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Stop Selling, Start Listening

Give Them What They Need & You Won't Need to Overcome Objections

Stop and think... When you answer the phone and know it is a sales call, what is your first reaction?

Do you like to be forced into buying or do you enjoy being told you are wrong?

What are the reasons that you'd be interested in a new product?

What are the reasons that you'd be willing to change your current provider of a product/service that you've grown accustomed to?

Now, if you are trying to sell a product, what do you think will get the best response from potential clients?

Although some will have you believe that it is best to try and hit up as many people as you can and hope that you find the right person that you can bully into buying your products ("Even a blind squirrel will trip over a nut sometimes."), this is NOT the best technique. You'll need to overcome more objections and it will take longer to get a sale. Also, it is less likely that you'll have a long-term and happy client by forcing them to buy from you.

There are many things that will make selling your product more difficult. Again, consider the things that frustrate you when hearing a sales call.

Here is a list of what not to do when trying to sell:

  • Gossip
  • Judge
  • Talk Negatively
  • Complain
  • Give Excuses
  • Lie
  • Be Dogmatic

These are what Sound Expert, Julian Treasure calls the 7 Deadly Sins of Speaking.

So now that you know what not to do, what is key to selling your product/service?

Sam Altman says that startups need a great product or they will fail. He says that the #1 way to recruit clients initially is to do this manually. He says that Ben Silverman, Creator of Pinterest would walk around coffee shops and personally ask individuals to use Pinterest and go through the Apple stores and set the browsers to the Pinterest page.*

So, let's say you know you have a great product, but how should you speak to get the sale?

For starters, people love to be heard, so when you speak with someone you can start by simply asking what your potential client needs and areas their current product/service isn't fulfilling particular needs.

Marketing your product is like trying to use Psychology to determine how your client will respond to the way you communicate with them.

Get feedback - Always ask what they like/dislike? What would you pay for this?

Now that you know what the needs are of your potential client, it is your turn to explain exactly how your product/service will benefit them. Otherwise, you may realize that you currently can't help a particular individual. At this point, don't get discouraged. You should go into this project realizing that your product/service is not for everyone. But, this could also be an area for improvement.

Now, how do you respond?

Julian Treasure says that the way people like to be spoken to can be remembered by the acronym, HAIL.*

Honesty (be clear and straight)

Authentic (be yourself)

Integrity (be your word)

Love (wish them well)

Here are the ways you can react in each situation:

1. You find that your product/service can fulfill their need

  • Now you have an opportunity to explain the benefits of your product/service and if need be, overcome minimal objectives
  • Follow the HAIL method
  • This will give you opportunities to reach more potential clients and to actually have an opportunity to be hear
  • If possible, offer a sample of your product FREE
  • Let them know you appreciate their time (Thank them.)
  • Once they have used your product/service, get feedback again (Always ask what they like/dislike? "What would you pay for this?" or " What would I have to do to get you to refer your friends?")

2. You find that your product/service isn't right for this individual/company

  • Thank the individual for meeting with you (Ex: "I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me. It looks like the product/service that I offer might not be the best fit for you, but I value what I've learned from our conversation.)
  • Ask for a referral - There is no reason not to ask. You may not be a good fit for this individual/company, but that is no reason that you should assume that they don't know someone that would love what you have to offer. You have nothing to lose and clearly, they have taken the time to get this far with you, so they are likely to help you. (Ex: "Surely you know someone that would benefit from our product/service." or " Surely you know someone that could benefit from a product/service that offers (benefit of your product/service).")

3. You find that your product/service could be improved to fulfill their needs

  • Be honest and let them know that currently, you may not be able to fulfill their current product/service needs
  • Thank them for their time/contribution to helping you improve your product/service
  • Let them know you intend to use their insight to build a better product/service to meet their needs
  • Ask if they'd be willing to work with you if you are able to meet their needs in the future
  • Give them a timeframe of when you believe that you could get back with them (Be sure to provide plenty of time. It is better to overestimate and then overachieve than it is to underestimate and underwhelm.)
  • Get to work immediately on improving your product/service
  • Follow-up with this individual

Now that you know what it takes to sell your product/service, let us know what you think. Feel free to give positive feedback in the comments below, as well as additional ideas that you may have found helpful. If you like this post then feel free to subscribe with your email below to learn more.

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