Sales made simple | Fin24
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Sales made simple

Nov 04 2014 12:52
* Pieter Scholtz

SALES IS an inescapable and essential part of doing business. No matter what product or service a company offers, it needs to be sold to customers for the business to keep going. This means that becoming good at sales is a must-do for entrepreneurs.
So how can a prospect be converted into a customer? This is unnecessarily seen as a complicated and overwhelming question to answer. But selling is simple. To really understand how to improve selling skills we need to first understand what selling is.  
Selling is nothing more than professionally helping people to buy. The key word here is “professionally”.

Professionalism is the hallmark of a great sales person. The more professional a sales person appears to be, the more people will listen to them. People like dealing with experts in their field; they want good advice before investing their money in something.
People are often afraid of being caught out by fraudulent or unscrupulous salespeople. Being professional and setting people at ease isn’t difficult; it simply requires a genuine desire to help others buy and attention to detail in certain areas.

The key touch points for sales people are: developing a good sales kit; dressing well; punctuality; good communication and follow up; research; maintaining testimonials; building rapport; understanding potential clients’ needs and values; politeness, particularly thanks; and consistency.
It’s also helpful to understand that selling is not simply about telling; salespeople need to ask questions to establish a potential client’s needs and then help them see how their service or product can meet that need.
Another important aspect of selling is to establish exactly who the target market is. Knowing the target market accurately will enable appropriate communication and greater conversion success.
Key consumer touch points

An average company loses 50% of its customers every five years. The cost of replacing them can typically be six to seven times more expensive than working to retain them. What this really means is that there is 600% to 700% more value in retaining and marketing to existing customers than in acquiring new ones.  
This is compounded by the fact that a 5% increase in customer loyalty can yield a 20% to 80% increase in a company’s profit.
However, for every month that companies are out of touch with a client, they lose 10% of their influence with that client.
Staying in touch with clients is also about developing a personal relationship with them. In the real estate sector, for example, 82% of homeowners can't tell you the name of their real estate agent if they bought their home more than two years ago.

Imagine the sales that are lost because agents didn’t maintain a personal relationship with their clients. This points to the importance of having a strategy in place to develop personal relationships with clients.
Something as simple as saying “thank you” to clients can increase business by 17% and it shows that a company values relationship above function or sales opportunities.
What’s important to understand is that a purchase decision is based on a mixture of facts and emotion. In order to be effective in sales, companies need to appeal to both elements.

In doing so, customer satisfaction is increased, profit grows and companies thrive. Sales is not as daunting an area to focus on as many imagine, but the rewards for getting it right are immense.
* Pieter Scholtz is the co-master franchisor for ActionCoach in Southern Africa and is a certified, leading business and executive coach.

actioncoach  |  sales  |  entrepreneur


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