Selling Techniques to Transform Your Business
Could your sales process be improved? Odds are, the answer is yes. There are several ways you can transform your business, but implementing the right selling techniques is one of the most efficient. Selling techniques are meant to help your sales team make more effective sales, which will increase your revenue. The best selling techniques are tailored to meet your business’s specific needs, so developing unique selling methods has better results than applying generic selling techniques to your circumstances.
No matter how amazing your sales team is, everyone always has room to develop selling skills further. Because sales are such a dynamic and essential part of every business, your team must continue to learn and grow. The most successful businesses are well-situated to adapt quickly whenever the market changes, and having a wide range of selling methods available to your team aids in this evolution.
Types of Selling Techniques
The number of selling techniques in existence varies almost as extensively as the number of different types of sales. It can make selecting the right selling techniques for you a challenge. However, it means that the perfect selling methods for you are out there. You just need to find them. That’s easier said than done, so we’re going to cover the most common categories of selling methods in the hope that you will see something that resonates with you.
Once you have identified a broad category of selling techniques that you are interested in trying, you can do more in-depth research to find specific methods or develop your own.
Selling Techniques in Retail
Retail sales are generally small and personal, which makes storytelling a useful selling technique.
People like stories. They like to be entertained, and they like to feel connected to something larger than themselves. When you tell a story about a customer, an employee or anyone anywhere in the supply chain, you are linking your product to a potential customer’s emotions.
Think about Bill Gates and Microsoft. Do you remember the story about Microsoft being founded in a garage? It’s pointed to as proof that anyone with an idea and a good work ethic can succeed. People view Gates and his products approvingly because they feel that he has earned his success. His reputation is boosted further by his and his wife’s charitable activities, stories of which circulate online frequently. People feel good about Microsoft because they feel as if they are rewarding hard work and doing something with their money that will have a positive impact down the line.
Telling a story will not make you the next Bill Gates, but it can change how potential customers view you and your products for the better.
If you already have a list of satisfied customers who have purchased one of your products, why not sell them something else? That’s the point of cross-selling. You have already put in most of the necessary effort to be successful by targeting and converting leads. Besides, you now have a relationship with your one-time customers. They know that you are offering quality products that they can use, so when you approach them again with something new, they are more likely to make a purchase.
To further increase your chances of making a sale with a past customer, consider offering additional services related to the initial product or having promotional sales, like buy one product, get another one half off.
Personal Selling Techniques
Personal selling methods focus more on the human aspect of sales. Think about your sales pitch, presentations or conversations you have had with potential customers. All of these scenarios are opportunities to increase your chances of making a sale.
Take advantage of business conventions and expos to interact with potential customers and competitors. You might be surprised by how much you can learn and what type of relationships you can build with a simple in-person interaction.
A caveat: given the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, in-person interactions have been rare. Many major gatherings have been canceled or rescheduled. Until the pandemic is under control, shift your efforts from in-person meetings to video calls. They are more personal than phone calls while still allowing you to connect with potential customers safely.
Consultative Selling Techniques
Does your sales process focus on your product or your customer? Ideally, you’ll be doing both. However, there are situations in which focusing on one or the other can be beneficial. When implementing consultative selling techniques, you look almost exclusively at your customer’s needs.
In a perfect world, you would be able to produce and sell one standardized product. However, just as your business is unique and requires specialized selling methods, so too are your customers. They all have different requirements, needs and values. By implementing consultative selling techniques, you can discover exactly what your potential customers need and then provide it.
Ask your potential customers intelligent questions that make them feel both seen and heard. Focus on projecting an authentic image and building relationships founded on trust and a mutual desire to succeed. After making a sale, ask your customer about their experience. Heed their advice, and make sure you are customer-focused, not just using that as a marketing term to get ahead.
Persuasive Selling Techniques
At its heart, every selling technique is meant to persuade a potential customer to make a purchase. Persuasive methods, however, frame your interactions with a customer in a different light than you may be used to. Consider the above section on consultative selling techniques. A persuasive selling technique might look the same, but rather than focusing on discovering what your potential customers are looking for, you’re considering how to build common ground with them to make them consider your company in a more favorable light. If a customer thinks you share their values, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Persuasion is the part of sales that many people struggle with because it feels dishonest or inauthentic. Essentially, you are taking advantage of qualities inherent to human psychology. It’s why many customers are skeptical when something seems too good to be true. They’re afraid that you are playing on their hopes and fears to turn a profit without regard for their well-being. That’s why it’s important to establish ethical standards. Not only will your customers consider you more trustworthy when you emphasize values like honesty and integrity, but you will also likely be more successful in the long run. Taking unethical shortcuts may get you ahead briefly at first, but there are significant long term disadvantages, particularly if customers figure out what you have been doing.
Advanced Selling Techniques
You have likely already incorporated selling techniques into your sales strategy, but if you are new to researching different selling ideas, you may have noticed that there is a sharp divide between surface-level methods and more advanced selling methods. Neither one is inherently more valuable than the other, but they are useful in different situations.
Simple selling techniques might consist of a minor tweak to your sales process, while an advanced selling method might shift your business’s underlying message or relationship with your customers.
One of the most advanced selling methods involves creating value for your customers as well as your business. When you are trying to make a sale, your competitors are not your main competition. You are, of course, competing with companies selling similar products or services. However, you are also competing against your customers’ inertia. Given a choice between you and one of your competitors, a customer might not decide at all, and then neither of you will make a sale.
That’s why creating value for your customers is so important—and complicated. Your product might be useful, but if it does not have enough value to justify purchasing it, you are not going to sell it. You need to use a combination of different selling and marketing techniques to create value where before there was an uninspiring list of benefits or the offer of convenience. Your product might make a customer’s life easier, but will buying it be easier than doing nothing at all?
Frame your product as something that your customers urgently need; show them that it is too valuable of an opportunity to pass up.
Best Selling Techniques
The best selling techniques are multi-faceted. But, do not stop at merely incorporating marketing techniques into your sales strategy.
Image your sales team and your marketing department as two individuals attempting to push a heavy box. If they work together to push the box in the same direction, it is going to be both faster and easier than if one is pushing from the side and the other is pushing from the back. In an even worse scenario, they might be pushing in opposite directions. At best, your company will make a small, hard-won bit of progress toward your overall goal. However, it is more likely that you will stagnate or see negative results.
Running a business is much more complicated than pushing a box in one direction or another, but the principle is sound, and the issue is easier to see when circumstances are simplified. Align your sales process with your sales team and marketing department, including your selling methods if you want to see the best results.
Effective Selling Techniques
It is impossible to provide you with a numbered list of selling techniques that will be the most effective for you without knowing the details of your business. Every company is unique in the same way individual people are. Because your business is one-of-a-kind, one-size-fits-all solutions will not be the most effective option when it comes to selling techniques.
However, telling you that the most effective selling techniques are the ones that work for you is worse than useless. Based on the extensive experience of the co-founders of Selling Revolution, we have assembled a collection of selling techniques that might be effective for you. Keep in mind that these techniques cover a wide range of situations and industries, so not all of them will be right for you. But, most of them should offer you an idea of where to begin looking for one.
Generalized Selling Techniques to Consider
Think about your customer relationship management (CRM). You can discover your customers’ interests and problems by analyzing how they interact with your digital content.
Provide education. Educating your customers is a selling technique that does not feel like a selling technique. People appreciate being able to make informed decisions, so lean into providing readily available information about your company and products. Blogs and YouTube channels are great options for offering information.
Focus on aesthetics. Ideally, it would not matter what your marketing or sales content looked like, and potential customers would be able to see the value of your product right away. However, compelling graphics and a neat, clean design go a long way toward catching and holding customer attention.
Try to incorporate interactivity with your graphics and visuals. It is easy to ignore a video or scroll past a chart. But, if you have to interact with it, it will be less likely to be overlooked and ignored. Be sure to balance interactive content with non-interactive content. You want your potential customers engaged, not annoyed. Often, that is a fine line to walk.
Finally, be confident. Coming up with and creating a great product is the challenging part, and you have already done that. Now, all you need to do is convince your target market.
Final Thoughts on Selling Techniques
Between them, Ryan Chute and Roy H. Williams have 65 years of experience. They founded Selling Revolution in response to the chaos and uncertainty surrounding 2020 to provide valuable sales and advertising information for their clients. If you want to learn more about selling techniques that can transform your business, media buying, sales training or one of the other in-depth services Selling Revolution offers, book a call today.