It’s true that there are two types of people that turn off clients during the sales process:
- The cheeky chappy: Always has an answer to every question, plus a surety that everything is going to be perfect. This can work on many people, yet once your lead flows along the sales funnel, meeting “higher up” people you’ll find they question far more.
- The nervous wreck: Perpetually worried and unsure of their answers or how things will work out. Unfortunately, this type of sales person can fail at the first hurdle.
Imagine being a business owner. You’ve spent years building your company and are something of a sage when it comes to the multiple factors that affect your industry. Now imagine how your initial curiosity about a product or service would be destroyed by listening to a person who believes they can fix everything and have all the answers. You may even catch them on a particular point where you know they’ve not told the truth. This isn’t limited to B2B sales either. Sometimes, as a telesales person you may call a residential client who has an interest in the subject and/or actually works within the industry itself.
Thankfully, there’s a particular type of sales person who does well in all parts of the sales process.
The confident telesales advisor
Most people prefer a polite, friendly and sensible advisor. If you can achieve this, more prospects will be open for a meeting/chat and even begin to take your advice seriously. Whatever you do, steer clear of trying to have the answer to every question – this is impossible! Instead, be the person who can find answers and solutions when required. Many prospects love a person can listen to what they need, coming up with a plan to achieve it.
The art of good listening
Unfortunately, both personality types above can suffer from the “battering ram” approach to sales. They rarely listen to the client, preferring to ram the official script/pitch down the throat of any prospect who’ll listen. For the nervous wrecks, the script is a crutch to avoid having to delve deeper into the conversion, whilst cheeky chappy types simply view the client as £££’s and someone to batter over the head with words until they say yes!
This might work with some clients, particularly low value ones; however, it’s never a great recipe for long term sales. The main point to take home, is that once you’re dealing with a more mature customer, or someone with more experience – neither of these strategies will get you the sale.
If you’re worried that you’re straying into nervous wreck or cheeky chappy territory, here are some ways to pull back and become the confident professional you need to be:
- Focus on your ability to discover answers, rather than knowing everything straight away.
- Never assume anything, listening to what your prospect actually says.
- Solve client issues, rather than sticking rigidly to your script or sales pitch.
- Be polite, friendly and build rapport – without falling back to cheeky chappy territory.
- Understand that some people will be more knowledgable than you. When you meet them never make wild claims or fluffy statements, they’ll see through you.
By focusing on these tips, you’ll find leads moving further along the sales funnel, eventually leading to great sales meetings where you’re seen as a solver of problems – rather than a sales person.
Your increase in sales will follow shortly after!