In the first part of this blog series, we covered the prospecting stage of the sales process—creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), qualifying leads, and establishing contact.
Now that we’ve gone over how to establish your initial contact with a prospect, let’s get into the most important part of the sales cycle—how to convince them and close a sale.
Mirror your prospects
People are more likely to buy things from people they like. But a sales cycle is too short a period to create genuine rapport. A short alternative is mirroring your prospects. Mirroring is subtly imitating the body language, communication style, and energy level of the person you’re talking to. Mirroring boosts your chances of closing a sale, since it helps foster a sense of trust and comfort and helps blur the line between business and personal interactions.
According to the American psychological association, mirror neurons are responsible for the instant connection we feel when we see our behavior mirrored.
On a word of caution, while subtle mirroring sends a signal that you’re on the same page as the prospect, over-the-top imitation can give them the impression that you’re mocking their behavior.
Present yourself as an expert
While we’re discussing sales techniques and how to perfect your pitch to convince prospects, it’s essential to remember that people don’t want to be sold to, but they love to buy.
If you try to trap customers in a conversational corner to get them to say yes, you can come off as selfish and only bothered about your targets, and that can put them off. So Instead of trying to sell a product, be consultative and present yourself as someone with expert knowledge trying to help them through their buying journey.
Listen more and talk less
Salespeople tend to love to talk, but it’s always a great sales tactic to hear what the prospect wants to say first. Even if you think that you have a better idea on the solution they’re looking for or that your product can be of more use than they think, let them drive the discussion and tell you precisely what they want. This will tell you which way you need to go with the sales pitch.
You also need to ask the right questions that probe into your prospects’ thought processes and carefully consider their responses while driving the conversation. But make sure customers feel respected throughout the sales process as it’s easy to overdo this and make them feel like they’re being interrogated.
Focus your sales pitch on customer pain points
People aren’t interested in your brand, product, or service. They are interested in how your product or service solve their problems or make their life easier. So instead of just touting all your features hoping to impress the prospect, focus your sales pitch on their needs or pain points and how your offering solves them.
Like we discussed in the first part of the series, collecting complete details on your prospects and having an accurate view of the customer’s journey can help you put forth the perfect sales pitch.
Master the art of storytelling
Sales people are usually armed with all sorts of facts and data. Although data is important, studies suggest that only 5% of people remember statistics after a presentation. 63% remember stories.
According to the authors of the renowned book Made to Stick, the recipe for any idea to stick is to present in a Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, and Credible way, appeal to their Emotions and use Stories (Yes, you can use the acronym SUCCES to remember that.)
How do you do this in sales? With stories about relevant experiences of people who’ve had great results with your product or service, of course! This can work wonders as prospects are motivated by social proof. Always keep customer testimonials ready to be shared with new prospects. When customers can view visible proof of what you say, they’re more likely to be convinced and buy your product or service.
Use the Primacy Effect in your sales pitch
According to Primacy Effect, when people are given a sequence of information, the data at the end of the sequence is the most remembered, and then the details at the beginning. The information in the middle of the list is usually the least remembered. Use this in your sales pitch and pricing details by positioning the information you want prospects to remember in the beginning and at the end of the conversation.
Be professional when you discuss your competitors
Spontaneous Trait Transference is a phenomenon in which a person is attributed a trait that they describe as being in someone else. Simply put, the way you describe someone is the way others see you.
So, always present yourself in a positive light and use professional language while discussing competitors at any stage in the sales process. Instead of counting your competitors’ flaws, focus on what makes your product better than the others in the market. Even if customers talk negatively, joining them in bad mouthing any person or company is never a good sales tactic. In such situations, it’s best to remain neutral and more objective.
Offer potential customers a preview
Your prospects are far more likely to buy your product if you give them an inside look of the product or service or a chance to try it out for a short while without any financial commitment. This reduces the risk perception associated with a purchase, especially if it’s a big-ticket item.
If your company doesn’t have a free trial policy, you could even give prospects a detailed tour of the product before they commit. Screen sharing in Zoho SalesIQ helps you with that final step.
Provide some type of guarantee
Though you may be more than confident about your product or service, customers will be more willing to part with their money if they know that they are protected in case something goes wrong. So promising a refund or replacement in case your offering doesn’t meet their requirements is the final step in closing the sale.
Just make sure you structure your money-back guarantee right so abrasive customers don’t take undue advantage of it.
In this post, we’ve covered the most important part of the sales process—getting potential customers to buy from you. Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any sales tips in this section.
The next and last part of this series will focus on how to respond to customers you can’t seem to convince and also on how to keep sales numbers high without having to redo the entire sales cycle numerous times. We’ll also talk about how Zoho SalesIQ—a complete customer engagement software solution for marketing, sales, and customer support—helps you at this stage. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter so you don’t miss it!