When Selling Keep the Long-Term Picture in Mind
Sometimes I wonder why there are so many poor salespeople in this world when, fundamentally, every person in sales is still a consumer the rest of the time.
You'd think it would be relatively easy for them to think about the good experiences they've had as buyers and apply that to their own jobs, yet sadly, many do not. I'm sure we've all had the experience of walking into a store, immediately being herded by a commission-driven salesman towards the most expensive item they carry, and then having to practically fight them just to get to see something more reasonable.
Now, sometimes this comes down to poor management, such as the staff being put under unrealistic pressure to up-sell. But all too often, it's because the employee is simply so focused on their personal profits that they lose track of the big picture.
Remembering the Long-Term Picture in Sales
Those sorts of high-pressure tactics often backfire, driving people away. Even if you don't move quite so many of the big-ticket items, if your store has effective pricing, the sale of a mid-level item has to be better than making no sale at all. At the end of the day, you want sales and profits.
It's like in baseball: Unless you have a true Babe Ruth, the batter who has the ability to reach the fences on virtually any pitch, you're probaly better off making solid contact so you can get a single and move the runners along the bases.
So here are a few things to remember, to keep yourself and your staff focused on long-term results so you can bring in productive sales figures long into the future:
• A customer is visiting for a reason. Unless it's raining or they got misdirected, if someone visits your store or website, they are at least interested in buying from you. Chances are, they already have an idea in their head of what they want. If you ask questions and find out what they're looking for, you're most of the way to a sale already.
• If they want the expensive item, they probably already know it. The idea of a visitor to a car lot going for the midrange sedan and walking out with a Porche is nice, but it rarely happens in real life. If someone has the money and interest in something like that, they know it going in. And they usually say so up-front.
• Slow and steady does still win the race. Fundamentally, if you aren't losing ground, you're still getting ahead. Selling those big-ticket items may be sexy, but you can't base a stable business model on high-pressure, high-risk sales.
• Customer experience is vital in the Facebook world. Making a positive impression on customers is more important today than ever. If someone has a poor experience at a place of business, they won't hesitate in telling people about it, through multiple venues. Too many poor reviews on your Google Places page can be deadly for a company these days.
• Focus on the positive outcome for your client. When making a sales pitch, try to keep your customer focused on how the product will solve a problem in their life. Don't get drawn into discussions over details until the deal is almost closed. Get them to see the product's value, and you'll make the sale.
In sales, you should always keep the long-term picture in mind. Focus on selling the customer what they want, and giving them a great experience when they do. That's the way to build your business.
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