Selling for Non-Salespeople

by | Sales and marketing

Having trouble closing sales? A fresh approach and a few simple techniques can make a big difference in your results.

Are salespeople born or are they made?

Well, it’s obvious that some people have natural abilities that make them more at ease in a sales role. But you’d better develop at least a basic comfort level when it comes to presenting your company’s services or products in a way that puts you in a position to succeed.

If you don’t like selling, you have a lot of company. To help you jump-start your efforts, here are some tips on selling for the non-salesperson.

Change Your Approach

Think about “serving,” not “selling.”

When seeing a prospect, especially for the first time, approach the meeting as a kind of problem-solving mission. Your job is to serve the customer – help him find solutions, grow his business and increase his profits. If you go in to a meeting with the goal of pushing a particular product, you’ll have a very rough time closing the sale.

On the other hand, if you focus on the customer’s problems (What’s the itch you can scratch?) a sale becomes a natural result of your conversations, and that’s a win for you both.

As a bonus, focusing on the customer will make you more relaxed, less nervous, and let you come across as more natural and likable. People buy from people they like!

Ease Up

During that first meeting, go easy on the brochures, hard numbers and technical information. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Naturally, you’ll want to show a level of expertise and experience, but don’t overwhelm your prospect with how much you know. Concentrate on building a comfort level and keep the attention on the his needs.

Promise to send information supporting what you discussed and have it mailed the same day, if possible. This also gives you an opportunity to contact him to answer questions later on.

Provide Valuable Information

This is different from the information you’ll send about your company. When it comes to presenting independent information that might help a prospect, it’s actually hard to communicate too much.

Keep a file of links to news stories, reports, magazine articles, trade show announcements, conference agendas and any other bits of information that your prospect might appreciate and send them on a regular basis. This reinforces the notion that you care about his company’s success.

And avoid self-promotion when providing this information, except when an article you send was written by you or someone else at your company.

Follow Up

Of course, you will. But try this approach.

You: Bob, I’d like to follow up with you in a week or so after I’ve had time to think about your situation and send some information to you. Is there a time of day or part of the week when you’d rather not be called?

This shows you respect Bob’s time and recognize how busy he is. People like considerate people, and people like buying from people they like.

Bonus Tip:

If you want to take a customer relationship to the next level, do something nice for his kid. If you’re sincere – and you really need to be – this kind of gesture can be invaluable.

Years ago, a business associate discovered that a customer’s 12 year-old son was a huge fan of Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. He arranged for the boy to meet the QB at charity dinner. Kosar was very gracious, and even signed a football that would be displayed in the son’s bedroom for years.

Kosar probably would not remember the incident, but the12 year-old – and his father – never forgot it. And at last check, the father was still a client.

Did we mention that people like buying from people they like?

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