I don’t profess to have all of the answers, in fact some days I truly believe that I don’t know anything when it comes to selling. No, I am not going to be “Debbie Downer” but I also don’t want anyone reading this to think that my business never experiences the roller coaster of sales. For some people selling comes natural – my mom, Joan Heldreth, is like that. I truly believe that you could sell anything. I remember when she was a manager of a bakery – people would come in for 1 item and leave with a bag full of things that she suggested (sold) to them. I always wondered how she did it. I envied her and her ease with making a sale.
As I entered the world of direct sales, I was now the one “selling” my products. I found an article on this exact subject on the Direct Selling Education Foundation website. Here are some of the tips that they shared:
- Ask questions to quickly find out what the problem is and/ or what the customer needs. In the party plan business, everyone is expecting the sales pitch. You know the 100 reasons why they absolutely NEED your product. STOP! Your customers and the potential ones will be more open to what you have to say if you have something that will help THEM! Sometimes they don’t know that that is but if you have a SIMPLE solution to make their life easier, they are going to listen. You have to LISTEN to them.
- Use language that is simple to understand. Talk to people about your business as if you would talk to a friend. Remember that you need to build a relationship with people in order for them to connect with you and your product. Don’t use acronyms or things that they aren’t familiar with to try and impress them.
- Create and describe a picture for the customer. Encourage your customer to imagine what their life would be like if they used XYZ product. For example, if their children’s sports equipment is rolling around in the trunk of the car. Suggesting how easy it would be if everything was in one bag would be and as a result, no lost sports equipment and more space in your trunk. Having had a daughter in sports, life would have been easier if some of those things weren’t forgotten or lost in the trunk of the car.
- Ask more questions and listen carefully to their answers. When a customer says “no” or is hesitant, I stumble sometimes depending on how far we are in the relationship building phase. I am always worried about being perceived as pushy but as long as I remember to focus on what the customer needs and not let my own needs get in the way, it all works out.
- Think of yourself as a guide. LISTEN and help your customers navigate through the roadblocks – color, style, price, value, etc. Offer solutions that address their concerns – sometimes this will work, sometimes it won’t. Remember that a no now may mean not at this time.
I love the quote “the art of selling is one that can be developed over time”. I am grateful for that or I would have given up in my first few months of direct sales. Thank you Mom for showing me how easy selling can be when I use these tips – see, you thought I wasn’t paying attention all of those years, you were a great example for me.
What selling tips do you have? Please feel free to share them. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!