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Four Prongs to a Sale

by Alan Rock

From the time the doctor slaps your bottom to get you crying right up to today everyone is a salesperson. I'm sure many of you reading this might disagree however it's true. Everyone sells themselves all the time whether it's to acquire something as a child like a toy or ice cream, as a teenager getting hired to do a job or selling a product and/or service as an adult. The first prong of sales is selling your self.

How does one sell themselves? That's really easy just be affable. People like people who are easy going and fun to be around. No one likes to be around unfriendly people. Now in selling not only do you have to be genial you have to be smart as well. Stay current on current events from the news to sports, to pop culture. In order to do this you might read a daily paper, watch the news on TV, check out TV shows that deal in pop culture and maybe listen to sports talk on the radio. Being well rounded never hurt anyone. Specifically as far as your industry goes, here again, you must be up-to-date on what's happening in that industry. If you want people to want to work with you, you need to understand all of the vagaries of your industry, both the challenges and a direction to answer those challenges. Add to this list, knowing something about the company you are calling on. Use the Internet to research that company. This step one.

Step two is knowing the culture of your business, your corporation. This is important whether you are a professional (doctor, lawyer, C.P.A.), run a one-man business, or are the CEO of a major corporation. Your culture is your brand. How do you want people to perceive you and your product and/or service? Remember, marketing is what you do branding is who you are. So now we've taken care of selling yourself, step one, and knowing the culture of who you are, your brand, step two.

Step three is the actual conversation about your particular product and/or service. I use the word conversation as opposed to sales pitch because good selling is never pitched, that what baseball players do, they pitch. Good salespeople discuss, explain, confer, converse about the product and/or service. They show end benefits to the prospect regarding how the product and/or service will effect whatever outcomes are desired. A good salesperson not only tells the fact they also get that prospect emotionally involved. Remember, facts tell emotions sell.

Step four is the sale after the sale. As a salesperson you've sold yourself, you've shown the prospect the culture of your company, your brand. You've then conversed with them about your product and/or service and you've gotten them emotionally involved, given them enough facts and end benefits for them to choose your suggestion; you've made the sale and they are now a customer. What's next? It's the sale after the sale.

First of all you as the salesperson should always follow up and stay in touch. It makes good business sense since that new client of yours can be a referral source for additional business; and what better referral is there then a satisfied customer. Then there's the client that calls into your company with questions for what is called 'customer service'. How is that handled? Does the person answering the phone know how to answer the questions? And if that call is a complaint does that receptionist know where to funnel that call? If the caller is placed On-Hold will he or she be met with silence or a radio playing which can alter the pre-conceived branding image? This is where an On-Hold message can play a great role in maintaining both your marketing and branding image by reassuring the caller about your companies culture (the branding image) while informing them about your products and services and at the same time show courtesy to the caller. Since 1987 HoldMasters has been helping businesses in Orlando and around the country. Let us help you.

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