Love it or hate it…..the importance of a sales conversation!
I have recently completed a four-week sales training course with James White. https://www.jameswhite.business/
Known as the ‘Small Business Sales Expert’, the purpose of the course was simple. To understand the important role that a sales conversion plays in the success of any business, and also to learn how to do it better.
Whether you are a ‘one-man-band’ or a multi-national conglomerate, sales conversations are an important part of the success of any business. BMW, Apple, Google, Rolex. They all have one thing in common.
They all have sales teams. They all carry out comprehensive sales training. And they all know that a sales conversation is a vital part of the success of their business.
If it’s good enough for the likes of BMW and Google, then an effective sales process has to be something that as small business owners, we should also have in place.
The problem for many of us if we were honest is that we don’t like having sales conversations and will put it off and avoid doing it for as long as possible. But, as James explained during the course, it doesn’t need to be like that.
Here’s what I learned:
- When people think about sales, they often think about a pushy, loud salesperson. Nothing could be further from the truth.
- A good salesperson understands the importance of building a relationship with the customer or client. They realise the importance of ‘know, like and trust’. In other words, if a potential customer doesn’t know, like and trust you, if you haven’t started to build a relationship with that potential customer, then they will never buy from you.
- The fact that a really good salesperson takes time to discover the wants, concerns and needs of a potential customer. It is only once these have been understood that a possible solution should be presented in a clear, precise manner.
- Sales is a lot like dating! Yes, you read that correctly. On a first date, you don’t go straight in and ask the person to marry you. All you’ll succeed in doing is scaring them off! Instead, you would probably ask them to go for a drink or perhaps a meal. You would take time to get to know the person. And so it is with sales. Don’t go for the sale straight away. Take time, get to know the customer, build a relationship with them. It’s only then, that you have any chance of selling to them.
- To help, ask open questions with the intent to listen. We have two ears and one mouth. In any situation, but particularly when it comes to sales, use them in that proportion! In other words, listen more than you talk. People want to feel like they have been ‘listened to’ and not ‘talked at’.
- Finally, I learned the importance of follow up. Did you know that 48% of sales people never follow up a prospect and that only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts? However, what is really interesting is that 80% of sales are actually made on the fifth to twelfth contact. Which means a lot of money is being ‘left on the table’ by not following up correctly and in a strategic way.
It has certainly made me re-think how we carry out our sales process here at Funding Track. As a small business looking to grow, we are always looking for ways to help our clients solve their funding needs and make it easier for them to access finance.
I’m already speaking to my director about ways we can improve our sales process so that we can help our clients raise the business finance they need when they need it.