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Common Questions and Answers
If you understand the steps of your sales process, selling becomes much easier. Sales skills transfer to other positions and apply to many life situations. Knowing how to sell will serve you well in any profession. Many people dismiss selling skills as not worth learning, perhaps because it’s conversational. The idea that sales ability is natural is a false one. There are very few natural salespeople.
Professionals utilize a vast amount of knowledge and multiple sales techniques during the sales process. They use varied sales strategies intentionally and practice until those techniques and strategies flow effortlessly.
Successful sales people know subtlety is the secret to success. When a customer feels they’re choosing to buy vs. being sold, everyone wins. Selling over the telephone requires careful preparation. When your prospect relies on their ability to listen making a sale is tougher. Sales people encounter a whole different array of considerations in face-to-face selling encounters.
With in-person sales, our brains are wired to make conclusions through vision. When we like how a person looks and how they present themself, we may be more easily swayed to trust what they say, even if their product is inferior. Studies show over 80% of in-person communication is influenced by body language. With phone sales, voice, intonation, pace, clarity, and substance are crucial.
In executive recruiting we approach happily employed candidates and lure them away from their current employer. Clients want top quality candidates. The majority of candidates we talk with are not looking for a job when the conversation begins. Headhunters must qualify candidates and disengage if they don’t meet the criteria the client requires.
The client pays our fee so candidates must satisfy their hiring criteria. The majority of recruiters don’t know how to approach candidates. They don’t understand how to sell and annoyed candidates dismiss them. The right approach leaves a candidate happy. Manipulation won’t work and small talk feels like a waste of time to a busy candidate. Your selling process is your livelihood.
Here’s how to approach a candidate effectively. “Hi Ben. My name is Joe Headhunter. I’m an Executive Recruiter. Your name has come to me on a confidential basis as a top-level performer. I do have an opportunity to discuss with you, can you talk privately?”
These statements have no extra words and no time is wasted. We open with an introduction and purpose of the call. Most candidates are receptive as they’re curious about possibly advancing their career. The recruiter controls the conversation. Important information will not be revealed unless the candidate’s a qualified match.
Next: “What would have to be in place in order for you to make a move and feel like you’re advancing your career?” The average candidate has never been asked this question. Recruiter’s prepare multiple versions of the question. The approach makes it clear no one is pushing the candidate to make a change. It’s respectful. The candidate can engage in a discussion about an opportunity without obligation.
This question requires candidates to think. Typically they very quickly transition into a substantial conversation that could change their life. Do your sales questions identify what’s important to your customers? Do your questions uncover areas of ‘pain’? They should.
Cold call scripts support the sales process. Modify your script until you have outstanding questions that engage your prospect. Move the sales process forward with questions. When an objection surfaces, answer it directly and ask a new question. Implementing this minor sales technique keeps you at the helm of the exchange and allows you to steer the conversation where it needs to go.
Closing is the final step of a simple sales process. As you learn how to sell prepare dozens of questions to use as closing questions. One series of closing questions should be answered with a “yes” or “No” response. ‘Open questions’ require more in-depth responses. “Under what circumstances, if any, would you…”
In a sales call the goal may be to schedule a time to explore a candidate’s background fully before presenting the opportunity. Each step in your selling process may require a new set of closing questions.
Don’t make the steps of your sales process complicated. Know where you are in your sales process at all times. If the conversation is wanders off track, ask questions to get back on track. The sales process can feel mysterious. Learning how to sell is an evolution. Gather techniques and practice them. Once you know how to sell and personalize it with your style, your income has no limits.
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