Sunday, February 9, 2014

Foundations of the Sale

There are three foundations that make every sale succeed.  They are : 1) Client needs the solution you are providing.  2) Client has reasonable expectation of the product and the service you provide. 3) The client feels they have paid a fair price for the solution provided.  When the client sends a strong buying signal before these three foundations are in place, start the paperwork.  But understand that your job isn't finished.  Don't take the signature until all three conditions are met. 

Short of reaching for the pen and asking for the sales agreement, is there a clear buying signal?  Sure there is.  And when your customer starts to send the buying signal, can you rush the sale, or over-think it?  Of course.  So let's get it right.  It's much more profitable to sell the prospect correctly on the first try than to try to appease an unsatisfied client.

Customers send buying signals from the moment they agree to meet with a sales person.  They'll tell you what they want, what they need, what they have filling that need right now, and why they are considering a change.  They'll ask for a delivery or in-service date. Is that the right moment to close the sale? 

The answer is, only sometimes.  We want happy customers.  They become our advocates and sources of repeat business or referrals.  Still, no one wants to feel like they are part of your agenda. So when they ask, "when can we take delivery" or "what kind of deposit do you need" or "how do I bring my people up to speed on this" or any other classic buying signal,  it's time to stop any overt selling.  They're sold.  It's time instead to educate and advise. That will help ensure a happy customer.

Move to what using the product will mean for that client. Ask them questions about how they anticipate implementation working, and use that part of the conversation to set realistic expectations.  Make sure they understand the payment process.  Clients who can reach out and get immediate answers are usually the happiest, so make sure they have your number, the support number, and the address of the website.  Now you're ready for the signature.

Always send a follow-up email thanking them for their time and business.  If your client will be working with someone else for fulfillment of their order, make sure that you include all of the contact information in the email.  That customer is about to be an excellent referral source for you, and that will keep bringing you commissions as long as they are happy!

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