08 Aug Selling is just a conversation
Many of our candidates panic when they hear that a role involves “sales”, automatically thinking of intense, hard, pushy sales. Yes, there are environments where such sales are necessary, but a lot of our clients have now combined the service and sales roles into one.
The reason for this integrated role is that you can’t have sales without service, and vice versa. At FuturePeople, we view sales as an art of conversation, where you find out about the customers’ wants and needs, and match the company’s products and services to meet those needs.
Anyone can use basic sales techniques, such as probing questions, upselling and cross-selling. However, focusing a conversation around customer needs is the fundamental ingredient of selling – and this is a true art.
The art of conversation
In our day-to-day lives, we sell ideas and knowledge to each other without even realising it. This ability can be turned into a powerful technique that enables selling to become just another conversation, similar to a chat you might have with a friend or colleague.
Selling as an art of conversation is a proven sales methodology that helps professionals to sell products and services successfully. This strategy gives you the confidence to communicate effectively with customers and sell when you need to.
Below are some key strategies you can use to effectively “sell” through the art of conversation.
1. Ask open-ended questions.
When initiating a conversation, be sure to ask open-ended questions in a warm and friendly way. Think of the floor as belonging to the customer. People can respond passively to a statement, but an open-ended question requires a more detailed response and will help you get a full picture of the customer’s situation.
2. Be genuine.
When you are true to yourself in conversation, a customer will respond more positively to you. You don’t have to put on an “act” or fit the mold of a bubbly and upbeat salesperson to create a great customer experience. Imagine you are getting to know the person sitting next to you in a casual setting like a barbeque. Be genuine, be ready to listen and engage in a meaningful two-way conversation.
3. Show that you care.
Smart conversationalists understand that the customer doesn’t care about your product or service itself – they care about what you can do for them. How will you solve their unique problem? What personal touch can you add to the experience? Show the customer that you truly care about their wants and needs. Ask the right questions to uncover specific problems, and listen intently to see if you can help resolve them.
4. Make the customer’s life easier.
Selling is all about connecting in ways that make the customer’s life easier. Truly connecting with a customer will help you establish the initial trust, so that you can then try to resolve the problem. You don’t need to have all the answers to make the customer’s life easier. The first step is simply to show that you care and are willing and committed to addressing the problem.
5. Highlight your experience and talent.
When you’re following a script or using tired sales techniques, you don’t get a chance to share anything about who you really are. It’s much more fun to be yourself and add a personal flavour to the conversation. You can share an anecdote and highlight your own experiences and skills. Doing so will ensure the customer is comfortable and confident in working with you.