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Be Better - winning at sales

+ Posted by Peter Bowden

Selling is a numbers game. Whether you’re pitching to a meeting planner to bring a convention to town or negotiating the cost of banquet services on behalf of a client, there’s an art to getting things done.

Keep in mind, you're not going to close every sale. We’re reminded, that the art of selling is not perfection – but to keep reducing the number of sales that you lose. If that number is getting smaller, you’re getting better at selling. 

Here are some tips to get you where you need to be:

The prospect doesn't see the need. Let’s face it, if your offering something where there might not be a need, no one’s going to buy it. A little research prior to the meeting or going through a fact finding exercise with the client is a good idea to identify need. The ticket, at the end of the process, is to make sure the client acknowledges that there is a need.

The prospect sees the need, but doesn't feel any urgency. Need isn't enough; it has to be an urgent need. Without that urgency in hand, the client will put off making any decision.

The prospect doesn't see how your product meets a need. Always keep the client’s needs a top priority. It’s a crucial part of selling. It’s essential that you help the client understand how your services or product meets the need, otherwise, you're wasting everyone's time.

The prospect doesn't see your product's value. It’s not about how much your product cost. The client has to understand the value. In other words, he might think you’re asking too much for something when, in fact, there’s a disconnect on the value of what’s being offered. It’s easy to counter this by offering a discount, but it’s makes better sense to explain why the product or service is worth the price you’re asking for.

The prospect doesn't see how your product is better than the competitors'. It’s important that you show the client that your product has more value than what your competition may be offering. Until you do that, the winner is always the lowest priced. So, if you demonstrate value, you can avoid the price war that often times presents itself. Prove value by pointing out specific ways your product is more valuable than similar products offered by your competitors.

The prospect doesn't trust you. A skeptical prospect is usually pretty obvious; keep an eye on his body language. To overcome this, provide proof of the claims you've been making; testimonials, case studies, third-party articles, benchmark tests, etc.

The prospect isn't the final decision-maker. Talking to someone who doesn't have actual purchasing authority is an enormous waste of everyone's time.

The prospect never intended to buy from you. If you get stuck in a situation where the client is asking for a number of bids during the “purchasing or decision making process,” there’s the risk that the decision has already been made. Know what you're getting into before you invest resources.

SOURCE: The Balance, Wendy Connick

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The Author

Peter F. Bowden, TMP

President & CEO, Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau

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