When you are in the process of making a sale, your enthusiasm and adrenaline kick into high gear. These may help you close the deal, but they can also hinder your progress. The most important thing to remember about making a sale is that the sale should never be a one-sided presentation. Think back to your school days. Were your favorite teachers the ones who lectured on the material the entire time or the ones who engaged you with thoughtful questions and hands-on experiences? It is most likely the latter, since we tend to grow bored and stop listening if there isn’t a dialogue involved.
In order to prevent your sales presentation from becoming one-sided, focus on keeping your customer engaged with questions. These questions should elicit more than “yes” or “no” answers. They should allow a dialogue to take place and give you an opening to present more information. For example, you’re about to demonstrate the effectiveness of your all-natural carpet cleaner on your sample red wine stain. Ask the customer, “Have your children or pets ever stained your carpet so badly that all the scrubbing you’ve done just won’t get rid of it?” When the customer answers yes, ask them to tell you that story. This shows that you are interested in what the person has to say, and that you are not simply giving a generic presentation. Continue asking questions throughout your presentation, and customize it based on what the customer shares with you.
If you have asked the right types of questions and have followed up with related ones, you have learned a bit about your customer. Use this information and keep referring to it while you interact. When you asked the customer to tell you the story about the carpet stain, you notice she mentioned that she has a newborn baby in the house. When you get to the part in your presentation where you tout your product’s environmentally friendly ingredients, emphasize the benefits of reducing the amount of chemicals her baby is exposed to. This might lead her to ask what exactly is in your carpet cleaner, and the conversation continues. Remember that the more questions a prospective customer asks, the more likely you are to make the sale. Think of this as time well spent, as it is an investment into your business. Take the time necessary to grasp every opportunity you can to continue the conversation and lead the prospect to ask more questions. You will be sparking and maintaining interest in your product or service, which will likely lead to a sale.
By simply focusing on your customer, engaging him or her in the presentation, and investing your time well, you will certainly find yourself making more sales. Enjoy this part of your business; interacting with others is fun and interesting work. Use it to your advantage while you help others find solutions to their problems with your products and services. How do you engage your customers while making a sale? Please share your comments below!