This is an era of cautiousness, and that has changed how to sell in the new economy.
Deals are bigger than before--buyers are packaging things together, sourcing different services they would previously have gotten separately now from one vendor to save money overall.
But that means the risk is greater for the buyers, too. Projects will be either a really huge success, or a massive failure.
So more people are involved in the buying decision.
That frequently makes the sales cycle take longer.
And you had better find out what all these people want. Individually. In writing good fiction, every character should have an urgent personal agenda. It's the same in real life. All those stakeholders have something they want out of buying from you, and it's probably different from the guy or gal sitting next to them at the boardroom table.
And they are coming at you better informed than ever before.
All this adds up to price no longer being the #1 factor in buying decisions.
So you had better develop trust, quickly.
How to sell in the new economy?
How do you rapidly develop trust? Here are seven factors for effective selling today:
1. Show up prepared. (Know something about their business; have your materials ready.)
2. Be respectful of their time. (Goes hand-in-hand with being prepared. And be there on time. I hope you set up an up front contract on how long the meeting would last...and if you want to change it, make sure your prospect is willing to go along. Up front contracts are a key factor in how to sell.)
3. Don't make assumptions. (Key--incorrect--assumption: You must need what I offer.)
4. Identify their problems and needs. (Find out what's really going on in their world. Don't slap a one-size-fits-all band-aid on and run away with the money bag. Don't look like you're going to do that, either; it's one of the biggest fears business owners have.)
5. Keep track of details. (Write it down! Have it handy. Did they say it? Write it down!)
6. Do what you say you'll do. (You'll stand out hugely. Most people don't do this and yet it's so simple.)
7. Be a problem-solver, not a product-pusher. (Your prospect doesn't care about your software and its features and benefits. They want a problem fixed and a way out of a bad situation.)
This is how to sell. Really look at what you've been doing. I'll bet you've been missing the mark on at least two of these things. The worst offender? Pushing your product or service instead of being a problem-solver. Your solution may NOT be the best for this prospect. Be willing to spend a few minutes to find out. That attitude comes across instantly and goes a long, long way with prospects and them giving you a little trust. You need that little bit of trust at the very start of your conversations, so that the prospect will begin to open up and share with you some of what's really going on in their world. When you accomplish this, you get farther in the sales process and faster than anyone else who tried pushing a product or service on the prospect right out of the gate.
The most effective and necessary way of how to sell now is to develop trust. You can do it quickly--and the prospect doesn't have to know you or like you yet half as much as you think--but you must do it or you won't have good conversations. And good conversations are what lead to sales.
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