30 January 2015
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Sales Tips To Help Grow Your Business
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Sales Tips To Help Grow Your Business
by Anne O'Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions, QWM

People do business with people they like and trust. The skill of rapport is the ability to get on with people and form some kind of connection. It’s not about pretending you are their best friend. The key skill of rapport is finding things in common with others. We are all different but we are human too. We will always find things that connect us if we look for it.  People not only need to like us to want to do business with us. They need to trust us too. Creating trust is a skill. We need to be known as someone whose word can be trusted. This means we need to be open and honest and always deliver on our promises. If we say something will be done then we need to make sure it gets done.

The skill is in guiding your client on what to expect. We need to take a long term view and balance the desire to please with the need to be trusted. Key to successfully sharing and selling a product, service or idea, is to ask questions and then listen quietly and carefully to the answers. Many of us try too hard to convince people to buy instead of discovering what our future customer or client really wants, needs and desires from us.

Building win-win relationships means remembering that it is not about what we want but what the other person wants. Here are four helpful relationship building skills that when used regularly will have you increasing sales and creating satisfied loyal customers.

1. Listen

The buying process is not about you and your wants and needs, it is about the customer. Too many of us come to the sales table with our own agenda. We are sometimes too busy thinking about quotas, promotions and commissions. It’s not about us; it’s about the wants, needs and expectations of the prospective buyer.

A sales person with an agenda tends to push too hard and often doesn’t listen well. Leave your agenda at home. Sincerely focus on your customer and how your product can best serve their hopes, dreams and goals.

Learn to listen to your customer and read their body language. Avoid interrupting or disagreeing with a customer, and provide your customer with space to talk.

Know how to interpret customers folded arms, eye contact and manner of standing towards or away from you.  Make the customer comfortable and you’re off to a good start in selling your product.

 2. Ask

Ask questions and listen. Don’t assume that what is important to you is important to your future customers.

Successful selling isn’t about what you want; it is about how you can best serve the needs of your customers and clients. Coming from a sincere place of service, will help increase sales and develop loyal client and referral base.

3. Ethics

Your role in the sales process is to present your product in a clear, concise and truthful manner-with integrity. The best customer is the customer who can make an educated decision based on what is best for them. A loyal customer is an educated customer. You are not in the convincing business; you are in the sharing business. Your job is to ethically offer the product, service or idea, explain the benefits and answer questions. Your customer or client will then make a buying decision based on the information they’ve been given. Making the sale is about asking questions, answering questions and building a trustworthy win-win relationship.

4. Self Confidence

To sell you must believe in your product or service - and believe in yourself. Your selling skills depend, in large part, on your level of self confidence.

Other people sense whether or not you believe in yourself, and by extension, whether or not you believe in what you're doing. That belief is what persuades the customer or client to buy the product or service. Therefore, building your self confidence will improve your selling skills.

Anne O'Doherty was the winner of the Irish Sales Champion Awards 2014.

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