Selling one on one is very personal. It is full of dynamic variables. You are selling yourself and your sale will be subject to the environment you are in. What are the key drivers for selling one on one?
You Must Know Your Product!
No matter how many sales books you read and conferences you attend, product knowledge will always rank high in any customer’s expectations of a salesperson. There are no short cuts here. Any hesitancy in your knowledge and your customer will see you and your product in a low light. Mastering product knowledge will help secure your confidence and your customer will be more likely to follow your lead. If you are not leading your customers successfully in your one-on-one sales, ask yourself, “Do I really know my product as well as I could?”
Try This: ‘The One-Minute Rule.’ Tell me about your product or service right now in one minute! Sometimes your next buyer may only have a moment. And when that time comes, you won’t be able to reach for your savvy PowerPoint presentation.
Learning the art of verbally selling your product or service in about a minute or so will dramatically increase your sales effectiveness. Try it out. Once you’ve got it, you can make a quick pitch while in an elevator, or plant a fertile seed during a personal introduction. It works!
You Are Always Selling Yourself, No Matter What!
Like it or not, when you are selling one-on-one, you’re selling yourself along with the product. Why? You are a representative of that product or service. Your customer does not yet know the possibilities and they are relying on your knowledge, conviction and presentation in order to make an informed decision. You and your actions are a part of the experience that a potential purchaser is having with what you are selling. So…
How many times can you recall arriving to a meeting and a variable you were depending on is suddenly not so dependable? Maybe you’re planning on making a quick photocopy before the presentation. Or perhaps you need an extension cord to plug in your laptop that’s running low on power. Although we live in a wonderful age where we can likely depend on technology, nevertheless you must be prepared.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Make your photocopies before you arrive at the presentation. Make sure your laptop battery is full. Bring your own extension cords. Double-check any previous arrangements and equipment bookings. Make certain the sale experience is smooth and enjoyable.
Project a good image
Donald Trump says himself that poor hygiene can affect buyers negatively. Bad breath, body odor, or muddy shoes just don’t cut it. Be presentable. Dress clean and neat…like your momma taught ya! Make chewing gum and cologne easily accessible.
Here’s a big one! Perhaps you’ve completed your pitch and things are looking up. Lunchtime! You gladly agree to pay for lunch. After enjoying some fine food and perhaps a bottle of upscale wine, you confidently throw down your credit card. Moments later your waitress discreetly informs you that your card was declined.
No matter what the reason for the declined card, it doesn’t look good. Make certain that your card or the company card has room for the expense before you agree to buy lunch. More importantly…always carry cash. You’ll never regret it.
Be Perceptive To Your Client’s Needs
Assume you’ve arrived for a meeting. Although you’re prepared, it seems like it may not be the best time for your buyer. Their phone has been ringing continuously and they’ve spent the morning handling an unforeseen emergency.
Now it’s your turn to shine. Ask if this is the best time to meet. Let them know you are willing to reschedule the meeting at their convenience. This can turn out in your favor as well as their own. You want to avoid selling to a buyer who is pre-occupied with more pressing things. The risk is that you may never get another chance to pitch to them. However. on the other hand, your willingness to reschedule leaves a favourable impression of being a perceptive and flexible business partner.
If you re-schedule, make certain to get a specific time for your next meeting.
Choose Your Meeting Place Wisely.
Where you decide to meet will affect your sale. Sometimes at your office, other times at their office, and another time a neutral location. These variables are important.
- Your Turf. When you’re meeting at your office, use it to your advantage. Be hospitable. Offer coffee or water. Hang up your potential buyer’s coat. Make them aware of the location of the washroom facility. Make sure you’ve chosen the best place to meet in order to facilitate a smooth sale.
- Their Turf. If you’re meeting at their office, remember to be prepared. Set some mutually beneficial rules for the meeting. Ask for the courtesy to have no interruptions. Ringing phones, endless text messages or secretaries and employees interrupting your buyer to ask questions, can easily spoil your sale.
- Neutral Location. There’s nothing worse than selecting the wrong spot to meet for a sale.
I remember a particularly horrible sale. I chose a bad meeting place at the last minute because I was not thinking ahead. It was a pub. We arrived to a big-night soccer game airing on every TV screen. There was chanting and cheering and the only place to sit was right in the middle of the action. Our waitress, though sweet, was not too perceptive and she never ceased to interrupt us.
In brief, when selling one-on-one, position yourself to be at your best. It can be tricky, but if you are keen enough to secure as many favourable variables as possible, you can ensure a positive experience for you and your potential buyer. Being prepared is the key to success with any one-on-one sale.
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