Persuasive selling skills start with rules. Yes as a salesperson you should have some rules when it comes to dealing with potential clients. Some salespeople are walked all over by people who want to buy products either because they do not care or they do not know.
There are a few sales rules to have for persuasive selling skills:
- · Get a budget
- · Get some sort of buy in by asking if the person or group is interested in the product and or service
- · Get commitments from the buyer
Without the above three there is way too much wiggle room in the sales process and for sure you will hear “I wanna think about it” or “Thanks for your time we will get back to you”. Then the sales person will use old and outdated sales techniques to try overcome the sales objections to close the sale. This is the beginning of sales failure.
Now for every sales process there are different ways to get to rules fulfilled and that will also depend upon the salesperson. The problem with salespeople is when they have too many rules to follow when dealing with a potential client. More specifically sales people who are in a sales slump who won’t make sales because their rules will not allow it.
It is amazing how many sales people will not make their sales because it’s below them or the artificial rules they have built up. These rules over time are difficult for them to change and become a really bad habit until there is a change or the salesperson is asked to leave.
Many sales gurus will tell salespeople to follow strict rules about how to treat people but there is a huge difference; hopefully the guru has money in the bank, the salesperson in the slump usually doesn’t have the money needed to be able to walk away from a sale. So they are told to get tough and not take any BS no not that type BS as in belief system. This isn’t to say get walked on by the potential client but it also doesn’t mean that it is ok to become a sales jerk. Firm and in control but not a jerk.
Many times the sales rules are needed and are a huge part of the sales process but they can also get in the way of rapport. Rapport becomes important while building trust but sales people who are in a slump usually take the extreme a few steps too far. Sometimes when people get too roughed up by the rules too soon they get turned off by the sales person. For someone who does not know how to deal with this situation they will lose the sale.
- · Sales people in a slump usually take ideas or extremes too far either direction and they end up losing sales and then do not understand why.
There is a fine line between the emotional roller coaster needed to persuade people and the direct polarization where the sale will not ever be made. Some of the influence comes from the persona and confidence of the sales person but there becomes a fine line between the confidence needed to match the salespersons persona and perceived arrogance on the part of the buyer.
There is another trap when it comes to rapport and confidence. It is entirely possible to build too much rapport. When a sales person crosses the line of persuasive sales skills and too much confidence the sale is in danger of being lost. Too much rapport makes you too much of a friend and that makes it easier to be told no. There does have to be a little bit of an edge between the potential client and the salesperson.
So you may not think that it is possible to build too much rapport? More than likely this has happened to you where you thought you had the sale and at the last second the potential client stalled on you or told you “no”. Its ok this is a common sales mistake when in sales slump or when your sales are on fire. The rule should be that your buyer should be talking about 70-80% of the time and you are listening. In a sales slump sales people typically invert that rule and talk too much and then build too much rapport.
Knowing the rules for your sales process is important, having a real understanding of your skills and abilities is just as important.