Most people have felt that way at some point in their lives. Having worked in sales for 20 years now, I’ve discovered why both buyers and sellers hate sales. No one wants to feel they’re being taken advantage of.
The sentiment is often justified, though it only exposes a symptom of a real problem. See, when people don’t buy, it is usually for one reason: there is an absence of value.
Selling is designed to benefit both the buyer and the business owner. This is why I refer to selling as “the value exchange”. When people perceive that what you have to offer is of greater value than the money they currently have in their possession, they will buy from you. In the end, value is exchanged!
As a coach, I have worked with many entrepreneurial coaches and consultants, who are sick and tired of the roller coaster of revenue due to working with less than ideal clients. The inability to project and communicate their value offering kept them in a perpetual state of embarrassment and resentment, and the pain of selling on price to avoid rejection, or even worse - just to pay the bills.
Value is so essential in the marketplace; which is why resorting to survival tactics makes little to no sense. Manipulation makes no sense either. Much of manipulation occurs because salespeople don’t take the time to identify their prospect’s wants and needs. Sure, we have to make sales to keep our business alive, but when sales is value-based, not only does the customer get what they want, the salesperson gets more of what they want as well! Here are a few tips that I’ve discovered over the years that has helped me and my clients win the game of sales and experience more of the results they want:
- Be clear in communicating your value offering. Countless opportunities to create a value exchange are missed simply because the seller’s product or service has no voice.
- Know WHO needs, wants, and is able to pay for the product or service you are offering. A lot of sales people waste tons of time and resources on prospects who are less than ideal for their value offering. One ideal client compensating you on value can produce more income than 10 people who operate with casual commitments.
- Actively listen. Be in-tuned to the goals of your prospect. Ask questions where clarity is needed. In this manner, you not only help yourself, but help your prospect clarify and reaffirm their decision to buy.
- Identify and write out your prospect’s desired results and terms of satisfaction. People buy what they want, not what you want. It’s really not about you, so focus your energies on serving them.
- Get a firm commitment early. Time is a scarce resource. It is important to ensure that the prospect is committed to moving forward with you, once you’re able to show them your ability to satisfy their desires. If not, do not move forward or waste any more of their time or yours.
- Capture more of the value you create. Many coaches and consultants try to price themselves in market value. Makes sense, right? Not in this case. The only market you should occupy yourself with is your target market, and what they perceive to be of value. As long as you are intentional about providing more value than what you take in payment, the prospect will always know they’re getting a great deal.
- Do everything with excellence and integrity. No matter what your product or service may be, deliver it with the highest quality in your industry, and with the utmost integrity. Operate within your circle of competence, and resist the urge to sale for approval. As a professional, it is important that you uphold the standard of the profession and maintain a good name. Even the Bible says that “A good name is more than desirable than great riches...” (Proverbs 22:1)
In summary, selling is most effective when it is value-based.