I attended a festival recently and visited a jewelry booth while I was there. The jewelry designer was a talented, but modest woman. Her sister, on the other hand, was quite the promoter.She engaged me in conversation immediately. She asked me question after question while showing me different pieces of jewelry. I definitely knew she was aiming to make a sale but didn't feel pressured by her activities and comments.
If you struggle to 'close' the deal too often, it's likely you're doing something in the process that is preventing the other person from stepping forward to take advantage of your offer.
What is it that has some people be great at sales while others struggle?
Here's what I learned from this sister-promoter that could help you improve your close ratio.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in sales is talking too much. They are uncomfortable with silence and erroneously think they are 'controlling the process' by talking all of the time.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from my first sales coach is "People love to buy. They hate being sold."
Armed with that info, here are some of the things the Sister-Promoter did that ended up with me buying a trinket from the designer plus a few more choice tips that should help you increase your sales.
1. Ask pointed questions
Your aim is to get the other person talking. You'll learn more and they'll be more invested in the conversation. People won't walk away from you or hang up on you when they're talking!
2. Ask open ended questions mixed with closed ended questions.
Open ended questions (How, What, Where) reveal info to guide your inquiry. They also get the other person thinking. Closed ended (Do/Have/Would) questions get people to some decision point and allow progress toward the end goal to get made.
3. Ask questions about the future
Get people to imagine a future with your or your product. Hypothetical questions suspend reality and allow your prospect to dream about the future they want and what it would be like to get their with your support. (Imagine/What if/Suppose)
I've learned another important sales lesson from Sharla Jacobs. She said "Your job is to ask great questions until your prospect convinces themselves, they have to work with you."
When you can skillfully guide your prospects through that process so that they arrive at the conclusion, they have to have you, on their own, your sales will increase and both parties will leave the conversation happy and inspired.
By Loretta Love Huff
Photography by Raphotography
Loretta Love Huff, the Dream Leader for Business, is an award-winning business and executive coach. She helps entrepreneurs leverage their ideas and dreams into profitable & fulfilling businesses. Visit http://www.IWantMoreClientsNow.com to grab your two free audio series titled "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Service Professionals Make in their Marketing" and "The 7 Secrets for Sales Success". (c) 2010 Emerald Fiji Management