Why does selling continue to get such a bad rap?
“Sometimes our audience is so ingrained to think selling is bad that they’ve already said no before we get a chance to sell them anything. A crackerjack salesperson knows educating prospects on the ins and outs of products and services is the quickest way to a sale.” ~ Joe Polish, Success Magazine
Not only do I totally agree, but can’t stress enough that the “key driver of sales is educating your way into making the sale.”
The pressure, hype, arm-twisting and flat out manipulation approach is out. Today’s selling environment and sales experience is about education, illumination, stimulation and inspiration. People want the story, the results, the value and the benefits – not the empty hype. Education is selling, and selling is educating, so the more you teach people about the value, benefits and results the more sales you will inspire and close.
Here are 7 ways to educate prospects into making the sale:
Inform People About Your What
What do you do, or what can and does your product do that can help someone? Share as much information as you can consistently about this.
When you know the psycho-graphics of your customer you can craft the language and messaging targeted directly to them making the case for why what you have is a great fit or opportunity for them.
You Are The Value Add
Create more than just the “selling” of the product or service. Add in YOU, your experience, expertise and your connections as value add.
Share Your Point of View
Talk about your unique point of view about what you do, why you love your business and how it has impacted others.
Ultimately, you want to inspire people to take more action, be it request more information, ask more questions, generate interest with others or the ultimate goal-making the sale.
Leverage Results and Testimonials
Always educate prospects using results and testimonials. Satisfied customers that become your advocates and cheerleaders are gold!
Spend more time asking for and developing referrals from your community. Ask for referrals but be generous in referring and connecting others.
John C Maxwell, a leadership expert and author of 20 million books, who has trained governments, the NFL and United Nations reminds us:
“The more you rely on technology in your personal interactions, the less personal and less effective they become.”
Get personal with people off line. The heaviest thing for most salespeople is the phone. Build in phone time as well as face to face meetings to advance relationships. Educate people more personally.
Without sales there is no business. Sales is an opportunity, not a punishment or obligation. It’s time to stop giving selling a bad rap, shift your attitude and educate your way into making the sale.
Educate Sales Photo via Shutterstock
I totally agree that the best salespeople educate their prospects, but it only takes a few bad apples to ruin the reputation of everyone. And unfortunately there are still plenty of bad apples in the sales industry.
The bad apples stand out for the wrong reasons and usually get discarded. The bright, shiny, tasty, sweet and aromatic ones stand out for the right reasons! We must then stay the course, right Robert? Thanks for your always thoughtful comments!
Great post, when educating customers we try to explain the benefits and advantages of our products. What the product can do for them, how it can save money, reduce waste, increase efficiency, etc. I totally agree, the hard sale is out. We get way more sales by educating and allowing people to digest the information and then making a follow up call.
Thanks Brent. I have found the more I educate the more they believe I know what I’m talking about and that I care about them!
There’s just a stigma where the word ‘sales’ is concerned. Perhaps, it’s based from bad experiences and stories we often hear. It makes you wonder if you should focus on being unique or being useful, and the latter can bore your customers. I may be wrong here. I love that you include getting personal and jumping out of the stiff approach organizations use in facing their customers. Besides, it takes trust to convert your leads into sales.. and sharing your point of view may just win them over.
Shaleen, getting personal is the way to make a strong, authentic connection, that leads to the trust. Point of view is an extension of your personal brand.. YOUR view, YOUR brand.. Thanks for commenting.
This was a great read, some very interesting points and thoughtful ideas, creating opportunities for selling is really about a two way deal, what is it that would add value to the buyer’s company/life, communication is the key. Personal touch is another great point mentioned. Take the effort to hand write a thank-you note to someone rather than just an email or pick-up the phone and call your customers rather than asking them about your product or service via an automated email. Personal gestures however small are always appreciated by every human being, whether it is your customer or your prospect or your colleague or even family.
Sanaa, the more of those personal touches- hand written card, phone call or face to face, the more all of us will stand apart from the easier email or text world. I really appreciate your stopping by and your comment! Come back!