GREAT Salespeople don’t see themselves selling as much as they do serving.
Everyone in sales has had this experience. You are meeting someone for the first time and they ask you what you do. When you respond that you’re in sales, they immediately hesitate and become a bit guarded.
We all know that feeling because people think that sales is a dirty word.
They immediately picture someone in a bad checkered polyester suit trying to manipulate them.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The greatest salespeople I know hardly even consider themselves to be salespeople. They think of themselves as people who are there to serve the customer.
A customer is coming to you because they have a problem. Make no mistake about it. There is something that isn’t working right that they need fixed and they have come to you because they hope your product or service will solve their problem.
But more often than not, a customer doesn’t correctly diagnose or know the proper solution to their own problem. That’s what you as the salesperson are there for. You are there to serve.
You listen, analyze and serve the client by providing the best solution for their particular problem. It’s not about manipulation, it’s about being there to provide a solution.
Customers are naturally scared of making a decision
It’s like a swimming coach working with children. On dry land, they explain what to do, but it isn’t until that coach convinces that kid to actually get into the water that he’s made any progress.
Imagine your customer as one of those children.
They may “know” that your product or service a good thing, but taking that first step of actually buying it is scary for them.
That’s why they need a great salesperson; someone to show them how much better life can be and to actually get them into the water!
CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
Outstanding products can attract business, but your attitude will ultimately determine whether customers buy from you or not.
In sales, you must have a positive attitude before process or product. I want to share with you a stellar example of a great attitude.
I saw a beautiful jacket on display in a store window and was so intrigued by it that I went inside to have a closer look. The jacket literally stopped me and pulled me into the store.
I asked the lady about the price, and she told me as she helped me slip the jacket on.
I stood there admiring my great reflection in the mirror, and I started protesting that the price was outrageous and added that I didn’t even need the thing.
With an understanding and beautiful smile, she said, “Nobody buys a jacket like this because they need it. They buy it because it’s beautiful and it makes them feel good.”
I knew she was right and immediately asked, “Do you take American Express?”
What to Say When Customer Says “I’m NOT Buying Today”
Think about when you go into a dentist for the first time or a lawyer’s office, you probably don’t feel comfortable, right?
What about when you go to a party and don’t know anyone?
It’s human nature to feel more comfortable with the familiar.
A customer in your store is a lot like taking someone into your home. First, you have to make them comfortable, introduce them, and handle their fears. Unless this person visits you every day they won’t be in their comfort zone.
Even if you were in their home, they’d be a little uncomfortable. People are “guarded” when they meet new people.
The first step to making people comfortable is the greeting. It sounds simple, but go out today and keep track of how many people say hello to you when you walk into their business.
When a person is guarded, you can’t get on common ground. You have to assure your customer, address their fears and beliefs, and put them at ease.
Remember that you are not in the product business, you are in the people business.
A “guarded” customer to me indicates a good thing—not a bad thing—because the more guarded a customer shows they are likely a buyer.
Customers will often have complaints like, “I’m just looking,” when greeted by you. Don’t take it personally.
Be positive when you hear these things.
Acknowledge them and disregard them. Continue to show interest regardless of what you hear. You have to learn to handle these complaints, which are born out of the buyer’s beliefs and complicated by their fears—do not handle them like objections.
Often, a customer’s thinking goes, “I can’t trust him,” or, “He won’t tell me the truth”, but it actually has nothing to do with you.
If you are telling the truth and they don’t believe you, it’s about the receiver, not the giver. Even though it’s about them, it’s my problem so I need to be responsible to have control over the process and solve this problem of distrust.
- The customer is thinking, “If I show interest they will pressure me to buy”, so they are protecting themselves.
- They are thinking, “it will take too long,” and that they don’t want to be stuck for 2 hours there in the store.
- They think, “I will feel obligated,” if they spend 2 hours with you looking at a product that they will have to do something with you.
Until you handle these complaints you won’t be able to handle your customers.
You need to know that buyers fear making a decision, often more so than spending the money.
Buyers fear getting ripped off, making a bad decision and feeling like a fool later.
- Your buyers fear financial insecurity as if they can’t afford your product when they really can.
- Your buyers fear pressure, and they don’t want to be pressured.
- Buyers fear it will take too long.
- Buyers fear they will be obligated to reciprocate.
- Buyers fear they can’t say no.
As I mentioned, your responsibility is to make people comfortable, introduce them, and handle their fears. This means you will need to find common ground.
The dictionary defines common ground as, “the basis of mutual interests or agreement.” The key word is agreement.
You can’t get on common ground if you disagree with people. Forget this idea that opposites attract. In selling, opposites never attract.
It’s vital to gaining trust and control that you take the time to get on common ground.
Your big challenge is to get on common ground without wasting the customer’s time. Most salespeople go out of their way hunting for this thing called common ground.
“Where do you live?”, “Where do you work?”, “Nice kids you got there.”—these are all hit or miss because they are not reasons people came.
People don’t come in to talk about their kids or where they live.
It’s not authentic.
You must be authentic and genuine.
Think about what you have in common with everyone.
Common ground can include:
Wanting Information—They want it, you have it.
Getting in and out—you want that too.
Making a good decision—You also want to be sure they don’t make a bad decision.
Not being pressured—You don’t want to pressure them either.
Don’t want to waste time—You don’t want to waste yours either.