Positive Impressions for Successful Sales
Creating a positive first impression is essential in the sales process. The atmosphere you create though a genuine smile and prompt eye contact sets the stage for the beginning of a new relationship. A smile is the shortest distance between two friends! When you acknowledge a new customer or prospect promptly with a smile, stand to greet them and introduce yourself, you are off to a perfect start. Typically the customer will respond by giving you their name. If not offered ask their name and use it as you welcome them to your place of business or enter theirs. Customer service surveys rate being called by one’s name as the top ingredient for creating a new relationship.
One of my favorite quotes is “Every day is an interview day”. Why would you risk not putting your very best foot forward, your most professional, classy look and demeanor when approaching a new customer or for that matter any aspect of your life? And the more one can package and present themselves in a professional, tailored, corporate look, the more they will advance their career and improve their sales. A professional look gives confidence to the customers that you are serving. If you are trendy, too casual, or untidy in your appearance, the customer may wonder just how professional your delivery and your services are. Make every day an interview day and dress professionally!
If you are going to be successful in selling, you need to visualize your success. Visualize and expect that customer to say YES. Great athletes visualize. They see the basketball going through the hoop. They see themselves successfully returning the ball in the game of tennis, and they see the home run when they get up to bat. It is no different with you as a professional. Expect the customer to say yes to your questions and your recommendations. Visualization is key. One of the more famous books on the market is called Psycho Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz. The entire book discusses the power of visualization and seeing yourself succeeding.
You must be prepared before you sell through product knowledge, and having your materials, pamphlets and necessary applications to open accounts at your fingertips. You also need to be prepared with your mind and be focused completely on the customer. It’s easy to be thinking about the previous customer or distracted by things happening in your personal life. So prepare for your sale. No negative thinking. No “stinking thinking.” Many times we can be drawn into negative conversations pulling our frame of mind into a tailspin. We need to be positive for our customer and frankly for ourselves. Attitude is everything.
Ask open-ended questions that encourage your customers and prospects to share their feelings and priorities. Questions stimulate thinking and give us valuable information to truly help the customer. People love to talk about themselves. Questions actually encourage people to persuade themselves. Be a good listener and take note of what is really important to them. Use non-verbal behavior to reinforce your questions and encourage your customers and prospects to elaborate on their thoughts. Avoid interrupting or answering your own questions. When you ask open-ended questions and really listen to what is important to your client it demonstrates that you genuinely care about what is important to them. The client typically will choose to buy versus ever feeling “sold.” And…always follow up!
Remember that the greatest secret to selling is that people do things for their reasons and not yours. Use a positive vocabulary with the customer. Use phrases such as “this will help you”, “I can do this”. Perhaps the customer feels uncomfortable with the word “contract.” Simply change the phrase to an “agreement.” Perhaps the term “appointment” sounds intimidating. How about a “get together” or a “meeting?” One of my pet peeves is the use of the phrase “no problem”. “No problem, I’ll get that for you.” “No problem, I’ll send that in the mail for you.” When you use this phrase “no problem” it suggests with just the words alone, that perhaps it was a problem. So, how about changing that to “my pleasure.” “My pleasure, I’ll be happy to do that for you.” And of course your voice tones are huge in the delivery and success of it. 93% of all communication is voice tone and body language. I think this it is best illustrated in the movie Three Men and a Baby as Tom Selleck held the baby and read to the baby from Sports Illustrated. It was in fact his voice tone that communicated his love and caring for the child as opposed to the words the child was unable to understand. Think of how we speak to babies and animals and how we communicate to them with our voice tones alone. Think of how animals are able to communicate to us without ever saying a word.
It takes only 13 muscles to smile and 64 to frown so smile, smile … smile.
Developing a strong sales personality
The first thing we need to do is to believe in ourselves. If we think we can do it-we can do it! Believe in our company, our product and ourselves.
We also need to accept responsibility. There are no excuses for yourself and your performance. Life is a do it yourself project where you take the credit or the blame.
Be focused and know exactly what you want to accomplish.
Have empathy. Sincerely care about your customers.
Have goals and write them down. Having goals keeps you on track and focused to your objectives. Only 2% of the population actually has written annual goals and those that do accomplish them almost every time.
Be persistent. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up separates the amateurs from the professionals.
We also need to have willingness to work hard. Sales is not a 9-5 job. There are so many times and opportunities outside of our workplace to help us grow our customer base and increase sales.
Be self-confident. Confidence is a funny thing. Sometimes we take it for granted but without it it’s very, very difficult to communicate our thoughts so that the customer really knows our intent.
Be trustworthy. Your character and your honesty are paramount to your sales success.
Creating a positive impression, believing in yourself and your company and approaching a client relationship with a genuine willingness to help makes selling easy. The client chooses to buy versus ever feeling sold!
Happy sales to you…..