The sales professionals’ life demands skills to secure buyers for products and services. Their livelihood requires successfully connecting with buyers. When that works poorly, the professional needs training, coaching, or a new career. When it works well, the rewards are sensational! How does a successful professional establish these connections? First, they understand needs and desires of prospects. That knowledge relies on deeply understanding buyers’ motivations and desires. Superior performance depends on superior understanding, and superior understanding depends on superior knowledge. Superior knowledge results from mastering the niche where the sales professional performs. His life is literally his niche!
The last product to sell itself probably involved the world’s oldest profession’s first customer. After that transaction, every deal involved options. Sellers had to understand the buyer and their options, then meet a specific need. To achieve that clarity, the seller must connect with the prospect. More importantly, the seller must systematize connecting with similar prospects to simplify growing their customers. Great questions followed by listening intently starts progress toward this essential goal. Effective sellers ask questions that entice buyers to reveal individual wants and abilities. Buyers want to solve some problem. Find it. Probe. It is probably not obvious. Identify their ability to buy, whether its discretionary capital, or specific authority to spend. If the prospect does not demonstrate these attributes then the seller has the wrong person, team, or committee. Sellers that quickly find the decision maker and address their issues are more successful. Then, repeat as quickly as possible for the next customer! Replicate this outcome twice, and the seller has established a niche!
Besides necessary people skills to navigate prospect relationships, great sellers must know their product. Products are not limited to tangible items. Fundamentally, effective products solve a problem. The car dealer does not sell an automobile. The product is transportation that meets multiple emotional needs. Those needs can be image, affordability, safety, convenience, practicality, or several other emotions. The successful salesperson understands sufficient features involving products to connect key benefits directly to the prospect. Included in this product knowledge is thorough understanding of the industry, competitive environment and viable substitutes. Superior product knowledge is the lever that separates sales professionals’ quality. Know your stuff!
After developing these two skills to superior levels, the professional’s success starts trending. They may still need to master sales techniques, but those technical skills can be practiced. The hard part is acquiring knowledge of the product’s nuances, considering that they constantly evolve. Also, interpreting prospects’ assorted priorities and desires requires work. Nevertheless, systematically replicating successful sales processes produces personal value. Identifying and applying these processes successfully separates sales leaders from sales professionals seeking opportunities. Know the product thoroughly and what it explicitly means to the buyer. Learn as much detail as humanly possible about targeted prospects. Clarify what the right solution means to a specific segment, then master communicating it to that segment. Dominate it. Once sales success becomes embedded in your life, then life is your niche!
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond