Saturday, March 8, 2014
OLD SCHOOL FIRST - Before Steve Barbarich got involved in many internet companies, He founded Absolutely new which was a classic B-C play where we had to convince customers to pay for services, usually about $10K to $20K a pop. He learned that with proper training and advanced sales skills, the average person could close a sale for that amount of money in as quick as 1 to 2 hours, and just a couple phone calls. His customers in this business were looking for a company to develop their products and present them to industry leaders for sale of their ideas.
Old School Techniques
1) Build Rapport -You have to make the customer like you. So it's important to talk a little bit about their hometown weather, and non business topics so that you can hit some commonalities and they feel like you are a real person and not just trying to sell them something.
2) Finding the objections and closing the doors - This is where your art comes in. The process of selling requires you to not just spit out your rhetoric and great pitches about your product or service. Most of the sale is actually listening to what the customer says, and finding out what they want, and especially the objections they may have or "things they are stuck on". If your customer is stuck on something (because they have told you this), then you have to address it and make sure you answer their objections.
Customers have many of these,some of them are nearly a over precautions of misunderstandings about your product. But you still need to address every single one of them. And if you think you answered every one of them, but the customer is still not buying, you must ask the question "What further concerns do you have about making this purchase now?" or "Are there any other questions that I still need to answer that are in your head now?" You need to pull out their objections, all of them must be cleared or else you will have no sale.
3) Ask for the Sale- You have to ask for the sale several times during your sales pitch. Or else your customer may never make a decision. Some ways you can do this are "So can I go ahead and write this order up for you now?" or "So are you ready to order?", or "If everything is clear to you now, I can go ahead and get this contract ready for you to sign?". Many customers will just agree to this, and that means you have pushed them over the fence. Asking this questions is also a good way to get more "objections" out in the open (step 2) that you can further address so that you can get to the this final stage.
4) Get a meeting in person - IN the modern world, meetings in person are less frequent, but if you can get a meeting in person,over 90% of those meeting will close to a sale. Remind your customer to bring their check book or credit card before the meeting. If they are out of state, offer to pay half their air far to come meet you, this trick works well, especially if you sale is over $10K in which case the air fair is nothing.
Modern Day Techniques
Ho ho ho comes the new school. A rapid, social advance, of new ideologies and new things to think about when closing a sale. Steve Barbarich found this out after he started launching eCommerce businesses. He was selling high end products, so his customers were still calling in to talk to his sales people, but the sale was different, and here are the reasons why.
1) Your competitors are at their fingertips- so you must apply more pressure
People are online researching you and all the competitors at the same time. While talking to you, they have four or five other companies open on their browsers and may even have pricing open as well. If you get off the phone with them without the sale, most people will get distracted and start calling the other competitors an forget about you. ADD is on the loose in the new generation so you have close them in your first call if possible or at least get them a contract to look at.
2) Online reviews
In the modern day you got to have reviews. Small service businesses must be on Yelp. And eCommerce or product companies must be on the many online sits that do reviews. And you must have positive reviews. If you get too many negative online reviews you will not be able to do business any more in the modern day age. More than 50% of customers look at reviews before making decisions (as of 2014)
3) Social Media
This is hard to manipulate. But if you know people that your customer knows, you can ask them to put in a good word via social media channels. The other technique to use here is to get all your leads to agree to friend you on your business Facebook page, and send constant links and updates to your page, keeping your company in front of them at all times while they are considering what they are going to do.
4) Live Chat
People are on your web-site checking you out too. But they don't always want to speak , or they are not sure you are available to speak. As a business owner or sales person, you can even download live chat on your phone, and when people ask to chat you will be there ready to chat. And when they do, ask for their number becasue talkingon the phone is still the best way to convert.