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Common Questions and Answers
You like people and enjoy sales. You believe everyone, no matter their profession, is really a sales person. After all, sales drives business and generates revenue, right? So, whether you’re a manufacturer, service provider, retailer, even educator, you have something to sell to your distributors, clients, customers, students and parents.
So, how do you sell what you offer to a decision-maker? First things first. Do you believe you are targeting the right customers? Is your product or service vital to the success of the business you are trying to sell? If you answered yes to these two questions, then start with knowing your customer. How do you do that? Here’s how.
First, make sure the person you are trying to sell is the decision-maker. Sounds simple but how many times have you talked to someone at a business who appears interested in what you have to sell only to find out that s/he can’t pull the trigger and give you the order? You’ve built a rapport and think you’ll make the sale only to discover you’re actually selling the wrong person.
Second, you need to find out what makes the decision-maker tick. How? Start with research. Scour the company’s website. Read everything and start with its people. Learn their roles and their history with the company. Find out as much as you can about them.
Third, go deeper. Use resources online to find out what the decision maker likes to do outside the office. Do they have a family? Hobby? What civic organizations do they support? Are they on any charitable organization board? Where did they go to college? Have they won any awards or been recognized as a leader in their industry?
Now comes the tricky part. Who do you know that may know the person you are trying to sell? One way to find out is social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Ask someone you know for a referral to the person you want to sell.
Most business owners are introverts who require trust before they commit to anything. So to build trust, you must exhibit a sincere interest in them and their business. To do this, it is important to find out how they like to communicate? Do they prefer the telephone, email, texting, face-to-face or even traditional written notes and letters? Be respectful of their time and navigate how you communicate as much as what you communicate.
Get to know the gate keeper, too. Most CEOs rely on an executive assistant to screen calls and schedule appointments. If you can build a rapport with this person, you are much more likely to get an appointment. Once you do, be prepared to get to the point of your meeting and always ask up front if now is a good time to meet, even though you have already arrived for your appointment. Things can change in an instant so make sure you respect their time at all cost.
The strengths of introverts vary but most have common traits. They are successful and they are proud of their accomplishments. Acknowledge their success and take an interest in helping them grow their business or solve a problem. And, while this may be difficult, do not oversell them or appear in a rush to get the order. You are building a relationship to nurture well after the sale is complete.
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