Salespeople are often known for their “can do” attitude when it comes to getting an order. They don’t let anything get in their way. Yet, the road to closing sales is getting rougher, with more obstacles, hairpin turns and fewer straightaways. Customers are more discerning, demanding and cautious. They expect guarantees, free enhancements, incredible support and, of course, a “white knuckles” price and beyond. They’re not satisfied with reducing risk; they want to eliminate it.
All this drives salespeople to search for more inventive ways to get the job done – everything from finding appropriate prospects to nailing down appointments and getting the order.
Because selling is a tough job, it’s often necessary to go against the tide in order to move forward – to do things differently to close sales. Here are some thoughts about how to go about it:
• Forget about getting the order. Sounds harsh, almost subversive. But it may not be so crazy when you consider that closing rates are painfully low. And if that isn’t enough, the toughest lesson salespeople must learn if they want to survive is coping with constant rejection.
If a customer gets the feeling that a salesperson’s sole objective is getting the order, the chances that it will happen drop to near zero. It’s easy to forget that customers want to buy; they do not want to be sold – even if they need what a salesperson is selling.
• Skip “courting” customers. Salespeople are known to make a serious effort at “building a relationship” with prospects. They do those things that build goodwill and establish friendships, all of which they hope will lead to getting the account or coming away with a contract. While such efforts may produce short-term results, enduring relationship-building can require a lot more today.
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