You’re able to come up with innovative new solutions for the market. You wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you couldn’t. But can you commercialize your ideas and make them sell? Do you find yourself Googling “how to sell a product” on a daily basis? You’re not alone.
Research suggests that this is one of the biggest challenges businesses face. This gap is the result of a lack of formal processes and effective talent-management strategies. It’s a big problem, because it limits the return companies reap from their R&D spending.
Simply put – you need to become better at selling your products and/or services.
We found that the best companies develop organizations and cultures to support salespeople in rising to the challenge. Printulu has a killer sales team that assists in closing deals and onboarding our customers correctly. We spoke to Lindo, our professional in-house Sales Agent, to find out how it’s done.
1. Your go-to first step: know your customer.
Lindo doesn’t just jump in head first and hope for the best when she calls a client. She makes sure she has a background on the business, their audience, and their needs. “I target their business needs and then we align it with our vast multipurpose products to achieve their desired outcome.”
Martin Addison, CEO of learning content specialist Video Arts reiterates this point. “Make it your business to find out all you can about their business.” You should make sure you understand their position in their organisational hierarchy and how their business works before you try to sell them anything they might not actually need.
2. The obvious: know your products.
Every business owner should be well versed in all of the features and benefits of what they’re offering. Super obvious? You’d think so. But if your business carries many different lines or services, then you may be missing that ‘killer benefit’ in one of them that will seal the deal, if you aren’t fully aware of what’s available.
Lindo agrees. “I was drawn to sales because of its ability to satisfy both parties through human interaction.” You need to sell a benefit, not a product. If your client is not benefitting clearly from your product, you will be hard-pressed to get them to buy.
- Wrong: “This car has a reinforced safety roof.” (feature)
- Right: “This car keeps your family safe.” (benefit)
3. Dig deeper.
Lindo has an honours in Psychology, which genuinely aids in interaction with clients and understanding them on a mental level. Ultimately this influences negotiation and ethical persuasion.
People don’t buy features, they buy benefits, but sometimes we can forget to look at what we’re selling through the customer’s eyes. Open up a dialogue with the customer, make sure you understand their needs, then relate your product to those needs and sell the benefits.
4. Be prepared to overcome objections.
There are few certainties in sales but one thing you can bet on is that customers will have objections. Lindo’s advice: “Don’t take it personally.”
It can be hard to remember that a customer is not objecting to you. They’re usually objecting either to their need or to some aspect of your product. The trick is to probe until you understand their specific objection (and often it will really come down to just the one thing). So identify and articulate that specific issue, then put it in perspective and give your counter argument.
We asked Lindo what challenges she faces the most with our clients. “I would say challenges come with onboarding clients to our artwork process. Not everyone understands our print-ready standards – especially the terminology and concepts.”
5. Choose your channel.
“Over the phone selling requires more attentive listening and being more descriptive. It has a larger audience reach and it’s more time and cost effective for both the client and business. Face to face selling has its advantages in that you can rely on the client’s body and social cues. These are factors that help in determining early on if it will be a sale or no sale.”
6. Don’t stop growing.
The fundamentals of sales are always the same, but the tools and techniques that you can use to apply them are constantly changing. Explore new tactics, talk to new people and keep stretching yourself in new ways. If you’d like to join our amazing team of Printulians, send your CV to email@example.com. If you have any questions about our endless range of products, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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