If you are selling with all your might and the guy down your hall continues to outperform you, you may be getting a little frustrated. You may even see more customers in a day than he does and his sales results are still higher than yours. Is it possible that he knows something that you do not? Here are some selling skills for you to consider.
Listen to your client’s perceived needs. When a client comes to you for a product, they may already have in their mind what they think they need. Naturally, your first response is to provide a solution for that need. The skill here is to listen to his perceived need and determine if that is the actual need.
Imagine if your customer comes in and would like to purchase a pen. Assuming you only have one style of pen, the solution may appear to be an easy one. This is usually where most salespeople stop, but not the guy down your hall.
Ask questions to determine the actual needs of the client. Perceived needs and actual needs can often differ. By asking questions you can help your client reveal to you and himself his actual needs. In the previous example, you have determined the perceived need. Now you require further details. You could ask your client what he needs the pen for. He may divulge important information. What if his response gave you the following information: He is just looking for a simple ballpoint pen, like the one your company sells. However, he plans to take your pen to a supplier to have his company name on it, however he is having trouble finding a company that is cost effective. What if your company provides this service at a lower cost than where your client was taking the pen? You would have lost an additional sales opportunity, if you stopped asking questions. But the guy down your hall would not have stopped. He asks questions to determine customer’s actual needs and now you can too.
Determine your customer’s future needs. You have now made two sales instead of one. You have doubled your productivity in one sitting. However, it is important to recognize that you are not done, inquire about your customer’s future needs. You may ask what he plans to do with only one pen with a company logo on it. His response may be, “I had planned to ship it to another country and have them reproduce the pen in a cost effective manner, but I am a little worried about the quality.” Your customer does not know that your company can provide him with this service, keeping the quality intact. Your response, “We provide that service, let’s see if we can find something within your budget.” Give him the pricing, but do not stop yet…. “How many pens do you need?” His reply, “I believe your pricing fits into our budget. We need at about 1 million pens this year because we will be distributing them to our offices worldwide.”
This is an extreme example; however, it does happen, and the guy down your hall knows it. Make the most of every opportunity.