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Why You’re Rubbish At Sales

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s true.

Most people are rubbish at sales.

Why?

The simple answer is because they’re selling.

I define buying and selling differently to most people. To me buying is a considered and pleasurable process where you happily exchange money for something you want.

Selling on the other hand is hard work.

You try to convince people that they need whatever it is you’re selling. It’s all about overcoming objections,  pushing people into corners and then closing the deal.  Put like that it sounds more like institutionalised bullying.

Selling is a tough job which is why most people are rubbish at it.

People have developed in built resistance to sales techniques.

If you’re like me as soon as you recognise a salesman going through his  patter, the barriers go up and the chance of me buying go down.

Now you may very well have excellent products which will do a great job for me at an excellent price but because I feel I’m being manipulated, that the salesman isn’t thinking about me and my needs, but thinking about his month end figures and commission, I react negatively and escaping becomes my primary objective.

We reject sales people because they’re selling.

The top sales people don’t sell – they create the environment in which customers want to buy.

How To Become Great At Selling

As I’ve just said, to be great at selling, you have to stop selling and allow customers to take the decision to buy.

Now if you’re going to buy something, you are going to want to know all the details about the product:

  • What does it do – not just from the manufacturer’s point of view but from more importantly what does it do from your point of view.
  • What benefits does it deliver to you?
  • What guarantees does it come with?
  • Can you trial it in advance?
  • How can I get hold of it?
  • Do other users recommend it – what social proof is there?

What I’m saying is that you need to market your products to your prospective buyers in order to create the environment for them to buy.

So tell me: Are you doing this?

Are you starting with the three Ms of marketing:

MARKET————–MESSAGE—————MEDIUM

  • Have you identified in granular detail exactly who your niche audiences are?
  • Have you crafted  the right messages for each of your target groups so that your marketing messages are totally relevant to each group?
  • Have you identified where these groups of customers hang out? Only when you know where these people spend their time can you decide which media and which methods of communication will be right to communicate with them.

It’s time for you to stop hard selling your prospects and to start creating the environment  in which they  will want to buy.

 

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What Do Your Customers Really Want?

Do you know what your customers want?

I mean what they really want.

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When we buy anything, the motivation is always “what’s in it for me”. What will this product do for me?

There are a number of almost primeval buying motivations which drive most of our purchases:

    • Will it make me more money?
    • Will it save me time?
    • Will it make me more beautiful?
    • Will it make me more attractive to the opposite sex?
    • Will it make me feel better?
    • Will it make me healthier?
    • Will it make my life better?

People don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them. To be successful you have to appeal to your customers’ self interest.

We don’t buy what we need

When it comes to making buying decisions, in most instances we don’t buy what we need, we buy what we want.

There are so many product categories that prove this – no one needs designer brands, sports cars, ipads etc. There are always cheaper, more functional alternatives but we want these items so we justify to ourselves why we should have them.

What this means is that so many purchases are made not for logical reasons but for emotional ones and you need to recognise this in your marketing. You need to appeal to people’s emotions as opposed to their logic. You always need to explain to your target audience what they will get from your product – how it will make them look, how it will make them feel, what other people will think of them when they see them with it.

Once we’ve set our sights on something we want, we then go about collecting the justification for the more extravagant package.

Last summer I needed to buy a new car. I’m not really interested in cars so it wasn’t anything fancy but the extras made it more desirable and more sexy. Did I need the extras – no not really but I did want them.

So how did I justify it to myself. The blue tooth functionality gave me the ammunition I needed. With blue tooth I could talk legally on the phone while driving. To be honest I do actually need that (having been done for talking on the phone earlier last year) but it made the decision easy for me.

So when you’re creating your sales materials remember people buy what they want and then justify it as a need.

Don’t fill your collateral, especially your website with boring information, especially not boring information about you and your company.

Instead focus on making them want what you sell because if they want it they will find the justification.

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You Must Show Your Prospects That You Can Solve Their Problems

Show them you can solve their problems

You may have what appears to be a great small business marketing programme but is it giving you the results you want?

For your marketing to have real traction and to generate the levels of response you want, you have to answer the questions your prospects are asking and show them how you are the correct solution for them.

Remember, it’s not about you.
Spend most of your time talking about what your prospect cares about.  When you create marketing materials, you must remember that your prospect isn’t interested in you, your product or service. What they really want to know is what’s in it for them.

The rule of thumb is to spend a very small amount of time (only about 10% of your sales piece) talking about yourself.  You do this to establish your credibility and trustworthiness. Spend the rest of the time talking about what your prospects care about—which is their problems and challenges. Once you’ve discussed these, tell them how your product or service is the solution they are looking for.

Make a valuable offer.
Lead generation is an important component of your small business marketing. In these pieces you often see lines like “For a free information package” or “for more information.”

However, using the words “more information”  makes it sound like what you are concerned about—making the sale—instead of what your prospect cares about.

Instead try offering a free report or a free e-book which addresses their problem. This will still contain many of the same items as your “more information” would, such as samples and information about your product, but is more appealing for a prospect to respond to.

To discover what to put into your introductory kit or report, try getting on forums, social media sites and other places where you can survey people about what questions they want answered.

Use a headline, not your logo, at the top of the page.
A common mistake is to put your logo and branding at the top of a sales letter or to use letterhead when contacting prospects. Again, this says the focus is on you instead of on your prospect.

The most valuable real estate is at the top of your letter. Use it to put a headline that will have a powerful impact and determine whether or not your prospect continues reading.

Here’s something else – and it’s extremely important. Don’t use “wish washy language” at the end of your letter.  Don’t say things like, “If you are interested in finding out about ten ways you can ensure you will be prepared for retirement, call us 01483 200387.

Instead, use authoritative language in your call to action. Tell your reader what to do.  For example, say, “Complete the enclosed reply card and post it today to receive your free report on The Financial Planner’s Ten Secrets to Retiring Early.”

Follow these three tips in your lead generation promotions and more people will take you up on your offer.

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What Really Motivates Your Customers Buy?

There are many reasons why people buy, but whatever product you sell, you will find there are a much smaller number of core motivations.

The following list can’t be comprehensive, but covers the great majority of buying decisions:

  • To make money
  • To save money
  • To save time
  • To save effort
  • To be more comfortable
  • To achieve greater cleanliness
  • To attain better health
  • To be popular
  • To attract the opposite sex
  • To keep hold of possessions
  • To increase enjoyment
  • To gratify curiosity
  • To protect family
  • To be fashionable
  • To satisfy appetite
  • To avoid trouble
  • To avoid criticism
  • To be individual
  • To make work easier

Some fairly primeval motivations there! Some we may not even readily admit to. But they are the things that drive us!

Now ask yourself, how compellingly does your marketing zero in on, and develop, one or more of those motivators?

How Compelling Is Your Copy?

If your words are going to move people to action, you need to really get inside their heads, and appeal to those buying motivations listed above.

In advertising studies done over the years, certain words, known as Power Words appear time after time. The most common of these are:

  • You (or Your)
  • How
  • New
  • Who
  • Money

While there are of course lots more power words, if you check the five above against the list of motivating factors, you’ll see that these five cover a large proportion of them.

The fact that “You” appears at the top of the list is highly significant.

“The Point of You”

The importance of the “Point of You” is that the writer is putting himself in the customers’ position and talking directly to the reader.

When you talk about what your customer wants and the emotion that really motivates them, then you will connect with them on both the conscious and unconscious level and  you’ll be on to a sure fire winner.

So when you write your copy, remember to focus on the “Point of You”, utilise power words in your headlines and body copy and make sure you identify and satisfy those buying motivators.