If you are in the sales industry you have undoubtedly lost a sale before, and hopefully you’ve made a few, too. There is a question that lurks behind every lost sale, and it’s an obvious one: why? Why didn’t you make the sale? What could you have done differently or said differently that would’ve made the difference? Sometimes it’s obvious and you realize something you shouldn’t have said or done as soon as you leave the meeting, but other times it’s less so. You question your strategy, your pitch, your first impression, and your appearance trying to understand what went wrong.
So, what goes right when you do make the sale? In an article from the Harvard Business Review written by Steve Martin, he discusses why some salespeople are able to seal the deal with ease, and what makes it difficult for others. Here are a few of the critical reasons he lists as consequential if you want to make the sale.
If you really want to make the sale, it’s important that you are viewed as someone who can be trusted. If people only see you as trying to sell something and nothing more, they will be much less likely to buy anything from you. However, if you are seen as someone who gives sound, trustworthy advice, the sale is yours.
Wherever you’re trying to make a sale you need to know who is in charge, and make sure you make the best pitch to them. In his article, Steve says that “buyers report that fewer than one out of three salespeople can hold an effective conversation with senior executives.” It’s essential that you are able to speak to anyone about your product or service, and sometimes, that includes the higher level, decision making personnel. As it relates to the final expense business, however, the point is simply that you are able to identify and understand how to communicate to all different types of people.
It’s important that you do your homework before trying to make a sale whenever possible. You need to know exactly what that business does and be able to clearly explain why they NEED what you are selling. If you can’t help them understand exactly how your product or service will benefit them, it’s unlikely they will purchase from you. Again, how does this apply in final expense? Well, obviously, you need to be very knowledgeable in the areas where you work. Learn every possible bit of information about the policies and “extras”, and then take time to truly listen to what they NEED.
Do you have the prospect’s best interest in mind, or are you solely focused on making the sale? It’s obvious to buyers if you are just in it for your own gain. And while obviously the sale is very important to you, it’s got to be more about how you can benefit the client. If you are pushy and self- serving you will not be a trusted seller. If, on the flip side, you treat them like family and truly identify what they need, the sky is the limit! They will think the world of you. And, let’s face it, there is nothing more satisfying than helping someone in need!
Making a connection with your potential buyer goes back to doing your research. What led them to reach out to you in the first place? It’s very important that you know what you are walking into whenever possible and act or react accordingly. As Steve Martin puts it, “… buyers will always choose the salesperson who develops rapport over those who don’t.”
The bottom line?
TAKE THE TIME to know your customer, know their needs, and identify the connection that will, ultimately, make the sale. In the end, it’s sure to be a win-win for everyone.