This year’s Business Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Secrets of successful sales
“Most start-up businesses will fail because they don’t know how to sell,” Alison claims. Sole traders and entrepreneurs tell her that they lack confidence in their ability to sell.
“But how do you get confidence if you don’t understand sales?”
Alison grew up in a council house in Scotland and despite her dyslexia, wrote a business book that sold out on Amazon on its first day. She describes herself as the Kate Moss of sales and says because she believes she is a sales supermodel, so do others. But she argues that the “magic of confidence” can only appear if it is underpinned by three other pillars of sales methodology that are the focus of Secrets of Successful Sales.
These are based on a deep understanding of customer behaviour, having a robust sales process in place and a clear sales strategy.
Ask open questions to get to know your customers
While it may be quite easy to sell to someone whose behaviours and motivations match your own, Alison points out that this will not be the case for most of your potential customers and if you treat them as you want to be treated, that will likely lead to a failed sale.
“Use proper questioning techniques,” she urges. Good, open questions that start with why, how, when and what will help to identify what personality profile your customer aligns with, what their priorities are and what kind of sales technique they are most likely to positively respond to.
“When children first learn to talk, they usually ask why. We don’t teach them to say that. It just comes naturally,” Alison says. In a similar way, we need to tap into our inner three-year-old when trying to build a customer relationship.
She adds: “When they give us the information, we need to listen. We were given one mouth and two ears and they should be used in that proportion. You don’t build a relationship by talking, or by talking about yourself.”
- If you do not believe in the product or service you are selling, no one else will
- Take time to get to know your customers with open questions and understand their priorities and motivations. This should be your guide to better interactions and winning more orders.