What are the two vital behaviours your sales team needs?
Too often “sales” is seen as a dirty word. Ask the average person in the street to come up with a few adjectives to describe salespeople and selling techniques, and it won’t be too long before you hear words like “pushy”, “dishonest” and “manipulative”.
Traditional selling has given sales a bad rap. This old way of doing things, while not exactly dead, is crawling on the floor and gasping for air. Today’s savvy salespeople are leaving the script behind and forming meaningful connections with prospects by being authentic and displaying empathy.
To understand more about authenticity, let’s have a brief look at what inauthenticity looks like. Examples are everywhere. They are in the fast-food outlets that advertise their wares with drool inducing photographs of perfect-looking burgers, when the reality is a thin meat patty and a few strips of limp lettuce in a soggy bun.
We see inauthenticity in the salesperson who reeks “desperate for my commission”. You probably come across these types all the time in your daily lives. For example, when you want to buy a new washing machine you may have a good idea of what you want for your needs. You can bet your bottom dollar the desperate salesperson will know exactly what they want to fulfil there’s, which can be to shift units, earn more commission and get a big pat on the back from the boss. In this instance, the person will probably not sell you what you want, only what they want.
Now let’s briefly turn to what I mean by empathy. It is the ability to recognise the emotions of another person, to put yourself in their shoes and see the world through their eyes. When you are truly able to do this in sales you will see exactly where the problem is in the other person’s business.
So how can you be more authentic and use empathy in sales?
Being open-minded to anything that your prospects are saying: this means paying attention and tuning into the person you are selling to. We were given TWO ears and ONE mouth for a reason, so use them in those proportions. When you go into a meeting with a prospect concentrate on hearing exactly what it is that they’re saying.
To help you understand what you’re being told imagine being in their place facing their challenges. How will your product or service make them feel? Will it achieve what you say it will? Will it make them happy?
An empathetic salesperson is able to treat a prospect like they would want to be treated. And that includes not avoiding potential objections during your discussion. It may turn out that your product is not suitable for their needs, but that doesn’t have to mean disaster for you. The other person will value your honesty and may give you good referrals further down the line.
Be your true, authentic self: at every stage of the sales process be authentic and transparent. Throw away the sales script. Don’t use manipulative techniques that you would hate being used on you if you were on the other side of the negotiating table. Sure, you may want to refer to a few items to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes, but if you are too rehearsed you will come off like some sales machine. And that smacks of insincerity.
Being true to your self means not adopting a false persona or trying to be someone that you are not. One way to help you get in touch with the real you during sales meetings and presentations is to imagine doing your pitch to a friend or family member, someone who knows you well. Not only will this help to make you more relaxed, but quite naturally you will come across as being more honest and genuine.
Embrace Authenticity and Empathy
When you are authentic and show empathy you will discover that people will love buying from you. They will get the sense that you really are looking out for them, that you care about what they want and not just about selling.
We all know the joy and satisfaction that comes from dealing with someone who takes the time to understand our needs. Embrace authentic sales practices and be the kind of person who works towards the happiness and success of their prospects. Doing so builds trust and credibility, which in sales is pure dynamite.
If you’re interested in developing these behaviours within your sales team then contact to on our Training Consultant’s about a Natural Sales Transformation Programme.
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