on the solution to Their problem first and then use your Product to solve it What is it that distinguishes you from Me you may have black hair where I have Blonde you might be five feet nine or I'm over six feet tall you may have long Hair where mine is short you get the Point it's our features that are the Obvious initial characteristics that Allow us to tell one person from the Next In certain circumstances the benefits of Those features may allow for one person To have an advantage over another Now when it comes to your product or Service it's critical to understand all Your features but it's the benefit of The feature that the customer needs to See as critical to solving their problem And as importantly the advantage Your Solution creates compared to other Options that they have available to Solve their problem Many sales people are wonderful at Spouting the facts and data to describe

All the wonderful features of their Product or service but great sales People they know all the details of Their customers problem they are solving And can relate the benefit of the Features of their product plus the Resulting feeling the customer gets Having used your solution to solve it They do this while at the same time Creating differentiating space from Their competition by ensuring the Advantage they possess over the Competitor comes through loud and clear Here's the application If you haven't already done so in Previous lessons I'd like for you to Make a list of the top five problems That your customers tend to have Make them problems that your product or Service can solve Next I want you to list out the top five To ten features your product possesses Next after that next to each feature I'd Like you to list the benefit that that Feature has to your customer in a way or Manner in which it helps solve or leads To solving the problem Finally next to that list the advantage That feature and benefit has over Alternative or competitive Solutions Your customer might be considering if You can successfully do this across the Board it will be extremely easy for your Customer to see you as the obvious

Choice for their solution Now if you find that you come out on the Losing side of each feature benefit Advantage exercise You might want to find a new product or Service to Market We want proof The need for proof that a product or Service actually does what it says it Does is rooted deep in our brain's Subconscious mechanisms that drive Self-preservation We don't want to make a mistake we don't Want to get fooled that will cause pain And we like to avoid pain Proof that a product or solution Works Helps us minimize that risk And when it comes to the proof of your Solution there are five basic proof Sources that you can pull from The first proof source is that of the Expert depending on the sophistication Of your product or solution an expert Can really Elevate The credibility of Your solution in the eyes of your Potential customers they're experts in Every field so it's not a stretch to Think that any given solution could use This Source the more technical the Solution the more appropriate the need For an expert proof Source a good Example of this would be a doctor Helping promote a new drug or supplement The next proof source is that of a

Celebrity Celebrity endorsements are quite Powerful particularly in the direct to Consumer space in the business to Business space celebrity proof sources Are much less common Next up we have the user proof Source Regardless of the product or service When you can demonstrate credibility Through The Eyes of the end user you Generate significant momentum and Influence on new customers every website On the planet uses testimonials and Reviews now to pitch their products Using case studies and third-party Reference stories in the business to Business space is quite common and can Be very effective if done properly the Fourth proof Source at our disposal is The wisdom of the crowd this proof Source is like the user proof Source but Supercharged Rather than a specific user experience Wisdom of the crowd Taps into our deep Desire to be a part of something big as Well as our fear of missing out This proof Source uses the mass effect To influence You know if millions of people have Eaten McDonald's then it must be good if Thirty thousand people have joined a Service it must work Volume of customers does equate to Credibility in our subconscious Minds

Finally we have the wisdom of peers Proof Source this technique leverages The known referral source if you can Generate a reference that the new Customer is familiar with you increase The influence Factor 10 volt Now if you're someone I trust and you Refer me to someone who has a product or Service that I need I automatically Transfer a portion of that trust onto You This proof source is the most powerful As it comes from someone the potential New customer knows and trusts personally One of these proof sources is powerful But if you combine two or more you can Really differentiate yourself from your Competition Think of the various proof sources you Have for your product or service Create a list of ideas that fall into One or more of the previous categories Now I want you to create a strategy to Create and communicate these proof Sources to your potential customer base Keep these strategies in mind and you'll Have one more powerful tool in your Sales toolbox Customers want to know three things once They've decided to buy from you first That the solution will deliver what you Promised that'll actually solve the Problem Second that you can implement it

Effectively and on the agreed upon time Frame and finally third that there is Continuity of customer service Throughout the relationship These expectations may sound like Complete common sense but you'd be Surprised how many businesses don't Operate with high marks in all three Areas let me give you some ideas that Will help you more effectively Implement Your solution First create a system by which someone On the sales team is the quarterback of The account they are the single point of Contact throughout the relationship They should know everything that's Happening and get regular reports from Delivery on how things are going They should also have regular check-in Meetings with the customer throughout The implementation to ensure Satisfaction If your business has sales people that Are simply hunters and then pass it off You might think about a team approach by Which an account manager is with the Salesperson every step of the way The second thing you can do is to Cross-train your delivery team on both Customer service and sales Then you can cross-train your sales team On delivery and customer service and Finally cross-train your customer Service team on sales and delivery

This will create a team environment and Break Down The Silo mentality that I Mentioned earlier Finally have a system of customer Satisfaction meetings and surveys that Happen on a regular basis I would recommend monthly but quarterly At the least the customer may not want To do these especially if things appear To be going well but you should bake This into the proposal from the Beginning See many times a decision maker isn't Aware that a potential problem exists Until it's too late Then you have to try to involve as many Hands-On people at the customer side as Possible to resolve it If you have a commodity or retail Product your focus should be on customer Service as you likely don't have a Delivery team per se But for all of us that work in the Business to business space these Strategies are critical to seamless Implementation and will set you up for Future sales within the same account and True Customer Loyalty for life As humans we actually like routine The familiarity is actually a stress Reducer Our anxiety in general is lower when we Know what's coming next and what to Generally expect

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If you really stop to think about it we Have these routines across nearly all Aspects of our personal life From how we shower and get dressed to How we prepare dinner to the homework And evening routine we have with our Kids We have these routines for a very Specific reason We have found that over time if we do Certain things or certain behaviors in a Certain order we tend to get consistent And predictable results The actual definition of process is a Series of actions or steps taken in Order to achieve a particular end Makes intuitive sense right However similar to the previous lesson Where we discussed our tendency to Resist change We like routine and process that we Create ourselves but tend to resist the Routines or processes that we perceive Someone else is making us do Humans are control freaks processes are Typically no different The first reason is that it helps create A consistent voice to the customer base Too many lone sales wolves on the street All with different ways of doing things Can create confusion to the marketplace And dilute the brand and the overall Credibility of the company The second reason is consistency of

Results Every great sales process should create Great results Your sales process is like your game Plan or your playbook once the players Or the sales team understands the Playbook it should put your team in a Winning position consistently It doesn't then parts of your process Need to be evaluated and adjusted The third reason is really no one has Arrived as the perfect salesperson nope Not even you sorry As a result we know that everyone has Room to improve and everyone deserves a Good coach When you have a clear sales process you And your coach can better identify areas Of improvement in your approach When you think of elements of your sales Process today what do you think is Working well What do you think needs to be improved Remember there's a reason why you wet Your hair before you shampoo it there's A reason why you brush your teeth after You eat and there's a reason why Following a clear and effective sales Process brings value to you and to your Company Essentially just like most competitive Sports sales has a series of activities That takes place prior to the sales call Then the sales call and then a series of

Activities that happen after the sales Call The elements of an effective sales Process fall into one of these three Categories The first is the pre-sales activity Which falls into two subcategories Planning and preparation In the planning phase you perform Activities such as Prospect Identification product research industry Research competitor research and call Strategy In the preparation phase you take the Information you glean in the planning Phase put it into a written call plan Clear objectives and goals create the Appropriate presentation materials and Or tools build the best stories Anticipate customer objections and Practice for the call Yes I said it practice The next stage is the customer Engagement stage this is where the Planning and preparation get Demonstrated at game time Customer engagement requires a process Within the process to maximize your Results Most sales processes have some form of In-call flow they recommend to the Salespeople The one I teach that has had incredible Results for folks flows like this

Create connection Followed by identify and prioritize the Issues Followed by create credibility Followed by solving the problem you know This as the presentation portion Followed by handling any objections and It ends with gaining commitment In the next lesson we'll help you get More details behind how to put this Model to work in your sales process Finally in stage three post sales Activities is where we close the loop on The process In this stage we do things like solution Implementation customer service and Support gather customer feedback and get The feedback from our manager or coach On what went well and how we can improve The next call Much like the pre-sale stage we tend to Overlook many aspects of the post-sale Stage once we've gained the business The reality is this stage is critical to Your long-term customer loyalty and Results in significant increases in Cross-selling opportunities Research shows time and time again that It's infinitely easier to sell to a Current Happy customer than trying to Bring on a brand new one treat your Customers accordingly These are the three stages in the Elements contained within a good sales

Process In the next lesson you'll begin to build Your own or modify the one you have for Maximum Impact In previous lessons we discussed the Importance of a sales process in the Elements of a good one Now you get to take those elements and Design a sales process that works for You We will build this process around the Three stages pre-sales activities Customer engagement and post sales Activities As you build your pre-sales activity Stage it's important to be thinking About what Knowledge and Skills you need That will support your actual sales call And give you the highest likelihood of Success Make a list of things that you need to Know about your prospect Details like title industry current Solution provider maybe buying cycle how Do they engage with you or did you cold Call them or maybe they contacted you in Some other way Next test your own product knowledge how Well do you know the details of your Solution and how it actually solves a Problem What do you still need to know Who can you reach out to in your company In order to understand it better

How well do you know your competition Make a list comparing and contrasting Your solution with theirs You should understand their products as Well as you understand your own Now moving to the preparation phase Do you have a written call strategy What are your objectives for the meeting Are they measurable What do you expect to happen after the Meeting What presentation materials do you need What stories do you plan to Leverage Make a list of potential customer Objections and create a story to combat Each one should they arise Lastly once you've got all this Information in a clear and easy to Access plan practice your call with a Coach or peer Then review it again on your own Visualizing the scenarios Now you're ready for phase two As mentioned in a previous lesson we Have found the customer engagement stage Works best when you follow a certain Order Step One is create connection This goes beyond simply Rapport building It requires you to create an Introduction story that shares who you Are and why you do what you do Step two is to identify and prioritize The issues the customer is facing for

More information refer back to the Previous lesson on understanding your Customers issues Next up we move into creating Credibility This is where you explain through a Company story why you and your company Are the most credible to solve the Problem From there you solve the problem by Presenting Your solution Think about creative ways to do this Through stories and analogies and Engaging visuals don't be boring and Don't be a data dumper when presenting The solution Use emotion and story-based techniques To maximize the customer's engagement From there you can address any Objections the customer may have but do So through narratives not facts Don't try to convince them that their Objection is unfounded Simply walk them through a story that Shows them their fears are normal but Don't result in the worry that they Currently have Lastly gain the commitment Get them to decide the next step Most people call it closing but I teach Folks not to close If you follow the framework I just laid Out by the end the customers should Really close themselves

If they don't you should reflect back on The steps and see where you might have Missed an opportunity Now you're on to building your last Stage post sales activities Make a list of steps that clearly Outline for the customer the Implementation steps Simplify things as much as possible Make it easy for the customer to change To your solution Next create a customer service contact And resolution process so that you and Your customer know exactly what to do Should they need help and exactly how Each issue gets brought to resolution Next create a customer feedback Questionnaire It shouldn't be longer than 10 questions With a mix of ratings and open-ended Comments The last step in this stage is to create An evaluation sheet for yourself Your manager likely already has one but If they don't create one and give it to Your manager ask them to periodically go On sales calls with you and use the Sheet to give you feedback afterwards Similar to how athletes evaluate their Performance on the field the feedback From your manager is the game film we All need to review that makes us better Each and every call There you have it you now have a

Complete framework for a great sales Process Once you apply the details for you and Your business you'll be in great shape To knock your sales goals out of the Park Foreign

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