How To Master The Art Of Selling (With Data, Numbers And Science) | Selling Made Simple
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So many skills, so little time! This may be what you are thinking regardless of where you are in your journey as a sales rep. Since sales is continually evolving, there will always be new information and skills to learn. If you seek ways to improve your sales skills, you may have typed “how to master the art of selling” in your browser. Unfortunately, a lot of the results were probably related to a best selling book by the same name written by Tom Hopkins (one of the greatest sales trainers) back in the 80’s. Since this book was written about 40 years ago, sales has changed. The book isn’t as relevant as it once was. The basics apply, but buyers have changed dramatically. There is also more to modern sales than the art of selling. Selling anything today requires a greater emphasis on the science of the sale. Instead of relying on your innate skills like the gift of gab and gut feel, you need to learn to: * Understand your buyers * Measure and analyze sales data * Test and evaluate your market assumptions So with that said, how do you master the art of selling? Understand your buyers It used to be that navigating the sales process when trying to master the art of selling was the only path to follow to close more deals. But, today, the focus is the buying process instead. The buying process has become more critical than selling techniques for modern salespeople because prospects do thorough research online, and 70 percent of modern buyers define their needs before speaking with a sales rep. This research makes buyers more informed than they used to be when sales reps were the sole source of product or service information. As a result, modern B2B buyers now have higher expectations of sales professionals. The new buyer’s expectations include: * Understanding their business, industry, and common challenges * Excellent communication skills – written content, video, phone, and in-person * Focusing on post-sale success * Providing perspective and insights Let’s take a look at 5 skills that are needed to meet these buyer requirements. 1. Do your research Before speaking with a prospect, you need to do your research. Potential customers expect you to know their business, industry, and typical challenges that they’re facing. It also helps if you also keep current with what is happening in the marketplace. And it would be best if you were up to date on your competitors’ product and customer support and how it compares to your company’s and customer support too. 2. Practice active listening Sixty-eight percent of buyers agree that sellers that listen to them will influence their purchase decisions. When practicing active listening, start by asking open-ended questions. Then, listen more than you speak. This means listening to what the prospect is saying and the conveying feeling the potential customer shares with you. Acknowledge and confirm your understanding of what the buyer has said by nodding or saying “um hum” so they know you are listening. Be sure that you are focused on what the prospect is saying and that you are not thinking about what you want to say next. Keep the prospect engaged in conversation by asking clarifying questions. Clarifying questions shows the prospect that you are interested in lear...
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