Every entrepreneur I follow have this strong ability of closing sales. After all if your very nice product doesn’t sell, it is not nice.
Sales is also, how you present your company to others. Then let it be market research, approaching concierge customers or VCs, all involves sales thinking.
So, we are planning to make are first market research trip. We are going to meet unknown customers and try to get their views on what we are trying to do. I didn’t want to go unprepared for this, so I took this little video series course of basics of sales.
You can find it here if you are interested : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGnjRC0UckA
I wrote the following notes for my personal references but I decided to post them here so that it can server as sales 101 to anyone interested.
This course was divided in 11 parts. Each part being a 6-8 minute video covering one topic. I have tried to summarize the course here.
PART 1 : Having the correct mindset
Maintain correct mindset while going to sell.
Think it as you are going to share information that can benefit your customer.
Share stories that will benefit them.
Don’t pressurize them to buy just share information with them.
Just give them a nudge to buy not a push.
You want to share info and then just give them a nudge to try your product.
PART 2 : YOUR PRODUCT INVENTORY
Product inventory has 3 parts :
Our products has … ( the features).
Which will allow you to… (the benefits).
And that means you can … (the advantages).
1. Create list of features, key features not more than 7.
2. Against each feature write. Benefits and advantages.
Create a table for this.
PART 3 : DEFINING CLIENT PROFILE AND MARKET SEGMENTS
TAM : Total Available Market. This is the whole market. But of course we can’t target the whole market as our audience.
We have to profile the customers. List, categorize and prioritize them .
In prioritized list, create the hitlist where your chances are high.
PART 4 : DEVELOPING A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS :
How client perceives your product compared to your competitors is very important.
Prepare a comparative analysis chart for features that you provide and which features are your competitors providing.
Now we can answer how you are better/ different than this?
We can differentiate our product from the others now.
PART 5 : DESIGNING A SALES PROCESS
Research : FBAs , customer problems etc.
1st meeting : Questionnaires, know the situation.
Presentation : Present what you have to offer.
Demo : Show how your product will do that.
Options : Different packages
Pricing : Quote price believing that it is correct.
Close the sale : Seal the deal!
Keep tweaking that process till you get it right.
PART 6 : INTRODUCTION MEETING AND AND ASKING QUESTIONS :
There are 2 types of questions :
Open Ended : That asks for more subjective information.
ex. How has been this product performing for you?
Close Ended : Generally one word answers. Ex. Do you like this product?
Idea is to use the open ended questions to know more about the customer. Get the hold of his situation, his problems.
And use the close ended questions to take confirmations. Ex. Would like to consider a new selling platform?
Let the customer do the talking here. (80-20 rule).
PART 7 : DELIVERING A SALES PRESENTATION :
This is where you start to talk about your product’s features and benefits.
Also incorporate the problems that the customer addressed during the questionnaire phase.
In addition to this block the objections. It means address the objections before they are raised by the customer. This makes you more on command and doesn’t make you sound defensive when the customer raises them.
Ex. Our price is high, and let me explain it to you why….
This makes you more in tune with the customer.
PART 8 : DEMONSTRATING YOUR PRODUCT
Always prefer live demo if possible. Show the customer how the product works and can solve their problems. Use lots of visuals.
Focus on problems solved and advantages offered.
PART 9 : DEVELOPING OPTIONS FOR CLIENTS
Educate not tell your customers what there options are. Give the pros and cons of each options package that you offer them. Ideal number of options are 3.
This was the customer buys the middle one.
The fourth hidden option is telling them why they need to take action. What will be the long term losses if they are not considering about the problems that you are going to solve.
PART 10 : PRESENTING PRICING
Don’t hesitate telling the price. Believe that what you are offering is worth that much.
I have really liked this sales thing so far. Even if you are not into sales or not trying to start a company, a little sales knowledge can come handy. After all everyday either are selling something or being sold.
I also added the book “The Sales Bible” to my to-read list. Excited to read that one too.