With technology changing, even disrupting, entire industries, it’s time to gain full understanding of how to engage customers and sell in this technology-driven age. If you don't adopt your sales process to account for today's mobile customers, you'll quickly get left behind. How can you tweak your sales system to make the most of new technology?
1. Use time effectively. Mobile sales are reaching new heights. The consumer no longer wants to waste time in a long, drawn-out sales process. You must become more efficient in how you engage customers, identify their needs and present the right solution. Previously, the longer you spent with the customer, the better your chances of a sale. Today, the longer you spend, the less likely you'll close a deal at all. People are researching and shopping on their phones to save time. They’re more informed, and if they come to see you, there’s a reason: service.
2. Get third-party validation. Today’s informed consumers want third-party sources to support any sales presentation. An uncertain buyer shops and thinks. A buyer who is made certain with third-party data will make a decision to purchase. This is the ultimate value provided by the Internet, and businesses aren’t taking full advantage. Present the facts and back them up.
I was working with a bike dealer who claimed he had the best racing bike in the market. We created an information package featuring third-party sources that validated his claims and created more certainty for the buyer. We then took it a step further and validated that the pricing was also fair and supported by others.
3. Don’t avoid the price issue. The age-old belief has been to avoid discussing price until you demonstrate and build value in your product. This is no longer workable and a waste of time. People want to know what something costs so that they know whether they can afford it or not. Almost every customer asks early on in the process what the price is for a service or product. When a salesperson answers, "Price doesn't matter until we determine if the product is right," he or she is wasting everyone's time. They want to prove value first, but why go through the lengthy sales pitch for something the client simply can't afford?
One of my companies sells a sales training software product, and we tested this "price first" concept. I told my sales team to present price first, then go into a value presentation. Not only did their closing rates improve, the sales presentation was shortened and our margins improved.
4. Always have a great attitude. The more we do on our phones and computers, the more disconnected we get from human interaction. Don’t miss the fact that people are still people who want questions answered and help reaching a decision on what to buy. People will pay more for a positive attitude, a smile and an overall pleasant experience than the product itself. Make sure your sales team greets customers with enthusiasm. That customer could have shopped anywhere else, including online, so appreciate that they came to see you.
Train your sales team to maintain a helpful, solution-focused attitude when handling customer objections or complaints. Always agree with the customer and if you have to tell someone no, make sure you let them know that your company never says no until they absolutely have to.
5. Follow up—fast. You can no longer wait to follow up with a customer. Urgency is the name of the game today, and striking when there’s interest is vital. We have companies increasing their business profitability by using this simple action of immediate management follow up with every customer. As the customer is leaving, the sales manager or executive is placing a call to the customer's cell phone or walking the customer out of the store to determine what can be done to consummate a transaction today. Sounds aggressive? Well, it is; and companies that refuse to settle are willing to aggressively have management call every customer back as they leave.
The marketplace has never been so competitive and margins so tight. The rules have changed. As technology continues to advance offering more options, sales has to adapt, too. Businesses that are nimble and adapt to an ever-changing customer do the best and remain strong.
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