A lot of people think selling requires a lot of effort. The reality is that it is easy to waste time when selling and it is easy to make it a lot harder than it needs to be. There are, in fact, simple tips you can apply which will not only save you a huge amount of effort but will also speed up your sales cycle. Here are just seven of these tips.
Tip #1: Don't act like a salesperson
The moment you start talking or acting like a salesperson your prospect will put up barriers. They will think you are trying to sell them something and their automatic and natural reaction will be to defend themselves against being sold. Once a prospect's barriers are up, selling to them requires a lot more effort on your part and it is also much harder than it needs to be.
Tip #2: Sell only to those who will buy
Sell only to those who will buy from you sounds so obvious, I know, but if you look at your list of prospects, how many can you say are going to buy? Have you put them, and the opportunity, through your filter or qualification process? Do you have a formal, written, filter or qualification process which you could email me straight away? If you have answered "no" to any of these questions, chances are that you are wasting a lot of effort selling to people who aren't going to buy.
Tip #3: Diagnose and then prescribe
Suppose you went to see your doctor and the moment you walked in the door they handed you a prescription - before you even had a chance to explain what was wrong with you. Even if the prescription was exactly what you needed, would you trust the doctor and their prescription? Often in selling the prescription (the solution) is talked about before understanding the problem to be solved. This results in the prospect automatically resisting the prescription - no matter how 'perfect' it is for them. Again the solution is simple: diagnose and then prescribe. Do this and watch your sales process become a whole lot easier.
Tip # 4: Have prospects sell themselves
Forget about focusing on selling your products and services to your prospects. Instead have conversations and ask questions to understand their problems, the specific implications of these problems and the specific value they will receive from solving these problems. As a result of having these sorts of conversations, and asking the right questions, your prospects will naturally sell themselves. This approach requires a lot less effort on your part and greatly increases your chances of success.
Tip #5: Craft the solution jointly
In the sales process, when you get to the step of formulating the solution, the tendency is to do this in isolation and then go back and present it to your prospect. If you want to sell with less effort and increase your sales success, work with your prospect to jointly craft the solution. If your prospect is involved in formulating the solution, they will naturally take ownership of it and there will be minimal resistance to the final solution that they helped create.
Tip #6: Be trustworthy
If your prospect does not trust you, they will continually ask you for a lot of information to back up what you say and they will continually be raising objections. They will feel they need to check everything for themselves as they can't trust what you say. Also they will make no assumptions about you, your company or your products and services. Conversely, if they trust you, the opposite will be the case. So if you want to speed up the sale and have it be a lot less effort, be trustworthy. Be your word, be open, be honest and have your prospects best interests at heart.
Tip #7 Increase the value of the sale
If a prospect has decided to buy from you, explore ways that you can increase the value of the initial sale using an "If/then" scenario. For example, "If you commit to a two year maintenance contract at the same time as you buy this software, then I will also include an additional module." This is a very powerful technique and I have personally used it to turn a US$5,000,000 sale into a US$10,000,000 sale with very little extra effort. This is also very effective for gaining large commitments from your current happy customers.
I suggest you focus on implementing one of the above tips this week and then next week focus on another and so on. I have a hunch you will see quite a change in the relationships you have with your clients and prospects and the whole sales process will require a lot less effort on your side. Try it and see.