For reasons that appear to be rooted in our sub-conscious, the phrase “to sell” or “selling” evokes a negative emotion. In an attempt to make it more palatable professionals refer to the process as “a consultation”, “an evaluation” or any number of other equally and occasionally interesting terms.
If your objective is charity work, then give your service or product away for free. However if you aren’t independently wealthy you typically have to sell something to make money. You can have the best marketing program on the planet, but if 8 out of 10 people who come through your door leave with out buying anything, you won’t be in business very long.
What is Selling?
To sell, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means to persuade another to recognize the worth or desirability of something. Too often the belief is that the product, whatever the product is and the attributes of the product should be all it takes to buy the product.
Wrong, customers buy with their emotions long before the rational part of their brain kicks in. While that’s easy to understand when it comes to some products (clothing, cars, weight loss programs and creams that remove wrinkles), it’s true of everything that you buy.
The sales process for any product can be very complicated. Many factors are involved. But more often than not it’s because everyone from the person who answers the phone to the person who checks you out understands that they are selling the customer. They are persuading the customer to choose your company for what they need or want to buy.
- Yes it was a great idea to call us.
- Yes, we’re so happy you came in today.
- Yes, I am here to help you and if I can’t help you I promise to find someone who can help you.
- Yes I really am thanking you for coming in today! I recognize that without you I don’t have a job.
Your Employees and Selling
Every so often really listen to and watch how your staff interacts with your customers. Do they grasp that the customer is important and that the customer is the reason they have a job? Or do they act annoyed because the customer interrupted whatever task they were in the middle of? Everything your employees do, even if they are not in an explicit “sales” role, should be persuading the customer to choose your company’s product or service.
It may sound corny, but from a customer’s perspective this is going to go one of two ways. I’m sold or I walk. It makes more sense to make sure that every step along the way gives the customer one more reason to say yes instead of one more reason to say no.