Quick. What’s the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word “salesperson”? Pushy? Manipulative? Devious? Annoying? Obnoxious? Dishonest? Desperate?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Think back to the last time you tried to make a sale. Was your customer excited to take your call or did he not even bother to return it? Did she compliment your style and approach, or did she tell you to call back in six months?
That’s because most of us are focused on selling the wrong thing. We focus on only one aspect of the sale: you pay me this for that or you give me this for that. We tend to view selling as a “Win Win.” What’s in it for you, and what’s in it for me? Instead ask yourself, “What’s in it for three?” There is always a third party beneficiary of every sale: there is you, me and either your company, your charity, the people you serve or your organization that stand to benefit from your success. I call this the “WIN-WIN-WIN.” If you can always ask yourself the question, “How many can benefit from this sale?” instead of how can I benefit from this sale, you are well on your way toward closing more deals.
The headlines in the paper blare: “The Architect of the Deal” (as two large insurance companies merge); “It’s All About the Deal” (as shoppers line up before dawn to grab the newest iPhone); “No Done Deal on Medicare” (as questions are raised about a tentative deal to revamp Medicare); or “Deal Makes Workers Wary” (as employees worried about their jobs watch anxiously as their company is about to be sold). Big deals—and little deals—are happening all around us every minute of every day.
You’re representing a valuable product, creating a unique service, or you’re passionately championing a cause. How do you get the world to sit up and pay attention to what you have to offer? Sure, you can sell your product, service, or cause to your friends and family or the local Chamber of Commerce; however, the real money is in positioning yourself to close the deal with major corporations, organizations, charities or individuals who can propel your business to the next level and beyond.
Ask yourself: Why would anyone want to buy my product, service or participate in my cause? If you yourself can’t understand what appeals about what it is you’re pitching or selling, how can you expect others to understand? Understanding the motivations of the people you’re selling to can greatly increase your opportunity for success. There are twelve basic reasons that people will buy from you:
1. They need to replace something that is old, broken, outdated, or inconvenient. They may or may not have a sense of urgency about their purchase.
2. The product or service you have to offer solves a problem. Learn to solve the problem, and you can sell it to the world.
3. Your product or service fills a need or a void.
4. The prospects are risk-takers and see potential growth for their future. Stockbrokers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs fit in this category.
5. The prospects have outgrown their existing product due to growth, expansion or technology.
6. The product would be given as a gift, and would give others pleasure from receiving it.
7. The prospect wants to be part of the “in crowd” and have what everybody else has.
8. The product or service has a perceived value of equal or greater importance to its worth.
9. The prospect has an obsession about or a collection of the product. They think “I Have To
10. They are being forced to purchase it, perhaps because they broke a law or are mandated to
11. Your competition has dropped the ball. Someone’s going to pick it up – why not you?
12. Because they can. For these people, money is not an object.
Before you even begin to position, prepare and pitch, ask yourself which of these categories you are trying to access. Misreading or miscalculating need in the beginning can sabotage your success from the get-go.